‘Top Chef’ Host Padma Lakshmi Stuns As Latest SI Swimsuit Edition Cover Model

Padma Lakshmi behind the scenes SI Swimsuit party

Getty Image / Taylor Hill / WireImage

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has been unveiled as one of the models that will appear in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Lakshmi, 52 years old, was revealed as one of the cover models earlier this week with a video that was taken at her photo shoot in Dominica.

“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous,” Lakshmi said of her Sports Illustrated photo shoot.

“You know, I’m 52 years old. And I think I look great for my age and I definitely work at it. It’s important to show women of all ages, body types, skin colors, and show that beauty is so vast and broad of a spectrum. And so when young women see this, I hope they see that they have a long life to live. And that experience and wisdom and going through stuff actually makes you more interesting and enriches you as a person, both physically, but also, inside. 

In addition to hosting Top Chef since 2006, Lakshmi also hosts the Hulu docuseries Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi. Lakshmi is also a published author, having released six books so far in a wide variety of genres.

Thus far, Lakshmi has written two cookbooks, two encyclopedias (Easy Exotic and Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet and The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World) the children’s book Tomatoes for Neela, and the memoir Love, Loss, and What We Ate.

In addition to Lakshmi, Lauren Chen and LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne have also been announced as featured models in this year’s edition of the iconic magazine.

If you want to keep up with all that Lakshmi has got *cooking* — quite literally, as her account is filled with tons of videos of her in the kitchen — then make sure to follow her over on Instagram, where she has over one million followers.