Padma Lakshmi & José Andrés Team Up In Adorable ‘Firebuds’ Preview (Exclusive)

'Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi makes her first appearance as the voice of Chef Pavani in this preview of an all-new episode of 'Firebuds.'

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Firebuds are on the go! In this EXCLUSIVE preview of the May 4 episode, José Andrés’ character Chef Al introduces Padma Lakshmi, who voices the role of Chef Pavani. At the Overdrive Cafe, Chef Pavani says it’s a “pleasure” to meet all the Firebuds. She’s ready to help deliver food with the rest of the Firebuds.

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi and José Andrés voice characters in ‘Firebuds.’
(Gregory Pace/Bryan Dozier/Shutterstock)

They don’t have much time to lose, so Chef Al and Chef Pavani hop in their vehicles. On the road, the Firebuds break into song. They’re trying to get to the shelter, but they encounter a snag. There’s a lot of flooding in front of the shelter. They have to wait until the water goes down to deliver the food. Chef Pavani wonders how they’re going to deliver the food now.

The new episode is titled “Shelter Island/Escape from Shelter Island.” In Shelter Island, when a flood hits Gearbox Grove, the Firebuds join Food First Responders, Chef Al and Chef Pavani, and Duke the Duckbus on their mission to deliver meals to evacuees at the town recreation center. Then, in “Escape from Shelter Island,” as water levels rise at the shelter, the Firebuds must find a way for the evacuees to escape.

Firebuds is Disney’s new animated series from Emmy-winning creator and executive producer Craig Gerber. The hit show follows a team of young first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks. The series, which premiered in September 2022 and has quickly become a fan favorite, highlights the importance of teamwork and helping fellow citizens.

A still from the hit series ‘Firebuds.’ (Disney Channel)

The show has a terrific lead and guest voice cast, including Lou Diamond Phillips and Yvette Nicole Brown. In addition to Padma and José, the recurring and guest voice cast also includes Melissa Rauch, Oscar Nuñez, Pamela Adlon, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, and more. The new episode will premiere on May 4 at 10 a.m. ET on Disney Channel and 12:55 p.m. ET on Disney Junior.