2024 Keynote Speaker

Padma Lakshmi

Emmy-Nominated Food Expert, Television Host & New York Times Bestselling Author

Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television host, producer, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, which won a 2022 James Beard Award, a 2021 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Culinary Series, and a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. Taste the Nation’s second season premiered on May 5th, 2023. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, now in its 20th season. Top Chef has been nominated for 42 Emmys, including her three-time nomination as Outstanding Host for a Reality-Competition Program.

Padma released her first children’s book, the New York Times bestselling Tomatoes for Neela, as well as edited The Best American Travel Writing in the fall of 2021. Lakshmi is also the author of two cookbooks, Easy Exotic and Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet, the New York Times bestselling memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate, and The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs. Lakshmi is co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound) and serves as an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ rights and women’s rights. She was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was awarded the 2021 Advocate of the Year Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).

Padma is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety magazine, as well as the 2016 EIHS Ellis Island Medal of Honor.