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'Top Chef' host Padma Lakshmi dishes about her new cookbook


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/02/2007 

Prior to Padma Lakshmi filing for divorce from her husband Salman Rushdie, the Top Chef host apparently bounced recipes contained in her new cookbook off the Nobel Prize-winning author.

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"He tasted every dish.  I miss having that sounding board," said Lakshmi in People's October 8 issue.

The 37-year-old Indian-American model's second cookbook -- "Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet" -- contains recipes inspired by her travels across the globe.  She said it also serves as a reminder that cultural nuances aren't as different as most people think.

"With food, there's more that unites us than divides us," Lakshmi told People.  "Take Asian and South American cooking - there's tamarind, cumin, cilantro, in both."

It was Lakshmi's best-selling cookbook "Easy Exotic" that led to a hosting job with Food Network's Padma's Passport and Planet Food programs, which in turn prompted Bravo to tab her as Top Chef's host when Kathy Lee Joel -- the show's original host -- left to "pursue other opportunities" after the reality competition series' first season.

Lakshmi and Rushdie married in April 2004 before she filed for divorce in July, however she apparently misses her former husband for more than just his sound cooking advice.

"I don't think you ever stop loving people," she told People.

To keep herself busy, Lakshmi said she's been lifting weights, boxing and focusing on one of her driving forces in life:  food.

"I know this sounds weird, but I daydream about food," she told People.  "I can go into Chanel and walk out empty-handed, but if I got into a kitchen store, I'm in trouble."

"Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet" is currently for sale and was published by Weinstein Books.

(Photo credit Bravo)


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