Padma Lakshmi is packing up her knives and going.
The host of “Top Chef” for 19 of its 20 seasons, made her departure official on Friday. In a statement posted to her social media accounts, she wrote that the decision was difficult for her and came after much soul-searching. She added:
I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food..
After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me, and I will miss working alongside them dearly.
Lakshmi acknowledged that the move will permit her to devote more attention to her travel and food docuseries “Taste the Nation,” now in its second season, and her writing.