Padma Lakshmi Won 3 Critics Choice Real TV Awards — and Brought Her Mom to the Show

Padma Lakshmi had a big weekend — she also won a James Beard Media Award for her show Taste the Nation

Padma Lakshmi, winner of the Best Competition Series award for 'Top Chef,' Best Culinary Show award for 'Top Chef,' and Best Show Host for 'Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi' and 'Top Chef,' poses during the Fourth Annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on June 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty

Padma Lakshmi won big this weekend!

The Top Chef host attended the James Beard Media Awards and the Critics Choice Real TV Awards — and she snagged multiple awards.

For starters, her Hulu original travel series, Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition won a James Beard Media Award for Visual Media — Long Form. In honor of the win, Lakshmi shared an Instagram post to her feed about her career thus far.

"I'm absolutely elated! I can't believe I'm here. I have always kind of felt like an outsider in my life. Either I wasn't Indian enough or American enough, but I always had a deep love for food," she wrote. "It was this passion that led me throughout life, but I came to this career later than most. During the early seasons of @bravotopchef I always felt like people were thinking, 'why are you here?' And I think we all feel that way sometimes. We all put that on ourselves and that was certainly true for me."

While Lakshmi admitted she "had a lot of imposter syndrome," she said her work with the ACLU is what pushed her to create Taste the Nation. "I wanted to give my platform to people who don't often have that opportunity and let them tell their stories as they see fit. Because I believe that everybody has a story, every human being, you just have to be willing to listen," she said.

The award-winning cookbook author also made sure to acknowledge her family, particularly her grandmother, in her post. "I wish my grandmother could have been here to see this award. She taught me how to cook and taught me about life through food and she would have been so proud," she added.

Padma Lakshmi at the Critic's Choice Awards
Padma Lakshmi/Instagram

At the Critics Choice Real TV Awards on Sunday, Lakshmi did have a very special family member watch her take home three awards — her mom, Vijaya.

Lakshmi won Best Show Host for Top Chef and Taste the Nation, and she also accepted two awards for the Top Chef cast — Best Culinary Show and Best Competition Series, which tied with RuPaul's Drag Race.

In one of her acceptance speeches, she said the Bravo competition show has been the "privilege of my life."

"I really value all of the people who I've worked with for 16 years. They're like a surrogate family to me. And speaking of family — I'd like to thank my mother who's here today," she said.

While on stage at the Critics Choice Real TV Awards, Lakshmi also gave a funny nod to how long the 16-year-old show has been on the air.

"On behalf of our whole big crew on Top Chef, thank you so much for this award. It means the world to us. We've been around since The Sopranos," she quipped with a laugh. "And we are still at it."

On Monday, Lakshmi posted a sweet tribute to her mom after they attended the awards show together.

"I'm so grateful I was able to share these amazing moments with my family especially my mother. ❤️" she wrote on Instagram. "One of my earliest memories is making dosas with my mom. She's always a great cook and was able to whip up anything in about 20 to 30 minutes. She was a tyrant in the kitchen, but in a very loving, benevolent way."

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Lakshmi went on to describe her mother's journey of moving to the U.S. from India. "My mom was a single mother for most of my childhood and a nurse for over 50 years. She came to America in the 1970s fleeing an abusive marriage and in search of more opportunities for us leaving me with my grandparents in India," she wrote.

"When I finally came to the US at 4-years-old, I remember catching my first glimpse of my mother at JFK airport, so pretty and carrying an afghan she knitted for me - and thinking the world was whole again. Love you, Amma. ❤️."

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