“It’s Time To Move On”: Padma Lakshmi Quits Top Chef

“It’s Time To Move On”: Padma Lakshmi Quits Top Chef

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The reality show announced on Instagram that “Top Chef” season 20 will be her last run with the beloved Bravo cooking competition series. Padma Lakshmi joined the show in Season 2 and has served as host for 19 seasons. Her hosting skills combined with her chemistry with judges Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio, helped turn Top Chef into a phenomenon. 

Padma Lakshmi’s hosting stint has earned her four Emmy nominations for outstanding reality show host as well as an additional 10 Emmy nominations for outstanding competition program as a producer.

“After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave ‘Top Chef,” Lakshmi wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food.”

“After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me, and I will miss working alongside them dearly,” she continued. “I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for ‘Taste the Nation,’ my books, and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support. Sincerely, Padma.” An NBCUniversal spokesperson has also commented on Lakshmi’s exit on behalf of the company.

The spokesperson wrote, “Padma Lakshmi leaves behind an incredible legacy on Bravo’s ‘Top Chef.’ Her impact on the Emmy, James Beard, and Critics’ Choice Award-winning series is undeniable. We are grateful to Padma for being a consummate host, judge, and executive producer, and for bringing her ingenuity and exceptional palate to each episode, where she ate every bite of food on the series for over 17 years and 19 seasons. 

They concluded, “She will always be part of “Top Chef’ and the NBCUniversal family and has a seat at the judges’ table anytime.”