Padma Lakshmi Explains Why She’s Leaving ‘Top Chef’ After 17 Years

“Top Chef” is facing a shakeup in the kitchen. Padma Lakshmi, the longtime host of the Bravo cooking competition show announced on Friday that she will be leaving after it’s 20th season in a heartfelt Instagram post. “After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef. Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and exec producer, I am extremely proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” she wrote. Padma concluded by reflecting on her many years of being on the show and shared some insight into her decision. “After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it’s time to move 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,” she added. Padma hosted with Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.