Padma Lakshmi announced on Friday that she is leaving “Top Chef” after 17 years and 19 seasons as the show’s host.
Lakshmi, an activist and author who also served as the show’s executive producer, announced the news in a instagram post.
“After much soul-searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef,” Lakshmi wrote. “Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and the impact it has had on the world of television and food.”
Lakshmi joined the show as a host for its second season, which aired in 2006. While on “Top Chef,” Lakshmi was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Host of a Reality Show or Reality Competition. In 2020, she won three Critic’s Choice Awards for the show.
Lakshmi said she would be stepping away from the show to focus on her Hulu series “Taste the Nation,” which she is the creator and host of. She is also an executive producer of the series, which focuses on food and culture in different regions and cities across the United States.
Lakshmi said she would also work on books and “other creative pursuits.” She is the author of two cookbooks, a memoir, an encyclopedia, and a children’s book.
Lakshmi said she would miss her “Top Chef” collaborators.
“After 17 years, many members of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will greatly miss working alongside them,” he wrote.
The 20th season finale of the cooking show and the final episode of Lakshmi will air on June 8.
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