Paddling Padma

New York Magazine has a tasty little item this week about Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. Lakshmi, who is straining to escape the massive penumbra of world-famous writer Salman Rushdie — who happens to be her husband — is best known to viewers of the program as the slightly dazed chick wearing the stomach-baring what-have-you.

The overall theme of New York’s interview with Top Chef contestants: the damning of Lakshmi with faint praise and implicit disrepect. After being told by a Bravo network flack that he couldn’t say anything disparaging about Lakshmi, Ilan Hall offered this: “She’s beautiful. Mostly, she just explained things, and she did a good job at that.”

Cliff Crooks and Sam Talbot tee off on the apparent “fire hazard” as well, making for a reasonably spicy gumbo of disrespect.

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