Padma Lakshmi Is Dating Poet Terrance Hayes: 'They're Still Getting to Know Each Other,' Says Source

Padma Lakshmi and Terrance Hayes were spotted kissing and holding hands on Monday during a night out in New York City

Padma Lakshmi and Terrance Hayes
Photo: backgrid

Padma Lakshmi is cooking up a new romance.

The Top Chef host, 50, is dating poet and MacArthur fellowship recipient Terrance Hayes, a source confirms to PEOPLE.

"It's early days and they're still getting to know each other," the source says.

On Monday night, the couple were kissing and holding hands while walking Lakshmi's beloved dog, Divina, in New York City.

For the outing, Lakshmi wore a white summer dress and wedge sandals, while Hayes opted for a black T-shirt, jeans and leather slides.

padma lakshmi and Terrance Hayes

Lakshmi was previously linked to Adam Dell, with whom she shares 11-year-old daughter Krishna Thea.

In December, the 10-time Emmy nominee celebrated her 50th birthday with Dell, 51, and Krishna from quarantine and reflected on the "mix of misery and elation" from the past year on social media.

"But personally, at home things were peaceful," she noted in a since-deleted Instagram post. "We made a cocoon for our family. We lived for the first time all under one roof. We became closer."

Lakshmi wrote at the time, "I cannot ask for anything more. I am truly blessed: a loving and attentive partner, a child that continues to be a miracle every day and work that I am proud of and fully engaged by with people I love."

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"I am today very lucky. But I am also a product of the toil and troubles my younger self endured. And I thank that version of me," she ended her note. "Thank you all so much for joining me on this trip."

Lakshmi began dating Dell in 2009, two years after she divorced novelist Salman Rushdie. The pair welcomed their daughter in 2010.

Recently, Lakshmi opened up to PEOPLE about Krishna and raved about her child's budding culinary talents.

"Krishna is a great cook, and loves experimenting with ingredients," the proud mom said. "It's been great to see her gain confidence and simply have fun in the kitchen."

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