Padma Lakshmi Wants to 'Enjoy' Her 13-Year-Old Daughter Krishna 'Before She Goes to College'

Padma Lakshmi
Luke Dickey

Padma Lakshmi sat down with 'Haute Living Los Angeles' to talk about 'Taste the Nation' season 2 and making more time for her family.

Juggling roles! Padma Lakshmi is known for being an Emmy Award-winning food expert, television producer, Top Chef host, New York Times bestselling author, and mom to 13-year-old daughter Krishna -- and she makes sure to give her all to her many gigs. 

"I want to be the best version of myself. I am a woman, I am a mother, I am an immigrant. I bring all of that baggage to work with me every day, and the show is informed by all of those things," Lakshmi tells Haute Living Los Angeles for her cover story, while discussing the second season of her hit series, Taste the Nation, on Hulu.

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Beyond using her background for creative inspiration, the 52-year-old puts her own creative spin on everything she does and makes things that have meaning.

"A lot of it is like, 'What kind of food do I want to eat?' and 'Who seems cool?' and 'Who hasn’t been done?' … You want to keep people's attention, you want to entertain them, you want them to have fun, but you also want them to have some kind of takeaway," she explains of her process. 

"That’s what I’m trying to do with every episode, trying to do more than one thing so that it hits you on different levels: on the food level, on the human level, on the emotional level," the philanthropist continues.

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When she's not keeping busy with her own show, Lakshmi tries to find time to wind down and watch TV, including Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever on Netflix, with her daughter. 

"We binged that show. It was so wonderful to hear a mother call her daughter 'Kanna,' which means 'Dear' or 'apple of my eye' [in Tamil]. That's what I call Krishna, that’s what my mother called me, and I've never heard it before on American television," she tells the magazine.

And Lakshmi wants to try to carve out more time for those types of everyday experiences. 

"My daughter is 13. I want to enjoy her before she goes to college. I only have five years left with her, and that preys on my mind. … I think at different times in your life, there’s time for work and there's time to take it easy. I think that I wouldn't be here unless I had worked so hard and made some of the sacrifices that I have made, but I also think that now I do want to take it a little bit easier. I do want some more time," Lakshmi explains. 

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"I wish I had more time in the day to get a regular pedicure, to read more. I know it sounds very boring, but to me, that is the greatest luxury," she adds. "So, I do want to work just as hard, but I want to be selective and minimize the number of things I do. I want to do fewer things, but better."