Padma Lakshmi is probably best known for her time on Top Chef, but the Indian superstar was first introduced to the entertainment industry as a model after being discovered by an agent in Spain. Since then, Lakshmi has become an author, actress, television host, and executive producer, and has been linked to several major projects, including Star Trek: Enterprise.
While chatting with Us Weekly for its “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” series, Lakshmi shared tidbits about herself, her daughter, and her career.
She began by sharing that her first real job wasn’t as glamorous as one would expect — she spent her time teaching math to her next-door neighbor. Things obviously got better for the star and she landed her first modeling gig for Spanish Elle while still in college. She shared a fact about her time on Star Trek: Enterprise in 2002, saying she had to wear “an Alaïa dress that I had to rip. I felt so bad!” She also shared a fond memory from her time playing Sylk in 2001’s Glitter.
“I remember hearing Mariah [Carey] sing a cappella. Her voice is superhuman,” she recalled.
Lakshmi said while she absolutely loves attending the occasional “drag queen gospel brunch” with friends, her ideal Sunday involves “staying home, wearing pajamas and reading The New York Times.” Speaking of self-care, Lakshmi said her favorite way to get rid of the stress of a long day is by “[taking] a really hot bath.”
The mother-of-one also shared how she spends time with her 9-year-old daughter Krishna.
“I love to cook together. We do makeovers on each other and burst into spontaneous dance parties too,” she said, before adding she still manages to do embarrassing mom things. “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.'”
It seems fans can now add ordained minister to Lakshmi’s list of titles, as the TV host revealed that she is ordained in two states — New York and California — and has officiated 31 weddings.
Lakshmi went on to admit she doesn’t actually remember her first date but knows she went out to a really nice dinner. Her favorite movie of all time is The Sound of Music, her least-favorite food trend is the poke bowl, and she claims to make the best ragout.
Finally, the Top Chef host shared details of her partnership with Stacy’s Pita Chips. Lakshmi will be mentoring five female founders of food and beverage businesses for the Stacy’s Rise Project. The five women will also receive $200,000 in funding and the opportunity to network with some of the biggest names in the food and beverage industry.