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Padma eventually migrated across Europe, settling in for a 6-year stint in Milan, where her modeling career exploded. In her mother-in-law-to-be's kitchen, she learned the exacting rules of traditional Italian cooking.
"I learned how to make polenta, , a lusty braise of bacon-wrapped beef brisket and hearty red wine. "It's my one true love." I doubt she means that literally, but given the way she intones the declaration, I can't be sure.
The way to this woman's heart -- maybe any woman's heart -- is through the sensual red zone known as the kitchen.
"Guys don't cook for me," she'll tell you, with the dejected look of a little girl who just lost her puppy to a fur trader.She didn't have her first bite of meat until seventh grade."My mom would make me drink four 8-ounce glasses of milk a day for protein," she says."My mom was working and going to school for her masters, so I became her sous chef." Padma and her mother moved west when she was a teenager, landing near Los Angeles. It doesn't take a genius." Third Course: Beef in Red Wine and Whiskey con Coca-Cola Padma fled to Spain the last semester of her senior year of college to escape a gripping case of boredom. I was taking my textbooks to dinner because I knew we'd end up dancing at a disco and then at the after-hours clubs.It was there, influenced by the Latin flavors pervading L. "I really discovered the whole sensuality of life when I was in Europe," she says. By 5 we'd go for , and by then it was time to go to school.
Watching Padma Lakshmi as she prepares to go before a camera lens is like observing the composition of a signature dish at a fine restaurant.