Padma Lakshmi Padma Lakshmi is a food expert and television host, known for her work with Top Chef and Taste the Nation. Padma is a model, actress, writer, and food columnist for the New York Times. Her work also appears in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Padma graduated from Clark University with a degree in theatre and English literature. Her degree allowed her to break into the modeling and acting industries, which later opened doors for her to follow her passion by working in the food TV industry. In addition, she works as a freelance writer and columnist, published in the New York Times. Padma has created her own culinary product line–called "Padma's Easy Exotic"–which includes teas, organic foods, blended spices, and home decor options. She also works as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and is an activist for immigrants' and women's rights with the American Civil Liberties Union. About Better Homes & Gardens Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.