Padma Lakshmi, who has hosted the cooking TV series Top Chef since its birth, has announced her decision to part ways with the show.
In a tweet on Friday, Lakshmi said the difficult decision came after “much soul searching.”
The American reality show began airing in 2006. Lakshmi, now 52, joined it when she was only 36 and played her role as Top Chef‘s host and executive producer for 17 years.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) June 2, 2023
“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 worlds of television and food,” said Lakshmi. “After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me, and I will miss working alongside them dearly.
Lakshmi added that she needed to move on to make space for her books, creative pursuits, and her Hulu docuseries Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, which premiered in 2020. Its second season began airing on May 5 this year.
“I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support,” the iconic host concluded.
Of course, her mentions were instantly flooded with heartbroken followers, including whoever runs the Merriam-Webster Twitter account.
In response to Lakshmi’s tweet, Merriam-Webster posted its definition of the word “legend” in the replies.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) June 2, 2023
And though fans are sad they won’t get to see her on Top Chef, they wish her well in her future endeavours.
Awwww…definitely gonna miss your vibes on Top Chef. Excited to support the next chapter! pic.twitter.com/IiewX91LWt
— Nettey Farol (@Nettey128) June 2, 2023
Congratulations! I love Taste the Nation. But as a Top Chef superfan, I can’t imagine Top Chef without you. You’ve done so much in helping tv viewers, and diners, cultivate our palates, understand and appreciate culinary topics, and embrace the world of restaurants and chefs
— Francis Sadac (@FrancisSadac) June 2, 2023
Padma defined the show and set an incredibly high bar for television hosting. So excited to see what’s next for her and top chef https://t.co/3Nmh10fYpf
— 13 dougs (@dougdurando) June 2, 2023
Top Chef is about to look very, very different, huh? Will you be watching the show without Lakshmi in it?