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Padma Lakshmi — Food Expert, Television Producer, Host, and Bestselling Author

Padma Lakshmi
General Session

Padma: Travel, People and Food

Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television producer, host, and a New York Times best-selling author.
She is the creator of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, winner of the 2021 Critics Choice Award and 2022 James Beard Award. Taste the Nation will return for a holiday seasonette in November 2021, and its second season will begin filming in early 2022. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef.
Lakshmi is co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Artist Ambassador for immigrants' rights and women's rights. Lakshmi was also appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
She established herself as a food expert early in her career, hosting two successful cooking shows: Padma’s Passport, and Planet Food, and writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the “Best First Book” award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, and her memoir, The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs. In August of 2021 she published her first children’s book, The New York Times best-selling Tomatoes for Neela.
Additionally, Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor.