Padma Lakshmi Reflects on How Top Chef Has Changed

Padma Lakshmi Reflects on How Top Chef Has Changed

Bravo's Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi considers the show's evolution through trends and time.

By Alesandra Dubin
Digital Original
Top Chef Judges Rate the Unicorn Food Trend

Bravo's Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi recently dropped a major hint about the show's future — suggesting there might be some exciting news to look out for about the Season 17 cast...

But when The Feast caught up with Padma on April 16 in Los Angeles, on the red carpet for an Emmys panel featuring Top Chef as well as Project Runway, she also spent some time reflecting on the show's history — noting both how the show has changed the restaurant world around it over time, and how the show has itself changed over time, too.

"Top Chef is a huge force in pop culture, but also in very legit, high-end professional food circles around the world. We're in over 60 countries, we're translated into different languages," Padma told The Feast. "People who are really serious in the food industry really love us, and that gives us an extra amount of cachet."

Beyond that, the show has evolved with the culinary trends and preferences around it.

"[The show is] an ever-evolving thing — like food trends, what people are into. Now it's fermentation — before, it was, 'Put an egg on everything,'" Padma said. "And it was foams when we first started up — remember Marcel [Vigneron on Season 2] and all those darn foams? So that doesn't happen anymore, thank god."

When we reminded Padma of her earlier comments that were ungenerous toward sous vide, she doubled down: "I was over sous vide before I really got into it. If I wanted steamed food, I would go to the hospital." 

Recently, head judge Tom Colicchio also spoke out about the ways the restaurant industry has changed during Top Chef's run.

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