8 Extraordinary Photos of ‘Taste the Nation’ Host Padma Lakshmi in Dominica

The best-selling author posed for the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue.
Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. 


While many people known Padma Lakshmi as a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and host and executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning series Top Chef, some may be unaware that the 52-year-old television personality worked as a model throughout her 20s. 

Lakshmi, who is featured in the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue, admitted that while she would’ve jumped at the opportunity to pose for the publication earlier in life, it came at exactly the right time.

“I was a little bit freaked out because I knew that I couldn’t get as tight and lean as I could if I had some more time,” she told SI Swimsuit of traveling to Dominica to work with photographer Yu Tsai on short notice. “But then I just looked in the mirror and I reminded myself, I’m not here because I’m the world’s greatest model. I’m here because I’m me. I’m not getting this in my 20s. I’m getting this now, at this point, and it’s so much sweeter because I’m doing it now.” 

View Padma Lakshmi’s full 2023 SI Swimsuit gallery here.

In honor of Lakshmi’s gorgeous spread in the new issue, we’re sharing eight of our favorite photos of the model from her feature in Dominica.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by NAVY RAY.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Set by Elizabeth Shevelev.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit top by NAVY RAY. Swimsuit bottom by Lola & Lamar.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by NAVY RAY.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Tropic of C. Bracelets from model’s own collection.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Toxic Sadie Swimwear.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Heidi Fish.

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Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Toco Swim. Necklace from model’s own collection.

Get ready for the hottest event of the year! The 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue is out now, and you won’t want to miss the Swimsuit Issue Launch Party. Secure your tickets now and join us for an unforgettable weekend of glamour, beauty and fun.

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Published
Cara O’Bleness

CARA O’BLENESS

Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.