Padma Lakshmi (born September 1, 1970) is an Indian American cookbook author, actress, and model. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two. In 2010, Top Chef was nominated for an Emmy Award and won for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Lakshmi's career began at age 16, when she was discovered by a modeling agent in India while sitting in a café. As she has stated, "I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York. I'm the first one to admit that I was a novelty."
Padma Lakshmi in Vogue Magazine, India