Padma Lakshmi (b. 1970) is a New York-based Indian-American supermodel, actress, talk show host and award-winning cookbook author. She was born in Chennai, India and is fluent in five languages - English, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, and Tamil. Her name literally means the "lotus goddess" in Sanskrit.
She is married to novelist Salman Rushdie. Her cookbook Easy Exotic was awarded Best First Book at the 1999 World Cookbook Awards at Versailles. She was host of the Food Network series, Padma's Passport which is part of the larger series, Melting Pot. She has also been a guest host on parts of the British culinary tourism show, Planet Food. She hosted the segments on India and Spain. Other notable television roles include a guest appearance as an imperious princess in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. She was host of Domenica In, Italy's top-rated television show. She also starred in Glitter with Mariah Carey and in Boom with Amitabh Bachchan. In 2006 she starred in ABC's The Ten Commandments with Dougray Scott, Naveen Andrews, and Omar Sharif. She played Sean Bean's nemesis in the iTV film Sharpe's Challenge. She is a graduate of Clark University in Massachusetts, where she majored in Theater Arts.