Padma Lakshmi is constantly cooking up new projects, so it’s no surprise that she’s spent the past week racking up prestigious honors.
The food expert is now the proud owner of three Critics Choice Real TV Awards—one of which recognized her hosting duties on Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation—along with a James Beard Foundation Award.
Padma was on hand to accept her Critics Choice trophies, and as she told E! News in an exclusive interview on June 15, she was actually surprised by her reaction. “I went up on stage and I burst out crying,” she recalled. “I just burst out into tears on stage because it was surreal and it was just overwhelming. And, obviously, I really wanted to win but I didn’t know if I would.”
That, and she was exhausted. “I was coming from filming in the middle of the ocean down in the Gulf of Mexico,” Padma said. “And so I took a plane, came home, changed my bags, got new clothes and left the next morning for Chicago and it was all a blur.”