Shipwrecked With Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

On board the good ship Padma.Photos: Josh Ozersky

We met Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi on a yacht in Miami Beach yesterday. No, it was not a private cruise. Padma was shilling Vacheron watches and graced us with a brief interview.

I see they have a menu on the yacht tonight that is your doing.
I didnt cook this menu. But if you try some of the recipes from my book, I know youll enjoy them.

Eh, I probably wont. Theyre all for healthy little salads and curries and so forth, right?
Uh, no! This just proves that you havent even opened my book up! [Laughing.] The best recipe in it is for brisket wrapped in bacon.

Really. We read Grub Street all the time. Tom [Colicchio] told me, You should read this. I read it every day.

Speaking of Top Chef, I often wonder. You show an almost preternatural equanimity on the show. Havent you secretly had an urge to bitch-slap some of the contestants?
They do get whiny sometime. I never want to show my emotions. But inside Im thinking, This is your chance! What are you complaining about? I dont want to upset them. I feel bad for them.

I've been meaning to ask you: Do you smoke pot?
I never toke and tell.