Top Chef has had its fair share of celebrity guest judges over the course of its 15-season run, but for host Padma Lakshmi, there’s one famous face that has yet to make an appearance on Bravo’s culinary competition.
“I’m friends with Aziz Ansari and I would really like to have him on the show because of how much of a food freak he is,” she told Us Weekly. “He basically designed a whole season of [Masters of None] and everything just so he could eat better.”
While Ansari, 35, won’t be appearing on Top Chef’s upcoming 16th season, which premieres on Thursday, December 6, the guest judges popping up this year include celebrity chefs Eric Ripert and Emeril Lagasse and Ansari’s Master of None costar, Lena Waithe.
However, Lakshmi, — who recently partnered with Kellogg’s and will host a cereal-centric baking competition on December 12 that will crown the next “must-make” holiday dessert — tells Us that fame isn’t necessarily the sign of a worthy celebrity judge and some less than ideal stars have appeared on Top Chef. “I think at the time we had those people on the show, we had a great argument for having them on the show or we did not know what was to come out or come to light about their behavior,” she explained when asked about guests she’s regretted having on the reality TV staple.
Though the 48-year-old clarified she wasn’t “necessarily talking about Logan Paul,” who appeared in an episode of Top Chef that aired in December 2017, about one month before YouTube star Paul filmed himself and his crew stumbling upon an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s so-called “suicide forest”, she acknowledged he does fall into that category.
“Without naming any specific names, I stand by the decisions that the show has made at the time they were made,” Lakshmi said. “When things have come to light and it was in our control to prevent that person from being seen on screen, we have done it.”
Top Chef season 16 premieres on Bravo Thursday, December 6, at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Marc Lupo
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