Now famous to food lovers as hostess of Bravo’s Top Chef reality contest since 2006, Padma Lakshmi appeared as spoiled Kriosian princess Kaitaama on Enterprise’s “Precious Cargo,” where she played off an exasperated “Trip” Tucker (Connor Trineer) to comic effect.
Born as a Tamil speaker in Chennai, India, in 1970, Lakshmi was discovered as a model at age 18 and was the first from her country to find success in Paris, Milan and New York. Now fluent in Hindi, Italian and Spanish as well, Lakshmi branched out in both acting and the food world, with two cookbooks to date after veering away from vegetarianism, and appearances in several foreign films. She can also be seen in NBC’s 30 Rock, ABC’s Ten Commandments mini-series, and British indie series Sharpe, and has received two Emmy nominations for her Top Chef hosting. Her philanthropic efforts support the Endometriosis Foundation of America, and in 2009 she launched her own jewelry line.