TV Host Padma Lakshmi Served Picturesque Mother Nature Vibes in Dominica

The culinary personality modeled for the 2023 SI Swimsuit issue.
Padma Lakshmi

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


Culinary personality and Emmy Award-winning TV show host Padma Lakshmi left our jaws on the floor with her SI Swimsuit debut last year. 

The Top Chef alum, who now stars on, and is the executive producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation, posed for photographer Yu Tsai on the breathtaking, picturesque Caribbean Island country of Dominica. The 53-year-old showed off her impeccable modeling skills, and proved that she really has spent more than two decades in the industry, as she donned the most ethereal, earthy, Mother Nature-inspired bikinis.

“I really thought that the Sports Illustrated ship had sailed for me, or the possibility of it, and I’d never done it before. But I have never felt better about myself. I love where I am in my life, and no, my body’s not perfect by any means, but I don’t care. I feel like I have a very lucky, fruitful, productive life, and I hope that’s what [people] see when they see these pictures. I hope they see a full woman in all my facets and nuances, and also some contradictions,” the New York City resident shared while on location of her 2023 shoot with the brand. “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. 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.”

Lakshmi is also a mom of one and a New York Times best-selling author. She uses her platform to advocate for human rights and social justice issues—in addition to sharing delicious Indian recipes and giving the world a taste of tons of global cultures and cuisines.

Below are six of our favorite photos from her shoot in Dominica.

Padma Lakshmi

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

Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by Ola Vida.

Padma Lakshmi

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

Padma Lakshmi

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

Padma Lakshmi

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

Padma Lakshmi

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

Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit by PatBO.

Padma Lakshmi

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


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Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL

Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.