Padma Lakshmi, Television Host and Author, to Host 73rd National Book Awards

October 2022



The Emmy-nominated producer and activist will be the master of ceremonies for the 2022 National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced Padma Lakshmi, award-winning television host and New York Times bestselling author, will host the 73rd National Book Awards on November 16, 2022.

“The National Book Awards Ceremony is the highlight of our work each year celebrating exceptional literature,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We are honored that Padma Lakshmi will bring her passion for books, storytellers, and human connection to this year’s in-person Benefit Dinner.”

Lakshmi is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation; host and executive producer of Top Chef; bestselling author of multiple cookbooks, a memoir, and a children’s book; the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America; and an advocate for immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, and food justice.

On November 16, Lakshmi will serve as master of ceremonies for the National Book Awards Ceremony, where the Winners in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature will be announced. The in-person Ceremony, which will be broadcast live for readers everywhere, will also include the presentation of two lifetime achievement awards. Art Spiegelman will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, presented by Neil Gaiman, and Tracie D. Hall will be presented with the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

In addition to announcing the National Book Award Winners, the Benefit Dinner drives funding for the Foundation’s year-round educational and public programming. For more information about the National Book Awards and Awards-related events, visit


Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated producer, food expert, television host, and New York Times bestselling author. She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, which received multiple Critics Choice Real TV Awards in both 2021 and 2022, a 2021 Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Series, and the 2022 James Beard Award for Visual Media—Long Form. Taste the Nation is currently gearing up for its third season.

Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which has been nominated for 37 Emmys, including her now four-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality or Competition Program. Lakshmi also won the 2022 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Show Host for both Taste the Nation and Top Chef.

Lakshmi is the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. She is an ACLU Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.

By hosting two successful cooking shows—Padma’s Passport and Planet Food—Padma established herself as a food expert early in her career. She also wrote the bestselling Easy Exotic, which won the Best First Book award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day and her memoir, the New York Times bestselling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World. In 2021, Lakshmi released her first children’s book, the New York Times bestselling Tomatoes for Neela, illustrated by award-winning artist Juana Martinez-Neal.

Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

(Photo credit: Inez and Vinoodh)