Who Gets to Host Food Travel Shows?



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Who Gets to Host Food Travel Shows? - Food & Wine

Padma Lakshmi’s Taste the Nation offers a perspective that has been notably absent in food travel shows.

Padma Lakshmi has an agenda. Her goal is to place the immigrant story front and center; to hammer home that immigrant food is American food, and more importantly, to underline the clear fact that immigrants are also Americans. “This is not an impartial show,” she declares. “It is a very editorialized show based on my view of the world.” Lakshmi emphasizes her point with large hand gestures, just in case the resolve in her voice wasn’t clear enough.

Lakshmi is speaking to me from a house in Long Island that she is staying at with her partner and daughter. She is camped out in a bedroom in the middle of what seems like a day of endless Zoom calls (celebrities! they are just like us) promoting her new show Taste the Nation, which premiered last week on Hulu. Video chats are an especially unflattering communication medium, but Lakshmi still manages to be a commanding presence. It’s easy to see why she makes hosting look effortless on the show..