25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

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Padma Lakshmi told Us 25 things about herself including the best dish she makes, her favorite way to hang out with friends and more. Read on to learn what’s cooking for the Top Chef host!

1. My first job was tutoring my next-door neighbor in math.

2. My first car was a Ford Pinto in copper brown. I thought it was sorta cute.

3. A lot of fans [give me] chutney, and I wish I could try it, but you never know. There could be that one crazy [person]!

4. For my first date, I went out to a nice dinner, but I don’t remember [the date itself], so it must not have been very good!

5. My favorite pieces of clothing are my custom-made 3×1 jumpsuits. I live in them!

6. My biggest pet peeve is when someone comes to a meeting and isn’t prepared.

7. I love to box — regular old-school Muhammad Ali boxing.

8. My first modeling gig was for Spanish Elle in college.

9. I was on Star Trek: Enterprise [in 2002] and wore an Alaïa dress that I had to rip. I felt so bad!

10. When I was playing Sylk in Glitter [in 2001], I remember hearing Mariah [Carey] sing a cappella. Her voice is superhuman.

11. If I’m going out with friends, I love a drag queen gospel brunch.

Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef
Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

12. The best thing I cook is ragout. It takes all day. I go to two different butchers for three kinds of meat.

13. My daughter [Krishna, 9, with boyfriend Adam Dell] and I love to cook together. We do makeovers on each other and burst into spontaneous dance parties too.

14. My ideal Sunday is staying home, wearing pajamas and reading The New York Times.

15. My least-favorite food trend is the poke bowl.

16. Everything I do embarrasses my daughter! If I pick her up at school [and I’m] not in full glam, she’s like, “No, we don’t want to see this Padma. We want Top Chef Padma.”

17. The secret to my voluminous hair is eating a lot of eggs, and using Keratin Complex Vita Volume foam and Oribe texturizing spray.

18. Every time I get an acting gig, I buy myself a piece of jewelry. I once bought a diamond ring and everyone thought I was engaged. I still do that when I sign on to a project.

19. My favorite movie of all time is The Sound of Music.

20. My rule in the kitchen is: Make sure everything is prepped and within reach.

21. My second kitchen rule is timing. A lot of people falter when their timing is off.

22. I’m an ordained minister in New York and California. I’ve married 31 couples!

23. I don’t share food. I don’t like the dance of who gets the last bite.

24. After a long day, my favorite thing to do is take a really hot bath.

25. I love charities that bring women up, especially in male-dominated industries. That’s why I’ve partnered with Stacy’s Pita Chips for the Stacy’s Rise Project to provide $200,000 in funding, networking and mentorship to five female founders of food and beverage businesses.

Enter the Stacy’s Rise Project by Sunday, June 21.



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