As a former high-fashion model, Padma Lakshmi made her mark strutting down runways in the 1990s for such haute couturiers as Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Alberta Ferretti. The onetime wife of controversial novelist Salman Rushdie, author of 1988's controversial The Satanic Verses, Lakshmi was also a best-selling author in her own right. Her first book, the award-winning, Easy Exotic: A Model's Low-fat Recipes from Around the World (1999) sold extremely well, winning her accolades from the culinary world. A popular television personality to boot, Lakshmi also appeared on a number of programs, usually, as her glamorous self. Given her areas of expertise, it was only a matter of time before Lakshmi was hired to host her own cooking show. Her first program, "Padma's Passport" (Food Network, 2005-06) led to her next gig as host of cable's top-rated competitive reality program, "Top Chef" (Bravo, 2005- ). By 2010, the former model had become a brand unto herself, boasting a résumé that included stints as a cookbook author, reality show host, jewelry designer, and actress in television and film, with more occupational hats likely on the way.