Padma Lakshmi is an American author, actress, model, television host and executive producer. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the Best First Book award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.

Birth Name

Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan




Author, Model, Actress, Television Host



She also has American citizenship.

Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Padma Lakshmi was born on the 1st of September 1970, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


She is currently 53 years old.

Sun Sign



Indian (Tamilian)




Lakshmi attended the William Workman High School. She got enrolled at the Clark University and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in Theater Arts.

Family Details

  • Father – Vaidyanathan (Executive with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer)
  • Mother – Vijaya Lakshmi (Retired nurse with a specialization in oncology)
  • Siblings – None

Marital Status


Boyfriend / Spouse

Padma Lakshmi has dated-

  • Salman Rushdie (2000-2007) – In April 2004, after living together for five years, Lakshmi married novelist Salman Rushdie. Rushdie stated that Lakshmi asked for a divorce in January 2007, and in July 2007, the couple filed it.
  • Adam Dell (2007-2010) – Shortly after filing for divorce, Padma started going out with venture capitalist Adam Dell, who is the brother of the founder of Dell computers; Michael Dell. They had been reportedly introduced by mutual friends. Their relationship, which came to an end in the early months of 2009, was largely uneventful. However, it did become interesting afterward as she found out that she was pregnant and wasn’t sure who the father was as she was also dating Theodore Forstmann. She eventually found out that Adam was the father of her daughter, Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell, who was born in February 2010.
  • Nur Khan (2008) – Lakshmi was reportedly going out with Nur Khan, who owned a couple of popular nightclubs and hotels in New York City, in 2008. They were spotted together on a couple of occasions but their affair didn’t last long.
  • Ted Forstmann (2009-2011) – The timeline of her relationship with billionaire investor Ted Forstmann, who passed away in 2011 of brain cancer, is a bit sketchy. Some sources claim that they started dating in 2009 after the end of her relationship with Adam Dell, while others contend that they had started dating far earlier. When she gave birth to Krishna, Ted had believed that the child was his and was heartbroken when the paternity test revealed otherwise. He eventually overcame his angst and insisted that she be raised as his daughter. When he passed away, he left trust funds worth millions of dollars in Krishna’s name.

  • Vikram Chatwal (2012-2013) – Lakshmi started going out with hotelier Vikram Chatwal towards the end of 2012. They were first spotted together at a basketball match between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. She even took him as her date to the annual Blossom Ball benefiting the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
  • Richard Gere (2014) – In April 2014, Padma was reportedly dating actor Richard Gere. It was alleged that amidst his divorce from Carey Lowell, to whom he was married for 11 years, Richard had found love with her. However, about six months later, they were heading in different directions.

Physical Statistics


  • In feet – 5 feet 9 inches
  • In centimeters – 175 cm
  • In meters – 1.75 m


  • In Kilograms – 68 kg
  • In Pounds – 150 lbs

Body Measurements

  • Measurements – 34-27-46
  • Bust – 34 inches
  • Waist – 27 inches
  • Hip – 36 inches
  • Bra Size – 34B

Body Build


Body Shape


Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color


Shoe Size

She wears a size 10 (US) shoe.

Dress Size

Her dress size is 6 (US).



Professional Statistics

Famous For

Having worked as the judge as well as the host of the popular cooking TV series, Top Chef. Making guest appearances in popular movies and TV series such as The Mistress of Spices, 30 Rock, and Star Trek: Enterprise. Being one of the first popular supermodels of Indian origin. She has modeled for leading fashion brands such as Gianni Versace, Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.

Film Debut

In 1995, Lakshmi made an uncredited appearance in a documentary titled Unzipped. Her proper role as a actress came in 2001 with the romantic drama, Glitter.

Television Debut

In 1988, Padma appeared in an adventure drama series, Il Figlio di Sandokan.

Brand Endorsements

Lakshmi has done endorsement work for the following brands Carl’s Jr. Hamburgers & Red (2014).

Padma Lakshmi Net worth

Padma Lakshmi has a estimated net worth of $40 million dollars as of 2024.

Social Media Portfolio

Some Lesser Known Facts About Padma Lakshmi

  • After moving to the United States, Padma had even thought of changing her name to Angelique, but decided to stay with her original name.
  • As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles, Lakshmi was bullied and endured racial taunts from classmates, which caused her to struggle to overcome “internalized self-loathing.”
  • While growing up, she often had to endure bullying and racial taunts in school, which led to her suffering from ‘self-loathing.’
  • At the age of 14, she had to spend three weeks in hospital as she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is triggered by an adverse reaction to some kind of medication or infection.
  • She was sexually abused by a relative of her then-stepfather at the age of 7. She eventually told her mother about it, who believed her but her stepfather didn’t and she was sent to India.
  • Lakshmi has a younger paternal half-sister who is a classical dancer and actress.
  • She landed with modeling at the age of 21, when she was discovered by a modeling scout at a cafe in Madrid, Spain.
  • Her debut book, Easy Exotic, a compilation of  international recipes and short essays, earned her fame in food industry. It was named as the Best First Book at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards at Versailles.
  • Padma has appeared in several international food series.
  • In 2007, People Magazine placed her in their list of 100 Most Beautiful Women. The same year, she was ranked #87 on Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100 list.
  • While growing up, she was involved in a serious auto crash that shattered her right arm and fractured her right hip as well. As the remainder of the accident, she still has a seven-inch long scar on her right arm.
  • In her senior year in high school, she decided to study in Madrid, where she was discovered by a photographer, who convinced her to try out as a model.
  • In May 2007, People magazine included Padma on their list featuring 100 Most Beautiful Women.
  • In 2007, she was placed in the #87 position by Maxim magazine in their Hot 100 list.
  • In 2009, Lakshmi launched her first jewelry line entitled Padma, and two tableware collections.
  • She has written columns for renowned publishers including The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Lakshmi is a co-founder of The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA), a nonprofit organization, focused on increasing awareness, education, research, and legislative advocacy against the disease.
  • She was diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 36 but she was suffering from the pain since she was young.
  • She is a global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive organization and also a strong advocate of women rights.
  • Padma is a multilingual who can speak Tamil, English, Hindi, Spanish and Italian.
  • She is the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA). She has been suffering from the painful disease since the age of 13 but wasn’t diagnosed until the age of 36.
  • Lakshmi and EFA were one of the driving forces behind the start of MIT Center for Gynepathology research. She was invited as a keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony.
  • Padma has been appointed as the global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive organization. She has visited several KCA sites and events in India.


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