“Taste the Nation is really a political show masquerading as a food show,” Padma Lakshmi reveals of the Hulu series she both hosts and executive produces. “The food is just the Trojan horse, because that’s the language that people in the media and at home in America are used to me speaking.”
The longtime Top Chef judge made the comments during the Hulu series’ panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted virtual awards-season event.
Set to come back for a second season on the Disney-owned streamer, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi debuted in June 2020. A history lesson and cultural forensics exploration as much as a culinary roadshow, the 10-part docuseries traveled from the border town of El Paso and its delicious Mexican treats to South Carolina and the Gullah Geechee, Los Angeles for its Persian delights and Japanese cuisine in Honolulu along with many more stops in search of the true story of the American menu.
“I wanted to do a show to give people whom I have grown up with, whether they were Filipino, Mexican or whatever, the platform to speak for themselves,” the Emmy-nominated Lakshmi said of the motivation for the show.
“That’s really what Taste the Nation is about. It’s really not designed for people who think like me, it’s designed for people in Red states to hopefully teach them about the humanity of people that they may be afraid of because they don’t know them well, or are threatened by them because they don’t have a familiarity with them, even if they ordered take-out from them.”
Check out the panel video above.