She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.In an interview in The Guardian, Lakshmi said, "My father had quit his job as an executive at Pfizer to manage her career. I didn't understand why he wanted that relationship with her, and not with me.".In 1984, when Lakshmi was fourteen years old, she was hospitalized for three weeks, and eventually diagnosed with Stevens–Johnson syndrome, which is caused by hypersensitivity to an infection or certain kinds of medications.Lakshmi has appeared on the covers of Redbook, Vogue India, FHM, Cosmopolitan, L'Officiel India, Asian Woman, Avenue, Industry Magazine, Marie Claire (India Edition), Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and Newsweek.
She played the role of Geeta in Paul Mayeda Berges' 2005 film The Mistress of Spices.
Two days after her discharge from the hospital, she was injured in a car accident in Malibu, California, which left her with a fractured right hip and a shattered right upper arm.
The injury to her arm required surgery, which left her with a seven-inch scar between her elbow and shoulder.
She hosted the Food Network series Padma's Passport, which was part of the larger series Melting Pot in 2001, where Lakshmi cooked recipes from around the world. Her first memoir, entitled "Love, Loss and What We Ate," was released on International's Women's Day, March 8, 2016.
She also hosted two one-hour specials on South India and Spain for the British culinary tourism show Planet Food, broadcast on the Food Network in the U. Lakshmi released the "Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs" in October 2016.