Padma Lakshmi Spilled On The Worst Dish She Ever Tasted On Top Chef

During the course of Padma Lakshmi's illustrious career as the host of "Top Chef," the author and star chef has tasted hundreds of dishes. With her renowned palate and access to some of the more innovative dishes in the biz, fans are always curious as to what ranks top shelf in her mind so that they can take inspiration from the success of others. And perhaps from our sense of fraduenschaude, we're equally curious as to what comes out on the bottom rung of her tasting tier. 

Lucky for us, Lakshmi was more than happy to spill the tea on the worst dish she had on a recent episode of the "Tonight Show" (via YouTube). Jimmy Fallon relayed some questions from fellow foodies, including, "Is there a food that's not better with chocolate or ranch?"  Lakshmi was quick to respond in the negative, remembering one of the worst dishes she ever had to eat on "Top Chef" was not made better by chocolate. In fact, it sunk the dish entirely. So what crime against chocolate was so heinous that it ranked as the worst dish Lakshmi has ever had on the show?  

Chocolate and liver is not a match made in heaven

The dish in question: a velvety ganache that hid a beefy surprise — liver. Lakshmi claims the experience was so scarring she can still remember everything, including what she was wearing on the day. While the ganache itself was "beautiful," Lakshmi found the center to contain something chewy that she initially thought was dried fruit, like a raisin. Alas, it was a morsel of liver. Who would make such a culinary gaff? 

Surprisingly, one of the more famous and talented "Top Chef" contestants, Ilan Hall, created the truly terrible dish. Lakshmi wasn't the only famed chef who had to suffer through the dish. World-renowned chef Eric Ripert was also present as a guest judge, adding insult to injury. Lakshmi did mention in another interview that the overall event did offer some comic relief, as it was giggle-worthy watching Ilan try to explain the thinking behind the dubious idea to Ripert. 

Still, Hall went on to be the winner of season 2 and, ironically, created one of Lakshmi's favorite dishes on "Top Chef" as well — a Spanish noodle dish with chorizo and clams. With that in mind, Hall and Lakshmi can probably call it even.