This week on the Reheat: In Praise of Queen Padma Lakshmi

Hello, and welcome to The Reheat! Each week, I write a column summarizing the highlights of the podcast I co-host with Sadaf Ahsan. Our podcast, also titled The Reheat (what a coincidence!), re-examines the most salacious scandals of yester-year through a contemporary lens. Whether it’s a deep dive into Bennifer’s original love story from the 2000s or a meditation on the time princess Anne was almost kidnapped, we explain why each saga captured our imaginations back in the day. Sadaf and I also ask, would these stories be as scandalous if they happened in 2022? The answers to that question might surprise you!

Whenever we release a new episode, I share some of the most interesting (or in this week’s case, troubling) information right here, for Addicted Magazine’s lovely readers. Obviously, we hope these columns tantalize you enough to listen to our podcast. That’s where you’ll learn the compelling facts I don’t share here…

This week’s episode is about a true Queen, and her name is Padma Lakshmi. On the podcast, Sadaf and I discuss this icon’s career, from her days as a fashion model to her current life as a Reality TV institution and bestselling cookbook author. And of course, we’ll go deep on Padma’s eventful love life. Here are a few tidbits to whet your appetite!

Padma Developed Her Love of Cooking At a Young Age

According to her memoir, Love, Loss, And What We Ate, Padma began cooking out of necessity. When Padma moved from India to America at age four, she was a vegetarian. However, 1970s America offered pitifully few vegetarian options. One of her few veggie options came in the form of Campbell’s Soups, to which Padma added Jalapenos for extra flavour. Her childhood love of cooking never faded; Padma grew up to write multiple bestselling cookbooks! And of course, she also hosts a little show called Top Chef.


Padma Lakshmi Was The Kelly Ripa Of Italy


In 1997, Padma scored a gig hosting Domenica In, an Italian talk show. How did that happen? Well, in addition to being a gourmet cook and a classically trained actress (she has a theatre degree from Clark University), Padma is fluent in Italian!  Domenica In was one of Italy’s most popular talk shows, making Ms. Laksmi The Kelly Ripa of Italy. And yet, when she returned to America in 1999, racism made it difficult for her to even get an agent. Thank God The Bravo Network appreciated Padma’s talent!


Salman Rushdie Sounds Like a Bad Husband


Salman Rushdie is the author of such modern classics as Midnight’s Children. The Booker Prize-winner may be an excellent novelist, but writing ability does not necessarily translate to being a good romantic partner. During his three-year third marriage to Padma Lakshmi, he was a bit of a jerk. Want proof? Padma explains in her memoir that her ex-husband referred to her as “a bad investment” because her endometriosis sometimes made it too painful for her to have sex. Um, your wife is not a mutual fund or an NFT! She is your life partner, not an investment! Clearly, Salman never deserved the perfection that is Padma…


Padma Eventually Found True Love


Following her divorce from Mr. Rushdie, Padma was a swinging single. Understandably, the 37-year-old didn’t want to rush into another serious relationship post-divorce. And so Padma let the dudes she was dating know she didn’t want to be exclusive. Because she’d been told her endometriosis would make it virtually impossible for her to conceive, Padma was shocked when she fell pregnant in 2019. However, the most nerve-wracking part was likely the wait to determine the fetus’ biological father, who was either Adam Dell (a guy she found hot but wasn’t super into) or billionaire Teddy Forstmann (The guy who turned out to be the love of Padma’s life).


You may remember the gross media speculation about the identity of Padma’s baby’s father. At one point, tabloids even speculated the dad was a guy who turned out to be her cousin. In the end, Krishna Lakshmi-Dell’s biological father was venture capitalist Adam Dell. However, Teddy stood by Padma despite not being the baby’s dad. Now Ms. Lakshmi’s exclusive boyfriend, Teddy was present at the child’s birth. When he tragically died of brain cancer in 2011, Teddy left a trust fund for Krishna.


*header photo of  Padma Lakshmi on the red carpet by John Shearer/Getty Images


Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as Elle Canada, Flare, Bitch Media, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-host of You Do You: A Dating Podcast. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about politics and live-tweets The Bachelor