Padma Lakshmi says creating Taste of the Nation was a game-changer: ‘As a brown woman in Hollywood, I’ve never had an opportunity like this before’

Padma Lakshmi her Hulu series says Taste the national customs, The show, which follows her as she travels to the United States to learn about the food and culture of different cities, is purposely crafted to appeal to viewers unfamiliar with multiculturalism.

“It’s really made for people who think differently than I do and who live in monocultural areas,” the host and executive producer said in a release. 2024 Simmons Leadership Conference Wednesday at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. “It was born out of my work with the American Civil Liberties Union on immigrant rights. I’d rather show than tell.”

Lakshmi has always wanted to host her own show, but getting the opportunity wasn’t that easy.

“As a brown person, a brown woman in Hollywood, I hadn’t had an opportunity like this before,” Lakshmi said. “It was a game changer.” When she finally got the chance to design her own show using her own material At the time, Lakshmi said she “never wanted to go back.”

“It took me a long time in Hollywood to get the privilege of making a show and doing it exactly the way I wanted to do it,” she continued. “I made all of it with a lot of help from my partner. Decisions, every detail. “

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. As a mother of 14, Lakshmi said that work-life balance is indeed difficult. Still, she realizes she’s lucky to have the help of her nanny, Tashi, a former nanny. Served as a paratrooper in the Indian Army.

“I wouldn’t be able to do or have the career I do without really great, reliable help. I just want to acknowledge Tashi, she’s like my platonic housewife. But her job description is actually ‘nanny.’ Although My daughter Tashi is 14 years old and can’t go anywhere.”

Despite her achievements, Lakshmi was honest about what was missing in her life.

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but I have no social life,” she said, noting that she spends her nights reading what she needs to do for upcoming projects, including a new book she’s writing, “Balance.” Work-life is difficult, and I know my male colleagues don’t get asked enough about it. “

Long before she was a food writer or hosting Bravo’s top chefLakshmi is a model. She quickly learned how “demoralizing” the industry was and how it “disrupted your personal worth.” She also saw how her differences became her greatest strengths.

Padma Lakshmi.

Padma Lakshmi attended the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards in January. (Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

“An acclaimed photographer decided that the scar on my arm was actually an asset rather than something that would prevent me from getting a job,” Lakshmi said. “It taught me how arbitrary our whole idea of ​​beauty is. .I’m in an industry that’s completely based on this though, and it allows me to divorce myself, not take it personally, and know that these things are what we as a society decide and they shouldn’t affect you too much in life. . ”

Today, Lakshmi is speaking out for young women who may not have had the opportunities she had.

“For me, that’s how I pay my dues. That’s how I get motivated – whenever I can, I use my weight, the little bit of weight that I have, to serve other young women,” Luck said Shimi said. “Anytime you get a little bit of power, it makes you really excited to use it for other people.”

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