The model and host of the popular series Top Chef on Bravo, Padma Lakshmi, talks about food, family and her tumultuous break up with author Salman Rushdie in her new book Love, Loss and What We Ate.
“He’s an extremely brilliant and charming and layered and complicated man,” she said to NPR. “If you’re someone who’s like me, and especially Indian, it’s sort of like meeting Hemingway in your twenties, you know?”
DNA India reports that Lakshmi in her book described Rushdie as someone who needed consoling every year he didn’t win the Nobel Prize. She also said he had an insatiable appetite for sex and was insensitive to her medical condition which made intercourse painful for her.
She said her love of food started at an early age.
“From a very early age, I was always very curious about eating foods that normally toddlers don’t eat,” said Lakshmi. “Very sour things like mango and tamarind, very bitter things like fermented foods or certain Asian vegetables. And you know, you don’t really give a bowl of fiery indian pickles to a 2-year-old! And yet I was climbing up on my grandmother’s shelves in the kitchen like a monkey, sort of like a temple monkey, to try and get at the pickle jars … I think my young palate needed that stimulation.