Padma Lakshmi reveals the one thing that she doesn't miss about "Top Chef"

"It's very hard, what I miss most is actually the people. I'll miss almost everybody because they're like family"

By Michael La Corte

Deputy Food Editor

Published August 17, 2023 12:30PM (EDT)

Padma Lakshmi in "Top Chef" (David Moir/Bravo)
Padma Lakshmi in "Top Chef" (David Moir/Bravo)

After her time hosting "Top Chef", Padma Lakshmi is reflecting on what the show meant to her — and discussing her excitement for what's to come next.

Since her much-discussed departure from the show — which transformed from a fledgling Bravo show in 2006 to a full-fledged juggernaut in the realms of both food and culture under her tenure — Lakshmi spoke about her experience earlier this week on "Good Morning America".

While acknowledging the incredible time she spent on the show, she also did note one thing that she deemed a "high class problem." 

"What I won't miss is the copious amounts of food in a very short time," Lakshmi said. "I know it's a high-class problem to have, but it can feel really uncomfortable, the long hours, eating all that food. I will not miss it."

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At the same time, though, she stated the deep impact that the show had on her, both personally and professionally. "It's very hard, what I miss most is actually the people. When you spend 17 years on a show, 19 seasons, my daughter grew up on that set. I'll miss almost everybody because they're like family," she said.

Lakshmi also acknowledged the incredible leaps and bounds of the show's growth, stating "think about when we started . . . it's such an institution, and I'm proud to have built that with the rest of my crew." 

Lakshmi announced her departure just prior to the conclusion of the show's twentieth season back in June. As reported, her successor is season 10 winner Kristen Kish, who said this when the announcement was made: "Top Chef is where I started my journey — first as a competing chef, then a guest judge and now as host, I have the honor of helping to continue to build this brand," Kish continued. "I'm thrilled to sit alongside Gail and Tom as we get to know new incredible chefs and see what they cook up. It feels like coming home." 

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Lakshmi is now focusing her efforts now on her show "Taste the Nation," which is currently streaming on Hulu.  

"It's been the professional honor of my life, really, because it's about food [and] culture," Lakshmi said on GMA. "To me, what makes American really great is the contributions of many different kinds of people." 

You can stream "Taste the Nation" on Hulu and the first 19 seasons of "Top Chef" are currently streaming on Peacock. 

By Michael La Corte

Michael is a food writer, recipe editor and educator based in his beloved New Jersey. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, he worked in restaurants, catering and supper clubs before pivoting to food journalism and recipe development. He also holds a BA in psychology and literature from Pace University.

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Bravo Food Food Tv Good Morning America Hulu Padma Lakshmi Taste The Nation Top Chef