Padma Lakshmi Bids Farewell to “Top Chef”

Padma Lakshmi has revealed her departure from the popular culinary competition series, “Top Chef,” after serving as its host and judge for 17 years and 20 seasons. In a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday, Lakshmi announced, “After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef.”

She expressed immense pride in being a part of the show’s success throughout its 20 seasons and stated her desire to focus on other projects, such as her Hulu series “Taste the Nation” and her New York Times bestselling books. “I feel it’s time to move on and make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits,” she wrote.

Over the years, Lakshmi earned 13 Emmy nominations for her work on “Top Chef.” She has been an integral part of the series since joining during its second season. An NBC Universal spokesperson expressed gratitude for her contributions, stating, “We are grateful to Padma for being a consummate host, judge and executive producer, and for bringing her ingenuity and exceptional palate to each episode where she ate every bite of food on the series for over 17 years and 19 seasons.”

While no successor has been announced yet, the spokesperson assured that Lakshmi will always be a part of the Top Chef and NBCUniversal family, adding, “She has a seat at the judges’ table anytime.”

In her farewell post, Lakshmi referred to the “Top Chef” cast and crew as family, admitting she would “miss working alongside them dearly.” She also took the opportunity to thank the show’s audience, saying, “I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”

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