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?