Emmy Award-Winning TV Host Padma Lakshmi Serves Angel on Earth Vibes in Dominica

The culinary personality totally stole the show during her SI Swimsuit photo shoot last year.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

We’re still reminiscing on the ethereal, Mother Nature-inspired vibes that model Padma Lakshmi channeled during her SI Swimsuit feature in Dominica last year. The mom of one traveled to the Caribbean island country with photographer Yu Tsai and totally took our breath away. The culinary personality, who was the longtime host of Emmy Award-winning seriesTop Chef  and the host and executive producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation, hung up her hosting hat and donned the most breathtaking earthy bikinis for her photo shoot with the brand.

While on location, the 53-year-old reflected on how special and unexpected the moment was and how it felt so much “sweeter” to appear in the SI Swimsuit magazine in her 50s, rather than at the peak of her modeling career 30 years ago. She’s proud to have posed for a series of images that portray a woman who is beautiful due to her age, not despite it.

“You either have to be the pinup or the intellectual. You either have to be the feminist or the coquette. We see women in these archetypes—and that’s not how most human beings are. Of course it’s a visual image, but the reason that I hopefully move better in my body, the reason that I look beautiful now at this age especially, is not because of my skin—it’s because of what’s inside my skin,” Lakshmi said. “It’s because of my experiences, my learning and just being out in the world. People are more interesting as they become who they’re going to be as they age. I feel more beautiful now than I did when I was a model in my 20s. I probably looked more beautiful then, but I feel much more beautiful now.”

Below are six stunning photos from Lakshmi’s 2023 photo shoot in Dominica.

Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by NAVY RAY.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by NAVY RAY. / Yu Tsa/Sports Illustrated
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Toxic Sadie Swimwear.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Toxic Sadie Swimwear. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Ola Vida.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Ola Vida. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by PatBO.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by PatBO. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Initial S Paris. Necklace from model’s own collection.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Initial S Paris. Necklace from model’s own collection. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Set by Elizabeth Shevelev.
Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Set by Elizabeth Shevelev. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

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Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL