Once again, we begin by pointing out that we have exercised a great deal of decorum and restraint by not using the photograph of Padma Lakshmi naked and slathered in war paint.
However, as our legion of faithful readers (all three of them) knows, the restraint ends there.
Though we have a great deal of fun roasting her, we have become increasingly fond of Padma as hostess of this season of "Top Chef." Lawd knows she's an endless source of material; we haven't needed a scratching post for weeks now. But we especially love her when we don't have to do anything at all, when, like a self-basting turkey, she does all the work of roasting for us.
Take this Sunday's article in entertainment bible Variety devoted to fashion models turned entrepreneurs. (Inflation being what it is, it elevates Padma to "supermodel." Puh-leeze. Perhaps, since the article is also about Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks, they didn't want to make Padma feel bad, but really, if you ask us, neither Heidi nor Tyra counts as a supermodel either; that era died long ago, when George Michael had a career, and wearing a push-up bra and a pair of angel wings doesn't turn you into a supermodel.)
At any rate, the article is chock-full of quotes and observations so delicious, so orotundly vapid and pompous, that all we have to do is plate them, add a sprig of parsley, and present them for your delectation. This, we hereby do.
"She says she also picked up pointers from [Tyra] Banks when they worked together in Europe ('She taught me how to shade in my nose')...." Isn't it lovely to see that even back then, brush and powder in hand, Tyra was prepping for her role as mentor to America's Next Top Chef Hostess to Replace Another Vapid Child Bride of Paunchy Older Rich Guy?
"[Models] seek control when they get out of modeling. Martha Stewart started out as a model." Yes, we seem to remember her modeling a prison-knit poncho from the Camp Cupcake Collection.
"The self-described 'egghead'... writes a syndicated New York Times column on food...." Egghead? Really? No doubt that's what drew Salman Rushdie to her. Oh, and when you look at the New York Times website, there is no mention whatsoever of Padma writing any columns. The Gray Lady tends to make Padma the subject of columns, rather than the author, such as the delicious takedown by Guy Trebay where he portrayed her as a limelight-seeking hustler.
"[S]he's not quite as ingratiating on camera as [Heidi] Klum and [Tyra] Banks.... But there's also a lack of frivolity about Lakshmi that is less populist and more serious-minded. When asked why she doesn't write about fashion or develop her own line, she cites an 'an academic interest in the subject but there's only so long you can go on about "buy this shoe or that purse,"' says Lakshmi. 'I'd like my contribution to the world to be more profound.'" It's statements like that one which make us want to bring out the naked war paint picture of the "less populist" People's Princess.
"Says [Bravo president Lauren] Zalaznick of Bravo's newly minted star: 'Padma is a deep thinker. She brings a more opinioned world view to "Top Chef" and to everything she does. People are drawn to her. The fact that she's incredibly striking looking doesn't hurt either.'" Ok, that's it; we're definitely bringing out the naked war paint pic.