Top Chef host and executive producer Padma Lakshmi has announced her exit from the US culinary reality show ahead of the Season 20 finale, slated to air on June 8 as part of the show's World All-Stars season in London.
"After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef," the former model wrote in a note on Instagram. "Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food," she further said.
"After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly," she added.
The cookbook author said she hoped to put more time into other projects. "I feel it’s time to move on and need to make space for Taste the Nation, my books and other creative pursuits. I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support."
Padma’s association with Top Chef goes back to 2006 when she joined the show as a judge and host in the second season. She has earned numerous awards and accolades for her role as Top Chef host, including four Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category. Additionally, her contributions as a producer on the show resulted in 10 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Competition Program.