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Padma Lakshmi smiles at a press event, wearing a strapless dress.

Padma Lakshmi Leaving ‘Top Chef’ After Season 20

In sad news for Top Chef-lovers everywhere, Padma Lakshmi has announced she’s leaving the show!

The beloved host and producer who has been leading the popular reality series for the last 17 years, shared the news on her social media pages, saying she came to the decision “after much soul searching.”

“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 world’s of television and food,” she wrote.

“After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits,” she explained, referring to her new docuseries.

“I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”

Top Chef is an Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award-winning American reality series which began in 2006. The show features contestants competing against each other in culinary challenges with the aim to be named the country’s “top chef.”


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“Padma Lakshmi leaves behind an incredible legacy on Bravo’s Top Chef,” and NBC Universal spokesperson told Deadline.

“We are grateful to Padma for being a consummate host, judge and executive producer and for bringing her ingenuity and exceptional palate to each episode where she ate every bit of food on the series for over 17 years and 19 seasons.”

And while Padma may be leaving, this definitely isn’t the end of the series. Bravo announced just last month the show would return for its 21st season.

(Feature Image Credit: D Free/Shutterstock.com)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.