Find out how Padma Lakshmi prepared for the 2024 Gold Gala

This past weekend, Gold House, the nonprofit organization that amplifies and champions AAPI voices, hosted its third annual Gold Gala in Los Angeles to celebrate the 100 most influential changemakers in culture and the Asia-Pacific company over the past year. On-stage presentations were held for the organization’s special honorees, including Lucy Liu, who received the Legend Award; Wicked star Cynthia Erivo; fashion icon Hello Kitty; rap sensation Saweetie; and the high priestess of foodies herself, Padma Lakshmi.

Lakshmi has cemented her iconic status with a decades-long career and a hyphen that spans from model to Emmy-nominated producer, cooking enthusiast, TV host (with 20 seasons under her belt on “Top Chef” and currently hosting the Hulu series “Taste the Nation”), and bestselling author. After this year’s Gold Gala, she can now add culinary director to her lengthy resume. This culinary role for Lakshmi was a perfect fit for the organization as it has long used its platform to open minds and taste buds to different cultures and experiences, particularly those in the AAPI community.


Responsible for developing the menu for the more than 600 guests attending the Gold Gala, Lakshmi worked closely with Executive Chef Vijay Kumar and his team behind this Michelin-starred hotspot. Semma to evoke exclusively South Asian offerings that paid homage to his home state of Tamil Nadu, India. For the evening’s affairs, Lakshmi donned a lemon yellow Cinq à Sept top and a skirt covered in sequins from neck to hem. Working with stylist Adam Ballheim, she paired her bright, summery look with dazzling Cartier jewelry and bronzed accessories that highlighted the evening’s golden theme.

Here, Lakshmi exclusively tells In the style all about her personal style and the importance of representation. Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how the TV host and culinary history-maker prepared for the Gold Gala.

How she relaxes before an event


“When I’m getting ready for a big event like this, I like to take my time. I start with a massage or body treatment, then I put on the music (“All Night Long” from the Mary Jane The girls were on the evening preparation playlist), maybe light a candle, etc. I like the space to be as calm as possible before the hustle and bustle of the press on the carpet.”

Its glamor


“Joeri Rouffa does my hair, Beau Nelson does my makeup, and Shigeko Taylor does my nails. I want my hair to be carefree and effortless, but still polished. I never like over-done hairstyles. Joeri is someone to work with I work out a lot, and he really likes my hair – we chose a simple and easy hairstyle Beau Nelson is someone I’ve worked with for years too, it’s all about the chubby stick eyes. Lotta Honey And we use Sisley’s Burgundy 11 to create a beautiful light/opaque pink nail.

His style


“My style has become more and more simplified over the years. I’m less willing to be uncomfortable with my appearance than when I started. When you’re comfortable in your clothes and in your skin , we have more confidence.”

Why AAPI Representation Matters

“I wish I had an organization like Gold House when I was growing up. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of Asian hate and often feel like we’re alone. But Gold House helps me made me feel like I was part of a stronger, more united community.”

Her stare


“I’ve worked with my stylist, Adam Ballheim, for many years, and the brief I gave him was something special yet comfortable and easy to wear. I love the bright color of the dress we chose – she is from Five a September, and the shoes are from Stuart Weitzman I love how simple the outfit is, it doesn’t seem too “dressy”.

Its accessories


“I brought my own Indian jewelry to wear as a nod to my Asian heritage. But then Cartier offered to dress me, and I love Cartier so much. And the Panthère ensemble really helps bring the ‘whole look.’

Who she can’t wait to see


“I’ve admired Lucy Liu for a long time and I’m thrilled to be honored alongside her tonight. But there are so many interesting people in attendance, from Saweetie, who plays, to Michelle Yeoh, who I know a little bit about through my work at the UN because she is a fellow goodwill ambassador of Cynthia Erivo and Lena Waithe.

Her after-party plans

“I’m planning to stop by the afterparty for a little dancing, but I can’t stay long because I have an early flight back to New York. We’re starting photography for the Taste the nation recipe book Monday, which I’m looking forward to. The cookbook will be released in fall 2025.”


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