Does Padma Lakshmi Want Out of Top Chef?

April 15, 2009

By Karen

Padma seems to be working overtime to rebrand herself as a mindless sexpot between seasons of Top Chef. In 2008, she was number 66 on AskMen.com’s list of “The 99 Top Most Desirable Women of 2008.” It apparently went to her head.

Now she appears in her birthday suit in the May issue of Allure magazine, virtually ensuring that few people will ever again notice what she’s wearing.

Pushing Thickburgers for Hardee’s in a commercial filled with R-rated foreplay was weird enough, but the experience must have still left Padma’s exhibitionist fantasies unfulfilled in a way that only throwing herself naked onto a rug for Allure could satisfy.

Or maybe she’s trying to cash in on whatever value her nudity has because, at 38, the clock’s ticking on how long she’ll be compelling as a sex object.

But Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio must be wondering if Padma’s forays into soft porn during the off-season are turning her into a culinary joke, and if he and the other judges can keep a straight face whenever she opens her mouth at the judges’ table.

Maybe there’s a double standard at work here. Anthony Bourdain bared almost all in his notorious “boner” picture, but nobody held it against him because his everyday life is intellectually richer than most people’s.

Padma’s brief marriage to author Salman Rushdie didn’t seem to enhance her depth of character. Her last cookbook published in 2007 was called, Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet.

The competition will seem trivialized when aspiring top chefs  are ordered to “pack their knives and go” by a Playboy bunny wannabe who makes love to junk food. Will Colicchio let it continue?


Padma Lakshmi Doing Soft Porn for Hardee’s

April 10, 2009

By Karen

This ad featuring Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi is stunning. You’ve got to see it to believe it. If you’ve ever suspected Padma really doesn’t know good food from bad, here’s your proof.

In a bonus clip on the Hardee’s site, Padma observes with her usual astuteness, “I don’t think we’re trying to make a sexy commercial,” like all women wear necklines cut to their waists and speak in double entendres. Here are her lines; decide for yourself:

I’ve always had a love affair with food.

I think I’ve tasted every flavor imaginable.

But there’s something about the Western Bacon.

(Sits on on steps with legs wide; later hikes up skirt.)

It reminds me of being in high school,

Sneaking out before dinner to savor that sweet, spicy sauce,

(Slowly licks own wrist.)

And leaving no evidence behind.

(Wipes bare ankle with finger, then licks it.)

Voiceover: Hardee’s Western Bacon Thickburger. More than just a piece of meat.

Padma demonstrates how to be a piece of meat. (Photo - Hardee's)

Right, Hardee's. It's TWO pieces of meat. (Photo - Hardee's)

Hardee’s claims Padma came to them asking for the endorsement because the Thickburger reminds her of her adolescent rebellion against her vegetarian upbringing. They bill her kindly as an “author” and “culinary expert,” rather than the more accurate “vapid sexpot,” and say she’s game to do another commercial, but they don’t have a “story” yet.

The only thing left for Padma to do is strip naked and feast in bed on Mr. “Thickburger” — get it? Wink, wink.

The next time I see her spit some poor aspiring top chef’s food into her napkin in disgust, I’ll remember her eagerly fellating a strip of greasy bacon and licking the drippings off her foot.

After shilling for Hardee’s, Tom Colicchio should tell Padma to pack her knives and go from Top Chef, even if she swears on her life as a supermodel that she heaved the burger as soon as the commercial shoot was over.

On the other hand, you’ve got to feel sorry for the woman and the lengths she’ll go for a free meal between seasons of TC.


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