LOS ANGELES -- Padma Lakshmi is living out a dream. She is gracing the pages of the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition!
Lakshmi, who was a model in her 20s, said she would have loved to have this assignment back then.
"It's the holy grail as a model. I just thought that ship had sailed. So when they called I was totally caught off guard," Lakshmi told On the Red Carpet.
But with age comes wisdom and the shoot with photographer Yu Tsai in Dominica is something Lakshmi says she appreciates even more at this season of her life.
"It's kind of almost sweeter that it's happening to me at this age," Lakshmi said.
"I hope that it inspires other women to know that you can look good at any age. You can feel sexy and sensual and beautiful not only at any age, but at any size."
Life for Lakshmi is good right now. Aside from her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit modeling gig, her show "Taste The Nation with Padma Lakshmi" is returning to Hulu for season 2.
Lakshmi crosses the country to learn about different cultures through their cuisine. This season, she heads to Tarpon Springs, Florida to learn about the Greek culture there, to Washington, D.C. to learn about the Afghan culture, the Nigerian community in Houston, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and many more.
"It's been really moving, to be honest, to be in everybody's homes and see how they're willing to open up to me to talk about some really difficult stuff."
Watching "Taste the Nation" will have you salivating for the food, but it'll also leave you with a desire to learn more about the cultures being highlighted.
"I love my job," said Lakshmi. "I love this show, you know, because it plays to all of my natural interests, about people, about food, about culture, about deeper things like family and just stories of immigrant culture."
The stories she's able to tell this season is especially meaningful to Lakshmi. And she hopes the show resonates with the audience because there are so many communities she still wants to explore.
"I just want enough people to see it so Hulu will let me do it again for another season!"
You can stream season 2 of "Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi" beginning Friday on Hulu.
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