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Nigella, here comes Padma

London, July 12 (PTI): Padma Lakshmi, the former wife of novelist Salman Rushdie, will co-host a US reality television show that features cooking contests.

The Indian American model-turned-cookbook-author is set to become the US’s answer to British foodwriter Nigella Lawson when she appears on the second season of Top Chef, a programme in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. The show will kick off from August 26.

“I think people will like me in Top Chief because of the way I respond to food. I love the way food smells and feels. I think that’s why Nigella is so popular, too. Because she obviously revels in eating.

“It’s kind of the same thing, I want to give the contestants the full audience of my hunger,” Padma Lakshmi (in picture) said.

“Food is very tactile and sensual. If you think about it, it’s the only way you can get into another person’s body without actually touching them,” she added.

Two years after her split with Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi is keen to “present herself as a savvy businesswoman with a burgeoning TV career”, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

Asked if she still had any contact with Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi said: “I’m really not here to talk about my private life.”

She also skirted questions on her alleged relationship with billionaire businessman Theodore Forstmann. “Look, I appreciate you have to do your job, but I’m not answering,” she told reporters.

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