Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi

Love, Loss, and What We Ate

A vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi’s unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera—a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron’s HeartburnLong before Padma Lakshmi ever stepped onto a television set, she learned that how we eat is an extension of how we love, how we comfort, how we forge ...

Details Love, Loss, and What We Ate

TitleLove, Loss, and What We Ate
Release DateMar 8th, 2016
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Audiobook, Biography

Reviews Love, Loss, and What We Ate

  • Roxane
    This is an interesting memoir because it is so full of yearning and I always appreciate when a writer can lay their desires bare. The narrative certainly meanders, but that isn't a bad thing. There is an interesting lack of structure in how Lakshmi shares her life, from her childhood here in the United States and in India, to her adulthood, her modeling career, marriage to Salman Rushdie, hosting Top Chef and eventually becoming a mother. The wri...
  • Diane Yannick
    I admired Padma Lakshmi from afar until I read her memoir. It's hard not to be struck by her beauty and well-spoken grace on television. On Top Chef I liked the delicate yet discerning way she tasted the competitors' morsels. I liked that she married Salman Rushdie, a man of substance. I know a whole lot more after reading her words and I'll never look at her with such naive admiration again.She is just too full of herself. She doesn't seem to ap...
  • Tara Scott
    Prior to reading this book, the only experience I had of Padma was through Top Chef, and on tv she seemed very pleasant and actually down to earth and quite likable. Boy did my perspective change by the end of this work! This is quite literally the only memoir I've ever read where I went into the book generally liking the person and by the end flat out hating them. Somehow Padma wrote a memoir where she actually comes off as extremely unlikable. ...
  • Mary
    I hate most autobiographies. People tend to try to make their lives sound extraordinary, while remaining humble, and deserving. They gloss over the juicy bits, the stuff we really want to know, and try really hard to justify their shitty behavior. This book is exactly like that.I am not a hater. I love Top Chef. Padma has always struck me as a beautiful woman and an adequate host. A bit bland, a bit whiny, perhaps. In this memoir, Padma is just t...
  • Lynn
    As a closeted foodie one of my favorite shows is Top Chef. I was always intrigued, by Padama Lakshmi: a coco-colored beauty who is articulate and icy, with a highly educated palate. Thus, I was captivated by her memoir. Padma is whip smart. Her book covers her high profile romances with older men (Salman Rushdie & Teddy Frostman), growing up in India, her ethnic identity struggles, her modeling career, having endometriosis, filming Top Chef, her ...
  • Jonna Rubin
    I enjoyed this. Admittedly, I walked into this with a fairly low opinion of Lakshmi -- I had assumed her to be vapid, self-absorbed, and attracted to little more than money and power. And she is! But I guess I was surprised to the degree that she owns it. She doesn't come off well in all situations, and she cops to a lot of it. That's not easy. She's kind of a jerk, she thinks she's brilliant and beautiful -- more than she likely is, I'm guessing...
  • John Brucker
    Sorry. Boring. Boring. Poorly written. Boring.
  • Robin
    For someone who always seemed to convey a serene and low-key spirit—at least while on TV—Padma has certainly led a life of high drama. From her struggle to fit in and assimilate as a young immigrant from India to her tumultuous relationship and marriage with Salman Rushdie, and everything that happened afterwards, her life has definitely been a roller coaster ride. But I also have to add that I’ve read many celebrity memoirs and it never fa...
  • Rekha
    I needed a cookbook for my Summer Book Bingo card and there may not be a style of book that I would want to read less, so! I picked this one up and it has eight recipes in it and I AM COUNTING IT, DON'T CARE. If you are wondering if she talks shit about Salman Rushdie: YUP. He comes off like an Indian Frasier Crane. Tell me that this surprises you in the least.
  • Divya
    This book was filled with nostalgia of many kinds for me - the by-lanes of my childhood, the feelings that come from trying to straddle different worlds because of living in different countries, TamBrahm traditions and most importantly - thayir saadam. While I felt that Padma tries to hard to be poetic about food in some places, I also felt that this was a very honest take on her life. She calls herself out on many things including daddy issues, ...
  • Happyreader
    Less a food memoir and more a cleaned-up response to tabloid rumors about her love life. Like her favorite Indian snacks, initially tasty but ultimately unsatisfying.
  • Sarah
    Padma Lakshmi may be a pretty face, but she is no fool. She opens this memoir with the dirt everyone was hoping for: intimate details of her failed marriage to Salman Rushdie, the infamous and brilliant writer. It was a torrid affair, start to finish, but wonderfully these are not even the most interesting chapters of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir. Lakshmi's story is that of an immigrant child, shuttling between India and New York or LA. ...
  • Malia
    Considering the fact that I tend to avoid non-fiction, this was surprisingly easy to get through (well, it is a glorified celebrity memoir, I admit;-). I was intrigued because I had watched the first two seasons of Top Chef and was always a little confused why they would have a model, whom I found rather uncharismatic, hosting a food show. In this book, Laskshmi does succeed in hitting you over the head with her absolute love for food and I belie...
  • Julia Coney
    I was waiting for Padma to write a book because I was a fan of her cookbooks. This memoir of love and loss resonated in ways with me I didn't expect. Her relationship with Salman moved me and her story of finally being able to be mom had me overjoyed with happiness.
  • Karen Foster
    Just a so-so for me..... I liked Padma's writing about her food memories and her childhood very much, and the nosy person in me enjoyed some of the recent relationship stuff. But there was a lot of 'poor me' stuff that I found a little bit whiny. I found the structure was a little bit all over the place, without it feeling purposeful for some reason. When a memoir is told in a non-linear way (this went back and forth at times), I still feel there...
  • Anna Nelson
    It was an enjoyable read until about half way through and then it became very messy and unedited. The author couldn't seem to get to the point. I would have never pictured her to be the self pity type. I'm still a fan and will continue to follow her career and maybe buy another book from her, but this book should have been edited a bit better.
  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    I will finish this book in the near future. Very well written and enjoyable but I must finish a pile of library books that are holding me hostage.
  • Amisha
    I am Indian and I love food so by proxy I assumed I would love Padma. I knew of her and without getting too close, I thought she was pretty admirable. So I picked up this book and now I have nothing but mixed feelings. At times, I identify with her and enjoy her anecdotes. But the thing that really got to me during the course of this book was the self pity. She understates the grandiosity of the life she has and she writes herself to be a victim ...
  • Michelle
    This book has probably been the surprise book of 2018. I enjoyed it far more than I was expecting. While Padma talks some of her modeling and television career, she talks mainly of her personal experience—as an immigrant, as a woman, as a lover, and as a mother. I learned quite a bit about southern Indian food and endometriosis. Most appealing of all is how honestly she addressed her own flaws and errors.There was some stuff in it about fashion...
  • Kelsey
    I was totally not expecting to love this book as much as I did. I came to this entirely from a perspective of only knowing Padma from Top Chef. I had no idea she was a writer, a model, co-founder of a foundation, or any of the multiple things this fabulous woman is. I was not expecting this book to be so completely feminist, both in it's frank discussion of the way women are treated in not only India but here in the United States, and to her memo...
  • Anita Wills
    Ok. Could be a 2.5 or 3. Interesting to me because of her references to the specific parts of India that might my family is from. Writing was hard to stick with in the middle. It was also hard for me to find her likeable.
  • Jana
    Surprisingly enjoyable (wow does Salman Rushdie come off like a dick) and engrossing; made me want to be friends with Padma based on the Helmut Newton nude shoot anecdote alone. Perfect vacation read.
  • MichelinaNeri
    I loved the first half of this book, not just for the dish on her relationship with Salman Rushdie, but for the story of a childhood straddling two continents and a young adulthood full of further adventures. The second half of the book dragged and dragged. At first I thought it was because the topics (her love triangle with Adam Dell and Teddy Forstmann, her pregnancy and childbirth, a custody battle, Forstmann's illness and death) were less int...
  • Bharath Ramakrishnan
    This is a book about Padma Lakshmi's life and struggles which went with it. It is very moving for the large part as she writes about the attitude of a few insensitive men she gets into relationships with. These sections which deal with her personal trauma do make you feel for what she has been through, dealing at the same time with endometriosis. It is not easy making it as a model in the west when you are an expat, but she persists and finally m...
  • Priya
    I'm not really into memoirs, but I picked this up because (1) Padma Lakshmi! and (2) Salman Rushdie! :-) Yeah yeah, I know. I've seen her culinary and travel shows and was always intrigued how a model like her married a world famous writer, twice her age. Well, I got the whole story now!As a memoir, it is an honest account of her life, without embellishing the good bits or glazing over the bad. But as a book, it was a bit convoluted and all over ...
  • Leigh Kramer
    As a long-time Top Chef viewer, I had a barebones sketch of Lakshmi's life but it turns out she is so much more than what I had gleaned. There is much more honesty and vulnerability in her memoir than I would have guessed and as such, her decisions don't always come across in the best light. Yet that's what makes the writing so compelling. I appreciated her advocacy for women's rights from the options for women growing up in India to how endometr...
  • Melissa
    I picked this book up for the most superficial of reasons, I needed to read a food memoir for a reading challenge & this one showed up in a list of recommendations. I knew nothing about her life going in, but I have found myself enthralled with her frankness about her relationships, her health, & her family. Padma writes so beautifully about growing up between worlds and cultures, traditional Indian living, and her personal life and struggles. I ...
  • Monica
    I don't usually read memoirs so this was a departure for me. I enjoyed the honesty of Padma in this memoir. I enjoyed the stories of her life that were reminiscent of my own and yet very different. I did feel like the narrative was a bit disjointed at times. Also while the stories of food were interesting, I am not a foodie and probably did not have the same appeal as they would a true lover of food.
  • Meghan
    3.5. I listened to her interview with Another Round, which focused on endometriosis, and decided to check this out for a recent car trip. It's interesting and mostly well-written, a story that takes on a sad tone at times.
  • Dlmrose