Homemade Podcast Episode 55: Reclaiming Your Roots With Padma Lakshmi and Uzo Orimalade

It's time to let go of perfectionism and the pressure to make Mom's dish just like she would.

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Padma Lakshmi and Uzo Orimalade on background with tomatoes and jollof rice
Photo: Allrecipes Illustration

Recreating a recipe from your heritage or someone else's can intimidate even the most experienced home cooks. So, we've enlisted two guests who have embraced their roots in the kitchen and inspired others to do the same. This week, Homemade host and food writer Sabrina Medora welcomes Nigerian chef and Allrecipes Allstar Uzo Orimalade and Top Chef and Taste the Nation host Padma Lakshmi to the podcast.

First, Uzo tells Sabrina how food helped satiate her homesickness during her university years in England, and introduced her to international cuisines. She shares her advice for cooking food from another culture at home, and how it opens the door to learning about and understanding others.

Then, Padma explains how she's handing down Indian culture to her daughter, Krishna, through food and other customs, and how this inspired her new children's book, Tomatoes For Neela. She and Sabrina discuss how recipes connect us with our relatives when we're not together and how we can find our own family recipes if we don't have any. She also dishes on getting kids to eat well and her go-to, 30-minute weeknight dinner.

Listen to this episode of Homemade on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PlayerFM, and everywhere podcasts are available beginning Sept. 22.

Tomatoes for Neela

Tomatoes for Neela book cover featuring illustration of Indian mother and daughter

About Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi wearing long sleeve black top sitting
Inez Vinoodh

Born in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Padma Lakshmi moved to the United States at four years old. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and studied theater and literature at Clark University in Massachusetts. A modeling agent discovered her during an exchange program in Madrid, Spain, and her career kicked off soon after. Padma went on to host Bravo's Top Chef, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and Hulu's Taste the Nation. She contributed to The View from 2015 to 2016. She's also acted in films and TV series. In addition, she's the author of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir; Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day; The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World; and Tomatoes For Neela.

About Uzo Orimalade

Uzo Orimalade wearing green in the kitchen
Courtesy of Uzo Orimalade

Nigerian native Uzo Orimalade earned a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Buckingham and an MBA from Emory University and worked as an investment banker before leaving her corporate career for one in food. She founded Cupcake Couture, serving as head baker, and Uzo's Food Labs, a consulting firm for the hospitality industry. She went on to earn an advanced diploma from the Institute of Hospitality in the UK.

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