I love Padma Lakshmi because she is not only one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she is also a culinary connoisseur to be reckoned with. Most know her has the lovable and sexy host of Bravo's Top Chef, but she actually has a long lustrous career including modeling and acting. However, its apparent that her true love is food. Her first cookbook, Easy Exotic netted her not only the International Versailles Prize for Best First Cookbook, but also a show on Food Network called Padma's Passport where she prepared exotic low-fat cuisine.
So the other night Cesar and I were flipping through the channels and we stopped on PBS World which broadcasts many BBC specials. On the TV was a gorgeous scene of a southern Indian marketplace when all of the sudden my beloved Padma popped on screen. The show is part of a series called Planet Food where the hosts travel to different countries and sample the food while giving recipes and cultural lessons. The episode we happened upon was one featuring Padma touring Southern India. She samples Masala Dosa, sun dried pappadams, coconut fish stew and even samples the sacred religious foods in a Hindu temple alongside 10,000 worshipers.
I wont spoil too much of the show because its really worth checking out for yourself. Its beautifully filmed and a thorough exploration of food and its cultural ties.
To learn more about the show and get recipes and trip planning recommendations visit the Planet Food web-page. I was hoping to find a DVD set of the series but unfortunately it looks like you have to buy them as 1 offs on Chaos for about $15. I also caught part of an episode on Thailand featuring Merrilees Barker and Im very intrigued in picking up more of this series. You can also check BBC UK for more information on the series and how to view it.