Padma Lakshmi Leaving ‘Top Chef’ After 17 Years – Hollywood Life

Padma Lakshmi Leaves ‘Top Chef’ After 17 Years: ‘Extremely Proud’ To Be Part Of It

Although Padma said she will 'miss' her 'Top Chef' family, she feels 'it’s time to move on' to other creative endeavors.

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Image Credit: David Moir / ©Bravo / Everett Collection

After 17 years as host of Bravo’s Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi is leaving the popular cooking competition series. “After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef,” the Bravolebrity, 52, began in a Friday, June 2 Instagram post. “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.”

She continued, “After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits.”

Padma Lakshmi Top Chef
Padma Lakshmi began hosting ‘Top Chef’ in 2006 (Photo: David Moir / ©Bravo / Everett Collection)

“I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support,” Padma concluded.

Padma has been hosting Top Chef since 2006, when she took over ahead of its second season. Chef Katie Lee hosted the show’s debut season. Padma’s impressive run on Top Chef lasted 19 seasons over 17 years. Her time on the beloved Bravo series earned her four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Host, with her last nomination being in 2022.

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi is departing as the host of ‘Top Chef’ after 19 seasons (Photo: David Moir / ©Bravo / Everett Collection)

Although she mentioned focusing on other endeavors in her departure announcement, Padma did not reveal if she has anything new in the works. She began hosting the Hulu series Taste the Nation in 2020 and she has released several cookbooks over the years.

“Padma Lakshmi leaves behind an incredible legacy on Bravo’s Top Chef,” an NBCUniversal spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. “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. She will always be part of the Top Chef and the NBCUniversal family and has a seat at the judges’ table anytime.”

Padma’s replacement has not been announced as of this writing.