Padma Lakshmi was part of 'Top Chef' for 17 years which spanned over 19 seasons
Padma Lakshmi has opened up about her reasons for departing from Top Chef after 17 years.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Bravo judge was asked about leaving the show, she responded, "There were a whole lot of complex factors that went into this decision. The biggest one is "Taste the Nation," which consumes me in the best way, intellectually, spiritually, creatively, and I just want to keep making it."
She revealed her book was one reason, "Other than writing my memoir and editing the anthology [of travel essays], it has been the most gratifying work of my life. I love both shows for very different reasons, and I'm very, very lucky to have two hit shows on TV at the same time. That's like lightning in a bottle — I felt like, how could I give that up? You know, because Hollywood likes to keep you nice and scared."
Another cause she pointed out was the grueling shoot that left her exhausted and with little time with her family.
"Last year, my grandmother died. She practically raised me. A week after, I had to go and film "Taste the Nation," which was honestly the best thing because it kept my mind occupied. It's OK because it's one week out on the road and then one week off, where I'm working to set up the next week, but at least I get to sleep at home with my kid.
We went away for a week for spring break; we had two weeks away in August. And then, bang, I was on the set of "Top Chef" from mid-August until October. So I was on the road from February to October. And I was exhausted. I just want to enjoy my life a little bit."