Padma Lakshmi Awarded A Spot On TIME's 100's 2023 Titans List

Padma Lakshmi, the award-winning host of "Top Chef," has been honored as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2023 in the Titans category. The annual list is compiled to acknowledge the work of influential individuals from around the world and across industries and has, in recent years, been commemorated with gatherings of the honorees to "spotlight solutions for a better future." Some of the topics the honorees have contributed to include climate change, public health, preserving democracy, and social equality.

To that end, Lakshmi, in addition to her extensive work producing cookbooks and television shows, is an avid activist for civil rights and women's health. On her website, she writes "I want to inspire people from all corners of the world to be vocal and active agents for social change," something she promotes through work with numerous international advocacy organizations. Lakshmi is also an Artist Ambassador for the ACLU on Immigrant Rights and Women's Rights, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNDP — the United Nations organization dedicated to combating poverty and inequality in 170 countries, and the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Genuine love of food

In the magazine's tribute to Lakshmi for the TIME 100 list, comedian, actor, and writer Ali Wong describes the Indian-American icon as "beautiful, talented, and charismatic" as well as "honest and unafraid of being disliked." Wong continues, "It's Padma's genuine love of food — and how freaking smart she is — that makes her electric to watch." 

Lakshmi, an Indian-American émigré, began hosting and producing the travel and food show, "Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi" in 2020, and in it, she consistently demonstrates her passion both for food and justice for immigrant and indigenous communities. Hulu says the series "explores the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today." The show's 2022 Holiday Edition won a James Beard Award for visual media, and the second season of the program is set to premiere in May 2023.

Lakshmi tweeted her thanks to Wong and to TIME for her inclusion on the list writing, "[I am] so excited to be among this eclectic group of movers and shakers from around the world. What an honor. Thank you!"