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Padma Lakshmi's First Trip to Charleston Includes Catfish Tacos and Tater Tots

How the Top Chef host sees the Lowcountry

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Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

In case you've shunned the internet for the past few weeks, you know Top Chef is currently filming Season 14 in Charleston. Eater had a chance to chat with host Padma Lakshmi about her first trip to the Holy City and found out she's doing it right. While Lakshmi doesn't get as much free time as the other cast members, she has had a few minutes to explore Charleston.

"I went to The Wreck, which I really loved," she said, "they made this beautiful hominy and jalapeño [pauses] tater tot, for lack of a better word — it was delicious. I also went to Minero and had some beautiful salsas. I ate more of the menu than I didn't taste. I especially love the salsa with benne seeds. In Indian cooking, we use a lot of sesame for sauces and chutney, so it reminded me of that, especially with the heat. The guacamole was delicious, and the fried catfish with the masa coating was really crispy, moist inside, and piping hot."

"I walked for a good half hour yesterday, because I was so full, but also because I haven't had a chance yet. It's a beautiful, quaint city. The architecture is great — even the shops. I want to go to two toy stores I saw."

It sounds like Lakshmi has adapted to our Southern culture quiet well, including the humidity that could wreck the hairdos of mere mortals — according to a recent Instagram, her team found a way around that.

Backstage, need to be curled before gorging....#topchef #topchefmemories

A photo posted by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on


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