The tale, spanning continents, includes cultural dislocation, illness, racism, sexual assault, love, heartbreak, marriage, death, divorce, single motherhood, custody battles, weight battles, a “Lean-in” class in brand-building. She didn’t set out to write a full memoir, Lakshmi says by phone from her New York City apartment.Her contract was for a healthy-eating book with personal stories illustrating her philosophy about food, a topic “entwined in everything that I touch,” she says. when Padma was two; Padma joined her two years later.Padma Lakshmi’s new memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate, begins with a scene that cleverly combines her dual claims to celebrity: her marriage to celebrated novelist Salman Rushdie—who left his third wife in 1999 for the Delhi-born model and actress 23 years his junior—and her culinary cred, fostered as a judge on Top Chef, the popular Bravo reality show.It’s summer of 2007, and her eight-year relationship with Rushdie has just ended.The 44-year-old "Top Chef" host and the 65-year-old actor reportedly first started dating in the spring following his split from Carey Lowell after 11 years of marriage.They were "having fun," a source told the mag at the time. "I wouldn't even go as far as calling them a couple. It's the first time Padma has dated anyone since Teddy (Forstmann, her billionaire boyfriend who passed away in 2011), and it's something she's been approaching very, very delicately." The two were apparently only getting to know each other and never went public with their short-lived relationship.Overwhelmed, Lakshmi rallies to transform the fruit into kumquat chutney (recipe provided).A triumphant “When life gives you kumquats, make kumquat chutney” spirit pervades this evocatively written book, a female uber-memoir that packs a dizzying array of modern lady themes into its 324 pages.
PHOTOS: Celeb chef scandals Gere, 65, separated from wife Lowell — with whom he shares a teenage son, Homer — in September 2013.Richard Gere and Padma Lakshmi's brief romance has come to an end.