Padma Lakshmi leaves Top Chef after 17 seasons

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Padma Lakshmi Glossier, Cherry Bombe And The Cinema Society Host A Special Screening Of "Taste The Nation" Season Two
Padma Lakshmi attends a special screening of "Taste The Nation" Season Two, hosted by Glossier, Cherry Bombe, and The Cinema Society, at Crosby Street Hotel on May 05, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Padma Lakshmi is packing up her knives! The 52-year-old TV personality and host of Top Chef announced on Friday, June 2, through social media that season 20 will be her last. This came as a shock to many fans of the show.

“After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef,” Lakshmi, who is also an executive producer on the show, wrote via Instagram. “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,” her statement concluded.

During Top Chef‘s 17th season and amid the coronavirus pandemic, Lakshmi launched her food travel series, Taste the Nation, on Hulu, which explores immigrant food cultures across the country and what defines American cuisine.

Lakshmi's departure leaves big shoes to fill; whoever takes her slot will join current judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, who have been with the show since the series premiered in 2006.


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