My Character Assassination of Padma Lakshmi


Ugh, she is the WORST ever!

Ugh, she is the WORST ever!

I hate Padma. She is the worst reality TV show host I have ever had to watch. I can’t believe Gail Simmons has never leapt over the judges table to strangle her. I mean seriously, Gail has more foodie credibility in her little pinky than Padma has in her entire toothpick of a body. This has never been more obvious and infuriating to me as it was this week.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about- Top Chef. It’s a reality TV show for food and drama lovers everywhere. Each week contestants battle in what always seem like mind-bogglingly difficult challenges to prove they are the best chef. The chef who fails to keep up, goes home. As you can imagine, there is also plenty of drama. As the saying goes, “Too many cooks in the kitchen. . .”

So, my boyfriend and I are in Seoul, South Korea. We watch the shows a couple days behind because, sadly, there is no Bravo TV in Seoul. Alas, I was quite excited to see Kristen kill the other team in the infamous Restaurant Wars challenge. This cook is flawless. The show is only in week 11, and she has already won something like $60,000 in prizes. Not to mention, the other team lost a player to elimination the week before and looked like a pretty hopeless bunch that would let their arguing get in the way of their cooking.

Even before the judges entered the restaurant, there was trouble brewing in Kristen’s kitchen. She has this utterly horrid cook/player, Josie on her team. Time and time again, Josie’s weakness has always proven to be her lack of time management and yet she has not been eliminated for it. This challenge would be no exception. She failed to manage her time well, causing her executive chef, that’s Kristen, to lose faith in her and make an on-the-fly decision to change a dish. What seemed like a small decision turned into a chaotic series of events that Β led me to fall ill to a horrible condition I have when I watch Top Chef that I call WIHP (Why I Hate Padma).

From the time of Season 2 when Padma took the stage as the host, my WIHP began. I didn’t particularly care for the first season’s host either, Katie Lee; but I could already tell Padma was going to crush my soul. (Side story: My boyfriend always told me this legend of a girl who was a cocktail waitress at his University of Miami- Oxford that married Billy Joel. As I referenced Wikipedia for the name of the Season 1 host, turns out it was that same girl.) I could see that Padma was merely a pretty face with a theater major, whose only contribution to the restaurant industry was a cookbook entitled Easy Exotic: A Model’s Low Fat Recipes From Around the World. The book is much like Padma herself. The outside cover looks promising (I mean who doesn’t want low-fat Indian food recipes?), but the content constantly fails to prove that she knows a thing about food. Here’s a review from Amazon that pretty succinctly describes what I mean:

This isn’t a bad cookbook but it isn’t the greatest one either, if you don’t buy it you’re not missing out on anything except the pictures of Padma. The recipes aren’t that difficult and the Indian ones which are her specialty are the best in the book. For people who aren’t the best cooks but want to make some decent Indian dishes, Padma’s book is pretty good for that. If I had a dollar for every time she mentions Daniel and her mom, I would be a millionaire…and I could have done without the narratives that are so shallow that you know that they came from the mind of a model. For example, “there I was in a beautiful Chanel gown eating a tuna fish sandwich.” Someone please tell Padma her village called, apparently their model is missing. One more thing, all her recipes are available on the food network website FOR FREE.

Woefully, I have put up with her for the past 8 seasons. Tom Colicchio and the previously mentioned Gail Simmons save the show for me. The WIHP subsides when they remind me of how delightful it is to hear real food critics talk about serious food. I came close to calling it quits with the show last season when they voted off Beverly Kim (coincidentally another Korean chef, like Kristen), but I just had to see if Beverly would come back (which she did but was again ousted a week later). Padma even won some credibility with me when she defended Beverly saying that she deserved to stay.

But not this time.

At the judges table, Padma attacked Kristen like the NRA attacking the president. I couldn’t help but notice Padma’s attitude was that of a 5-year brat whose kid sister wanted to come along and play. As another blogger put it:

Also, why was Padma the one gunning so hard against Kristen? She couldn’t handle another model in the kitchen?

My boyfriend calmly stroked my hair and assured me that there’s no way Josie would stay. That Padma’s advice is always secondary to the real judges at the table. Just carry on and keep eating the delicious apple pancakes I made. So, I did. Then, I almost choked on my delicious apple cakes when the strongest feeling of WIHP ever experienced occurred. Not only did she use a teaser saying “Josie. . . you are safe.” But she said it with such a large sense of accomplishment that I swore at the TV until my throat bled. And then, I wrote this post.

I’m not alone in my distaste!

 

Gimme your two cents!

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26 thoughts on “My Character Assassination of Padma Lakshmi

  1. Biggest LOL ever! You are hilarious when you’re mad, Jess, I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true! I have never watched a reality TV show in my life, but now I may want to watch an episode of this show, so I know exactly what you’re talking about!

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  2. One, I love that you like to eat while you watch (we do too- at 10PM, not such a healthy idea, ha!) Two- although Padma doesn’t bother me nearly as much, I find her silly to watch in an eye rolling type way. Or instance, we like to laugh at her in each season’s little Top Chef promos where she catches fish in Seattle or pops a champagne cork in Vegas (and tries to look sexy.) I know deep down my husband doesn’t mind her either so I allow her simpleness to grace our TV screen.

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    • Who doesn’t eat while watching this show?! How could you go that long looking at all that delicious food and not want to nosh??
      Hate’s a strong word and maybe I should have chosen something less harsh; but man I was PISSED! πŸ˜› One reason I love my BF is he can stand her better than me but he still doesn’t find her that attractive. Yeah, I found one of the rare males in the species that don’t care for model bodies. HAHA

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      • I love to cook and have been watching cooking shows from back in the day,when The Frugal Gourmet was my “Top Chef” and Emeril Agassi turned my world around with his stuffed pork chops….That being said, I am 51 years of age and never heard of this Padma person, until the show aired. One mediocre compilation of mom’s home cooking, is not a sous chef make. Did I also mention I was in the restaurant business for 15 years?

        Padma doesn’t deserve to hold that position and I stopped watching the show because her pretentious presence, really annoys me. Just sayin. ..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For me Kristen’s kiss of death came when Gail asked her if she was falling on her sword. For me, Padma’s opinions matter not at all, and I’ve always suspected Tom and Gail pretty much ignore her. I honestly believe they don’t have a choice when the chef chooses to take all the responsibility; their record proves that they always eliminate the responsible chef.
    That said, you know I totally agree that Josie is the worst and needs to go yesterday. And Padma did seem rather smug, now that you mention it. FWIW, I honestly believe Beverly (thank you for reminding me what her name was) was brought back for drama last season, and that they were grooming CJ the same way this. But now that Kristen’s out, I think, hope, and pray she’s the one they’ll be bringing back.

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    • I couldn’t agree more how much Kristen committed reality suicide on this episode. At the same time, as she said, she can leave with her head held high and Josie looks like a no-talent hack who only gets ahead by throwing others under the bus.
      The thing that got me so upset was Gail was very eloquent and spot-on with what she said while Padma just sounded like a whiny b*tch and the way she prevailed was a bummer. No one watching the show was expecting that (which I guess is what Bravo wants- the show was getting a little ore predictable as of late).
      *crossing my fingers for a LCK battle between Kristen and Josie!*

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      • Oh you sweetheart. Padma seems to ONLY be on the show because she looks soooo pretty and for no other reason. The network is making a great deal of money from her being there however, or she would not still be the host. Most foodies know she is not credible. I hardly watch anymore because they kick off the wonderful chefs and because I cannot stand Padma. I guess if I lived where you do, I would want to watch as many programs from the States that I liked as I could, not sure what else you can see there. But fortunately you DO have a choice right? You can click her off! She really drives me crazy. And I used to love that show. I never liked either of the hosts (Billy Joel’s ex was far worse..what is WRONG with Bravo….)

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      • I know I could turn it off, but then what would I have to be needlessly angry at? And/or blog about??!? πŸ˜› Glad to know I’m not alone. . .

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  4. I have posted anti-Padma comments on judge’s blog entries on the BravoTV site, but they’ve been deleted. Padma must be blackmailing someone to stay on TC as a judge. I laughed when I saw her on 30 Rock where she guest-starred as a celebrity who wanted to market a monogrammed ziplock bag.

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    • Yeah, she definitely knows someone or impressed the socks off someone. Although I’m sure she is great for ratings. UGH

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  5. Just came across this post by chance. Found the first sentence uncanny since I also live in Korea (technically Goyang, just outside of Seoul) with my girlfriend whom I always watch the show with. Hoping to move into Seoul next year if we can find a couples’ placement in the city.

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  6. Wow, thank you so much for writing this post!! You perfectly expressed what I was thinking. I also tolerated Padma and knew they just used her as a pretty face. She is obviously a far, faaar cry from being a food expert, and yet I’ve noticed her pretending to be a connoisseur more frequently during judging sessions. It’s as if her ego inflated so much, it finally burst in this episode. Honestly, I felt bewildered at Padma’s spontaneous hissy fit towards Kristen. Where was all this hostility coming from?? And at Judges’ Table, what happened to Gail Simmons’ constructive criticism? It seemed like it just flew out the window, while the experts acquiesced to Padma’s tantrum! Gail is not only an extremely knowledgable food critic, but she was the only one who had the sensibility to call out Josie’s inconsistencies and lack of accountability. Kristen won many challenges and has consistently demonstrated passion, creativity, knowledge, and great concept/execution of her dishes. Even though what happened was unbelievable, I believe her work ethic and commitment will earn her respect and take her a long way.

    (p.s.>> I am catching up on this season, so I don’t know who will be Top Chef (I can’t wait to find out!). I’m sorry if this comment is a bit outdated, but I was relieved to find someone who knew what I was seeing!)

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    • Exactly! I know the feeling, was glad to see so many others post here that the feelings I had we’re not mine alone.
      I won’t spoil the ending for you, it’s a great season. πŸ™‚

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  7. OMG…i am in TOTAL agreement with you!!! I HATE PADMA to deaath!!! Even her pretty face gets annoying after a while! The season with Kristin made me want to throw Padma in an echoing room with Josie for a week! Kristin was an awesome chef and at least she took responsibility for her teams failure. I just watch Top Chef season 3 and even though Hung is an arrogant ass, I was so angry when they did the Bee and Hung gave an answer before he tasted and Padma says, “Dont you want to taste it first?” so he does and changes his answer but the btch smugly says,”Unfortunately, we have to take your first answer.” WHY WOULD YOU ASK HIM IF HE WANTS TO TASTE IT THEN??????
    i want to slap her snide pretty face. repeatedly.

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    • Thanks for reading the post! I like your idea of torture. I can barely stand to watch Top Chef anymore because everything she says makes my ears bleed. I am especially disgusted when she argues with Tom or Gail about food- uggggghhhh

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  8. Count two more votes for the banishment of Padma to whatever place needs her. It’s obvious why she was a model – she’s stiff and overly dramatic without substance. That’s perfect for photographs! But on television she needs to … well, just not be on television. At least give her a script and a bit part on a sit-com rather than having her to pretend to have an informed opinion. Bleah! I don’t watch cooking competition shows for models!

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    • I love that no matter how old the date is on this article it continues to be read. Just goes to show how priceless the statement is. I pray every time a new season of Top Chef comes on that she will be replaced.

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  9. I stopped watching this show forever ago for the sole reason of seeing and hearing that vapid b… I don’t know why she irritates me so, but it was too much … and I love cooking competition shows!…. I was bored yesterday so I decided to check out season 13 ep 1… and then immediately was reminded why I don’t watch this show anymore… she absolutely ruins everything for me. Furthermore, due to her demeanor, she doesn’t seem that pretty to me! There is some dark ugliness that just oozes out of her would be pretty face… what is it about this woman that disgusts me?… Anyway… I went to google and typed in why PL is such a bitch and this is the first thing that came up… I sure wish TC would get rid of her… there are so many other talented, beautiful and qualified individuals in the world… and that’s my 2 cents. Cheers

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    • Thanks 2 Cents! Those are definitely all things I have thought of at one point of another. I started watching the new season and I too am still disgusted by her. You would think we could get over it but it’s impossible! And now Bravo probably keeps her for ratings.

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  10. Oozing ugliness?!!!… exactly!!! Yes, I too get annoyed every time I watch this show. My wife and just starting watching with Season 14. We’re only on Episode 5, & I’m already asking, why hasn’t Padma been eliminated?… That’s the question I’m sure many have already asked Bravo, but I’m sure they’ve kept her for just this reason, the animosity she creates pretending to know something about the culinary arts amidst real chefs- good for ratings. That, and the face and big melons… those go a long way to compensating for her irksome presence.

    I don’t know if it’s the pompous tone of her voice or its irritating cadence, the disdainful look on her face (with eyes too far apart) when she pours on the scorn, or those big jugs attempting to hypnotize me, but I’m not buying it. I too laugh when she makes any type of authoritive comment, and I think the other judges do too, at least in their heads. I give her some credit for leaving the scar on her arm. It’s the one thing that makes her real.

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