Photography by Scott McDermott • Stylist Brendan Cannon • Hair Antonio Diaz • Make-up Birgitte From Sally Harlor
It’s not easy to lay your emotions, secrets, hopes and dreams bare before an unknown audience, but that is precisely what Top Chef star and author Padma Lakshmi did when writing her new memoir, Love Loss, and What We Ate.
The book was released on March 8, 2016 and is already gaining traction. It’s not hard to see why. The deeply personal memoir is written quite unlike other celebrity-scribed tomes you might have come across on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. Lakshmi’s is an intimate, firsthand account of her boomerang childhood that began in India with her mom, who divorced Padma’s father when she was only 2. Divorce was rare, and female divorcees were not looked upon well, so she took young Padma and moved to New York City at the age of 4. There, once she had finally adjusted to living in America, she was forced to go back to India to live with her grandparents while her mother stayed in New York with her second husband. Then, as a young teenager, she and her mother moved to southern California for a fresh start and new career opportunities. Once there, Lakshmi’s mother married a third time, creating turbulence with the new family dynamic. As a result, Padma was eager to leave for college, attending Clarke University in Massachusetts. It was during a senior semester abroad in Madrid that she was “discovered” as a model. It came as quite a shock to her, because she considered herself “damaged goods” because of a large, 7-inch scar on her right arm as a result of a childhood car accident.