Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan (born September 1, 1970), known professionally as Padma Lakshmi (Tamil: ????? ???????, pronounced [?p?d?ma? ?l?k?mi?]) is an American author, actress, model, television host, and executive producer. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the Best First Book award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US cooking competition program Top Chef since season two in 2006 (entering season 16 December 2018) for which she received an Emmy nomination in 2009 for Outstanding Reality Host. Her debut memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate was released on International Womens Day, March 8, 2016.