Padma Lakshmi is an Indian American cookbook author, actress, television host, and model. She has received several awards for her work as a chef and she was the winner of Top Chef season four. Padma’s career began in modeling when she was 13 years old but quickly turned to act when she found out that her father had been diagnosed with cancer. In this biography, we will discuss how the Padma got her ‘scar’.
How did Padma Lakshmi get her scar?
The scar on her forehead is from an incident that happened in India when she was four years old. Her mother had left Padma’s uncle’s house with her daughter to go see friends nearby because it was too hot indoors. When they reached their destination, there were no chairs available so Lakshmi sat down near the doorway and rested against a wall while chatting with some other women also waiting for seats. Suddenly someone inside came rushing out of the house carrying a live cooking stove, knocking into Lakshmi who fell backward onto it—the iron stove top gashed open her head just over one eye (which gives us this glorious scar), giving her permanent blindness in one eye.
The scar is now well known and documented as it has been seen by millions when Padma appeared on the TV show Top Chef, where she had previously served as a judge for four years.
Who is Padma?
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Padma Lakshmi was born in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India to an Indian father and a mother from Hyderabad. She moved with her parents at the age of two years old to New York City where she grew up before moving to Los Angeles for a modeling career.
In 1992 when the Padma was 13 years old, both of her parents had been diagnosed with cancer. Her father was given six months to live and died two years later in 1994, at the age of 48, when the Padma was 15 years old.
Her mother won a battle against breast cancer after giving birth to Padma’s brother. She went on to treat other women suffering from the disease before she also developed liver cancer and passed away in 1998, at 53 years old.
Padma Lakshmi became interested in cooking as an escape from her family tragedy during which time she recalls that “I fell head over heels for food.”
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Lakshmi watched Julia Childs’ The French Chef while studying abroad in France following high school graduation; Childs inspired her passion for cooking. She had a brief stint as a model in Milan, Italy before returning to the US, she became interested in cooking professionally while working at Manhattan’s Windows on the World restaurant and was soon invited by fellow Indian-born chef Madhur Jaffrey to co-host her show Easy Exotic (1998–2000). In 2001 Lakshmi started hosting Top Chef for Bravo; it has since been nominated nine times for Outstanding Reality Show or Program Emmy Awards.
Padma Lakshmi became a celebrity after appearing on Bravo TV’s Top Chef. But as her career took off, she found that it was affecting her private life and decided to step away from the limelight for a bit.
She recounts this in an interview with Vogue: “I just didn’t want my whole life to be about me,” Lakshmi said in an interview with Vogue earlier this year, “so I stepped out of the spotlight.” For four years beginning in 2009, she did not appear at any events or even leave New York City—not even once, except to visit family overseas.
She is also a writer
She spent time volunteering internationally (she wrote a blog documenting her trips), but otherwise focused on cooking for friends back home; working on two children’s books about food culture around the world; and writing a memoir, Love, Loss And What We Ate.
In 2010, Lakshmi released both “Love Food Hate Waste,” which highlights food families throw away unnecessarily due to lack of proper understanding about expiration dates or poor planning, and “The Encyclopedia of Spices.” This year, she also became one of 11 judges for Bravo’s new series Top Chef Masters alongside fellow judges Anthony Bourdain, Wolfgang Puck, and Bobby Flay.
Padma Lakshmi’s story is inspirational. She came to America with only $80, impulsively deciding she would not return to India until she had made it in the US – and that is precisely what happened. She made it big and now she is world famous because of her dedication.