Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma LakshmiLove, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir

byPadma Lakshmi

Hardcover | March 8, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$25.74 online 
$33.50 list price save 23%
Earn 129 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


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 Heartburn

Long 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 a sense of home—and how we taste the world as we navigate our way through it. Shuttling between continents as a child, she lived a life of dislocation that would become habit as an adult, never quite at home in the world. And yet, through all her travels, her favorite food remained the simple rice she first ate sitting on the cool floor of her grandmother’s kitchen in South India.

Poignant and surprising, Love, Loss, and What We Ate is Lakshmi’s extraordinary account of her journey from that humble kitchen, ruled by ferocious and unforgettable women, to the judges’ table of Top Chef and beyond. It chronicles the fierce devotion of the remarkable people who shaped her along the way, from her headstrong mother who flouted conservative Indian convention to make a life in New York, to her Brahmin grandfather—a brilliant engineer with an irrepressible sweet tooth—to the man seemingly wrong for her in every way who proved to be her truest ally. A memoir rich with sensual prose and punctuated with evocative recipes, it is alive with the scents, tastes, and textures of a life that spans complex geographies both internal and external.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate is an intimate and unexpected story of food and family—both the ones we are born to and the ones we create—and their enduring legacies.

Padma Lakshmi is a graduate of Clark University. She will be a host on the Food Network's new 13-part series The Melting Pot beginning September 2000. She lives in Los Angeles.
Title:Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A MemoirFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.17 inPublished:March 8, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062202618

ISBN - 13:9780062202611

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 2 out of 5 by from I liked her more before I read her autobiography If you've ever watched Padma on Top Chef, you probably, like me saw her as poised, well-spoken, and knowledgeable about a wide breadth of foods, cultures and cooking techniques. She has a way of critiquing that is both succinct and nuanced. Those qualities, along with her upbringing in India, immigrating to America, the story of the huge scar on her arm, her culinary background, as well as her marriage to Salmon Rushdie sound like the perfect recipe (pardon the pun) for an interesting autobiography, but it is not to be. First off, some of the writing is terribly over-wrought. The metaphors are so labored that it is almost embarrassing. Beyond that, the bulk of the book vacillates between tedious and too much information. She has been very outspoken about her struggles with endometriosis, but there's a bit too much detail about how it effected her and Salman Rushdie's sex life that was a bit much. The most disappointing aspect of the book is that even in her own words she comes of as quite unlikable. Shea writes about some of the staff on Top Chef with palpable disdain (I wonder how this book was received by her co-workers and hair/make up people, since she still works on the show). Then there is her almost boastful and bragging tale of sleeping with two billionaires (neither knowing about the other),becoming pregnant, not knowing who the father is, and the enduring paternity test drama. I'm no puritan, and it's not the sleeping around that is appalling, but the way in which she treated the two men after the child was born. I wish I hadn't read this book. If you're a fan of Padma,I would say skip it. If you enjoy stuff like Kim Kardashian's self-indulgence, you *might* like this book.
Date published: 2017-11-15

Editorial Reviews

“There is more to the memoir than Lakshmi’s turbulent personal life. She also writes lovingly of her mother and extended maternal family in India.”