Padma Lakshmi Net Worth (2024)
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Padma Lakshmi Net Worth

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What is Padma Lakshmi Net Worth?

Padma Lakshmi Net Worth, Biography & Lifestyle: Padma Lakshmi is an Indian-American cookbook author, television host, model, and activist. She’s best known as the host ofTop Chefand for having a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Host in 2009. Padma Lakshmi’s net worth is $40 million.

Not many people know that her net worth is a whopping $40 million! She’s making $50,000 per hosting gig!


Today, let’s dive into Padma Lakshmi’s net worth and career as we uncover:

  • Her personal life and relationships;
  • How she started her professional life as a model, author, actress, and television personality;
  • How Padma spends her fortune;
  • Her struggle with endometriosis;
  • How she uses her platform for her advocacies and philanthropic work;
  • And much more!

After her decades-long work as the television host of “Top Chef,” Padma Lakshmi’’s become the unofficial face of the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program!

Since then, she’s used her platform to speak up about her heritage, women’s rights, and people of color.

(After reading about Padma Lakshmi Net Worth, bio, and career, make sure to check out our Fun Facts Section!)


Let’s dig in!

Who Is Padma Lakshmi?

Padma Lakshmi Net Worth

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Padma Lakshmi Net Worth: $40 million
Date of Birth: September 1, 1970
Children: Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell
Source of Wealth: Modeling career, Cookbook author, Television host & TV personality, Actress
Place Of Birth/ Nationality: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India (Indian)
Spouse/ Relationship Status: Salman Rushdie (m. 2004; div. 2007)
Theodore J. Forstmann (2009–2011)
Adam Dell (on-and-off-again boyfriend between 2010 to 2021)

Padma Lakshmi is an author, model, and actress. She’s most popular for being the long-time host of the Outstanding Reality-Competition program, Top Chef.

She’s also made a guest appearance in other films and series in the US, India, UK, and Italy.

“Top Chef”

Since 2006, Lakshmi became a host and judge on the reality television program, Top Chef.

It’s amazing: From season two to 16, Top Chefconsistently received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program!

In 2009, Lakshmi won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.

Catch your favorite “Top Chef” season on Amazon Prime.

Cookbook Author

In 1999, Lakshmi released her first cookbook,Easy Exotic:​​ A Model’s Low-Fat Recipes From Around the World.”

Since then, she’s authored books about food and international recipes, including a children’s book, a memoir, and three more cookbooks.

Check out Lakshmi’s best-selling books here!

Aside from her travel and food books, Padma also has a syndicated column in The New York Times, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar

Television and Film

Lakshmi’s first television show appearances were in Italian programs.

In 2000, she started hosting the India and Spain Planet Foodspecials for the Food Network. The next year, she hosted Melting Pot: Padma’s Passporton the Food Network.

She also became an official contributor for “The View” season 19. Lakshmi was also a celebrity contestant on Drop the Mic and a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

And it gets better.

In 2020, she started working on “Taste the Nation” as the executive producer!

Modeling Career

After being discovered by a modeling agent in Spain, Lakshmi modeled for internationally renowned designers, including Ralph Lauren, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, and Alberta Ferretti.

She knows how to own it:

“I was one of the first Indian models to have a career in Paris, Milan, and New York. I’m the first one to admit that I was a novelty.”

She also did ads for “Versus” and Roberto Cavalli.

Padma appeared on the cover of Vogue India, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, FHM, Newsweek, and Allure as well.

How Old Is Padma Lakshmi?

Padma Lakshmi is 53 years old.

How Tall Is Padma Lakshmi?

Padma Lakshmi is 5 ft 9 in (175cm) or 1.75 m tall and 146 lbs.

Other Quick Facts:

  • Eye Color –  Brown
  • Zodiac Sign – Virgo
  • Favorite Food – Chaat; Masala chai or Hediard Black Tea; Fried chicken with green mango powder
  • Smoking/ Drinking – Stopped smoking when she was 30 because of her Endometriosis. She enjoys margaritas, on occasion.
  • Tattoos – None
  • IMDb Profile LinkPadma Lakshmi

How Much Is Padma Lakshmi Worth?

Padma Lakshmi Net Worth is $40 million from her work as a model, television host, author, actress. She also has her own line of jewelry, kitchenware, organic food, spices, and teas.

Padma Lakshmi Net Worth Year By Year

YearEarnings $
2011 $19.9 million
2012 $21.7 million
2013 $23.2 million
2014 $27.2 million
2015 $29.1 million
2016 $31.8 million
2017 $33.4 million
2018$35.7 million
2019$37.3 million
2020$40 million

Padma Lakshmi Books

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“Easy Exotic: Low-Fat Recipes from Around the World”

Lakshmi, an international model, shares her low-fat recipes, delicious and simple to prep!

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“Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day”

Life lessons and delectable meals from around the world, all in one book!

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“The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World”

Coupled with beautiful photography and rich imagery; An A to Z of herbs, spices, salts, and peppers from around the world

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“Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir”

Lakshmi’s gripping memoir of food, family, and survival.

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“The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World”

A beautiful illustration storybook that celebrates food and family.

Padma Lakshmi: Books, Writing, and Lifestyle

Aside from her career in Hollywood, the multi-talented Lakshmi put her literature degree to good use!

She’s released five books, all well-received by the general public.

Lakshmi also ventured into design and lifestyle merchandise.

She’s passionate about her beautiful lifestyle brands “The Padma Collectionand “Easy Exotic.” Both brands help to spice up home decor and dining experiences.

In 2009, she released her first jewelry line, Padma.”

The Young Padma Lakshmi

Young Padma Lakshmi

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Padma Lakshmi (born Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan) was born in Madras, India, into a Tamil Brahmin family.

Her parents divorced when she was two years old.

Two years later, Lakshmi immigrated to the US with her mother. She grew up in New York City before finally settling in La Puente, CA with her mother and stepfather.

You won’t believe the traumatizing things she went through as a child. . .

She was bullied and endured racial aggression as a teenager.

There’s more. . .

When Padma was fourteen, she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and was hospitalized for three weeks. Two days after she was released from the hospital, she got in a car accident and fractured her hip, and shattered her arm, leaving her a 7-inch-long scar.

It gets worse. . .

In her 2018 New York Times essay, she shared that she was raped by her older boyfriend when she was 16. It’s sad, she was afraid to speak out.

Here’s why: When she was seven years old, she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather’s friend. When she spoke up, she was sent to India to stay with her grandparents for a year.

There’s a bright side to this story: Though she experienced trauma at such a young age, Lakshmi was still able to attend Clark University and finish a degree in theatre arts and American literature.

Padma Lakshmi High School

Padma Lakshmi attended William Workman High School in California.

Padma Lakshmi Clark University

Padma Lakshmi graduated from Clark University with a degree in theatre arts and American literature.

She went to Madrid as part of an exchange program. This was where she was spotted by a modeling agent. Since then, she’s modeled for Ralph Lauren, Alberta Ferretti, Armani, and Versace.

Padma Lakshmi Personal Life & Relationships

Padma Lakshmi Ex-husband – Salman Rushdie

Padma Lakshmi Ex-Husband

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She was briefly married to Salman Rushdie from 2004 to 2007.

When Lakshmi married novelist Salman Rushdie, she began suffering from endometriosis. At one point, she had to undergo surgery.

In her memoir, “Love, Loss, and What We Ate, ”Lakshmi detailed her personal life and romantic relationship with Rushdie, which began to suffer during this time as she used her ailment as an excuse “not to have sex.”

Padma Lakshmi Ex-boyfriend – Theodore Forstmann

Padma Lakshmi Ex-Boyfriend

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From 2009 to 2011, she dated billionaire and private equity investor Teddy Forstmann.

Padma conceived her daughter, Krishna Thea Lakshmi Dell, during a break in their relationship. It’s unclear who the father was.

Side note: The other potential baby daddy was venture capitalist Adam Dell.

In an interview with “Vanity Fair, Forstmann revealed that he wanted to be the baby’s father, whether or not he and Padma were together. The only condition was that she shouldn’t reveal to the public or Dell who the real father was

He was “heartbroken” after “losing” the baby to Dell.

Forstman died in 2011 after battling brain cancer. He left $1.8 billion for Krishna.

Padma Lakshmi Ex-boyfriend – Adam Dell

Padma Lakshmi Ex-Boyfriend

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After taking a paternity test for a 2012 lawsuit filing for child custody and visitation rights, Padma found that Krishna’s father was venture capitalist Adam Dell.

While Padma and Adam broke up in January 2021, the couple continues to co-parent Krishna. A source said,

“They are intent on staying the best of friends and remain like family.”

Padma Lakshmi Boyfriend – Terrance Hayes

Padma Lakshmi Boyfriend

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In June 2021, the Top Chef star was spotted with a “mystery man” in NYC, who was seen kissing Lakshmi though she wore a face mask.

The man was later identified to be renowned MacArthur Fellow author and poet, Terrance Hayes.

Padma Lakshmi Daughter – Krishna Thea Lakshmi Dell

Padma Lakshmi Daughter

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Padma and Adam continue to co-parent 14-year old daughter, Krishna Thea.

She shared some tender words for her beloved daughter on her 10th birthday:

“​​You make me a better woman because of your love and I am over the moon that I get to be your mom. ⁣⁣I learn every day that love is deeper than any of us knows.”

Too sweet!

Padma Lakshmi Mother – Vijaya Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi Mother

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Padma’s parents divorced when she was only two years old.

Her mother, an oncology nurse, raised her alone since her husband abandoned them.

Watch her interview about raising Padma as a single mom on the Today Show segment “Through Mother’s Eyes.”

According to Padma’s mom, her daughter’s “​​’She is like a woman I wanted to be.”

I’m not crying. You are.

We’re excited to give you the dish on how Padma spends her wealth! But before that, let’s take a look at her career milestones!

Padma Lakshmi Career

Check out the multi-talentedTop Chef host’s sparkling career!


Filmography Milestones

Padma Lakshmi Top Chef Scandal

Season 18 Top Chef Winner Eric Erales faced backlash for “repeated’ instances of harassment against women in the workplace. He was fired from his executive chef position at restaurant “Comedor” in December 2020.

Lakshmi responded to the controversy on Twitter:

 “As someone who has been sexually harassed, this topic is a serious one and merits openness. This should be investigated & the network should consider its best action.”

Top Chef also got involved in another scandal in its 12th season, when it employed a non-union film crew who wanted to protest against the abuse of the Massachusetts film tax credit.

Here’s what happened.

According to Lakshmi, the crew threatened her while she sat in her car by saying, “I’ll smash your pretty little face.” They also slashed the tires of the crew.


How Padma Lakshmi Spends Her Money

Aside from her stellar career as a reality show host and actress, Lakshmi’ also likes to release books under her name!

Lakshmi’s The Padma Collection features beautiful Moroccan ceramics and Turkish glassware while her business, the Easy Exoticoffers a line of casual kitchenware as well as organic rice and specialty spices and teas.

As if that’s not enough…

…she also released a boho-inspired jewelry line for HSN in 2011.

No wonder, her net worth is ever-growing as she doesn’t only spend them in luxuries but in investments like these, too!

Padma Lakshmi House

Padma Lakshmi House

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Lakshmi lives in a $1.65 million loft on Second Street in New York City.

She brought life into the all-white apartment with an interesting blend of heritage and modernity.

Predictably, the Top Chefstar went all-out on her kitchen, where she loves to come up with recipes.

Lakshmi even installed a huge island and bar top so all her friends and family can get together!

Fun fact: she installed a thoughtful “black granite” section on the island for relatives who eat purely vegetarian for Hindi religious reasons, “so they can feel comfortable eating in her house.”

Padma Lakshmi Handmade and Vintage Finds 

Padma Lakshmi Handmade and Vintage Finds

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Her favorite thing about food’s that it can bring communities together! She loves to collect decorative pieces and home essentials that “support women of color.”

While she doesn’t believe in spending a lot of money to get great finds, she doesn’t pass up a chance to get her hands on organic and homemade pieces to make her home “cozy and inviting.”

She loves to collect ceramic dishware, terracotta pots, handmade bowls, and organic textiles on Etsy.

Padma Lakshmi Activism and Philanthropy

After being diagnosed with endometriosis at 36 years old, the Emmy Award-nominated for Outstanding Host used her platform to co-found Endometriosis Foundation of Americawhich to “advance research, education, and legislative action” surrounding the disease.

She’s done so much more!

Lakshmi’s also active in speaking out about women’s rights and immigration policies with the American Civil Liberties Union”.

She’s also a global ambassador for the nonprofit “Keep a Child Alive” as well as a Goodwill Ambassador for the “United Nations Development Programme.

She’s a true superwoman!

Fun Facts About Padma Lakshmi

  • She drinks 12 cups of tea a day to stay healthy!
  • At one point, Lakshmi drank 45 cups of tea a day for self-care.
  • Her favorite dish is fried chicken!
  • She paid off her student loans by working as an actress and model!
  • Lakshmi modeled with designers Alberta Ferretti, Ralph Lauren, and Versace, to name a few.

5 Financial Freedom Lessons From Padma Lakshmi

  1. Believe that you’re a boss, and you’ll become one!
  2. Pursue your passions.
  3. Dare to make a statement.
  4. Never be unapologetic about your dreams
  5. Always follow your gut.

Top 3 Quotes From Padma Lakshmi

  • “Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of cooking with the women in my family. It is the foundation for all I have spent my life working on.”
  • “We eat for our stomachs, but we hunger with our hearts.”
  • “When there is little you can do, you do what you can.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Languages Does Padma Lakshmi Speak?

Padma Lakshmi speaks five languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, Spanish, and Italian.

Why Does Padma Lakshmi Have A Scar On Her Arm?

She was involved in a car accident when she was 14. The car flew off the freeway, and she was left with a seven-inch-long scar on her upper arm.

How does Padma Lakshmi stay fit?

Padma Lakshmi works out, five days a week for 90 minutes each day. When she can’t go to the gym, she jumps ropes or does a mat session. To stay fit, her go-to, favorite dish to prepare is a plant-based meal!

Conclusion: Padma Lakshmi Net Worth and Biography

What do you think of Lakshmi’s net worth and career?

We love seeing the stunning and multi-talented Lakshmi dominate the entertainment and food industry.

From her jaw-dropping travel and food shows to her admirable advocacies, Emmy Award-nominated host Padma Lakshmi is the embodiment of “Girl Boss!”

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you’re a fan of cooking shows, you’ll also love Gordon Ramsay’s net worth HERE. For more celebrity net worths, bios, and top lists, zip over to Bouncemojo.com.

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