Emmy Award Winner Excellent chef The 18th season kicked off on April 1 and Padma Lakshmi hosted the reality contest for 17 of them (she was asked to do the first season but couldn’t – we talk about that in the episode). Throughout the Bravo series, Lakshmi saw a lot – and ate – a lot. She stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast to spread all the tea about the show and how it’s been for her over the past 17 seasons.
This season was filmed in Portland during the pandemic and as the food culture and show is a community event there have been many changes made. Lakshmi revealed that chefs won’t be doing crazy 30-minute errands at Whole Foods. Instead, the series will reflect the times and they will have many of their groceries delivered – which is a huge challenge for even the most discerning chefs. In addition, a huge table of social distancing judges was introduced (which Lakshmi loved) and a panel of guest judges was limited to Excellent chef alum. Despite all the changes, Excellent chef is always ready to serve the delicacies of the talented group of chefs and, of course, the theater.
Additionally, we had a very in-depth and moving discussion about the rise in violence against Asian and Asian Americans in the country and its impact on it. We’re talking about the need for change, the history of anti-Asian racism in this country and what needs to change to address all this hatred.
Listen to the episode below.