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In the Kitchen With Tom and Padma

One memorable highlight of the Food and Wine Classic was the Top Chef demonstration. Instead of featuring the winners or cheftestants, fans watched Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi cook together. He made an asparagus, mushroom butter fondue and she made flautas. The dynamic duo was incredibly entertaining as they flirted, fought, and got a little drunk. It was so wonderfully amusing that we took an exclusive video to share with you!

After the demo, Tom and Padma answered audience members Top Chef questions. To find out the TC secrets they shared with the crowd,


  • Filming for Tom lasts five weeks. Filming for Padma lasts six weeks. Each episode is shot in two days: one day for the quickfire, the following day for the elimination challenge.
  • They judge each chef based on their last dish.
  • The judges have no interaction whatsoever with the cheftestants. If the chefs talk to Padma while shooting the quickfire challenge a producer will ask them to step away from the judge. The judges only know the chefs by their first names and only find out who they really are after elimination.
  • The cheftestants are put in a house and are forced to interact with each other. They have no phones, money, credit cards, books, televisions, radios, or any other contact to the outside world.
  • The guest judges who were invited on the show are friends of Tom.
  • When Tom first met Padma, he was skeptical and assumed she was no more than a pretty face. However, she impressed him with her food knowledge and eating abilities.
  • Padma says Tom spent more time in the makeup chair than she did because of his shiny head.
Babycakes1234 Babycakes1234 9 years
I love Padma...she comes off as a normal person with none of that fake "hostess" stuff. Tom is great as well and when Anthony Bourdain is on it's a triple threat.
nancita nancita 9 years
I love Padma and Tom and I especially love the dynamic between the two of them. It's always cool to see Tom in the kitchen, and to see him cooking with Padma is especially neat. Love this video!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I love padma, but her words always sound so slurred Funny tidbit she was on an episode of Star Trek Enterprise as this princess who was cryogenically frozen, and they rescue her and she seduces on of the crew....she...cannot.....act...
apborsch apborsch 9 years
Is it just me or is the audio for this really heard to understand/hear? It looked fun though :)
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
annebreal, those were taro leaves, and while she may have seemed overly suggestible, they do contain a chemical that can make your mouth really itchy if it's not cooked out. Padma is hilarious, and I think she's a great addition to the show. I do think that her diction has gotten better since season 2. Particularly the odd inflections and syllable stresses in the intro to season 2, which was really weird.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 9 years
Great video! Initially, I didn't like Padma either but now, she has grown on me immensely! And Tom and Anthony are pretty hot chefs, cocochic! :)
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
Tom is so sexy! Him and Bourdain. :drool:
annebreal annebreal 9 years
When she was first on season two I wasn't so sure about Padma - especially during the finale when I felt she was very suggestible about a traditional Hawaiian ingredient (can't remember what it is now) making you have a reaction if it's cooked improperly. She heard that and when eating Ilan's dish for judging started to feel it even though no one else seemed to and the guest judge who had taught them how to make it said it was cooked correctly. I thought that's something I would do, but then again I don't claim to be an expert foodie and capable of judging a cooking show, so I thought that made her look a bit silly. But she really grew on me! She was great in season three in particular, mostly because CJ was crushing on her and that was hysterical. Also hearing she was married to (and now divorced from, I think) Salman Rushdie (sic) impressed me. Her waking up the chefs in bed for the breakfast quickfire was one of the funniest and cutest moments on that show. Plus she is waaaaaay more animated and easy to watch than Katie Joel was.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I like Padma. She's better than the usual fluff host, anyway. And I love that homegirl can put away some food even though she's tiny.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I totally agree gab! There is something about her...I find obnoxious. I feel like all her comments are pretty standard and do not display an above average knowledge of food.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
Something about Padma is very annoying IMO, still love the show though :) Who would have thought Tom was a flirt :P
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