Padma Lakshmi brings her endless curiosity to Taste the Nation Season 2, interview

Taste the Nation Season 2 with Padma Lakshmi, photo provided by Hulu
Taste the Nation Season 2 with Padma Lakshmi, photo provided by Hulu /

As Taste the Nation Season 2 debuts on Hulu, Padma Lakshmi joins people’s tables for a discussion on food and culture. While there can be moments where the flavors take center stage, it is the people’s stories that make this food television show engaging. In a world full of diversity, food can be that bridge which connects people.

In Taste the Nation Season 2, Padma visits both well known cities and some less discovered locales. Each stop highlights a particular culture. While she might push her spice levels with Nigerian food or discover the robust flavors of borscht, the food sets the table for flavorful stories showing how communities are the foundation of the American spirit.

Here is the trailer for Taste the Nation Season 2.

Ahead of the May 5 premiere, Padma Lakshmi spoke to FoodSided regarding Taste the Nation Season 2. When asked about the vast, robust American culture in some cities that might not be on people’s radar, Padma shared the following.

“I am endlessly curious about every kind of community in every corner of the country and the world. I think that those unexpected communities haven’t had the mainstream exposure that a lot of other cultures have had. Taste the Nation is about giving my platform to people and communities who aren’t used to seeing themselves in mainstream media.”

Speaking to her own person experience, Padma said, “I grew up as an immigrant and I didn’t see myself in a lot of magazines or TV or film.” That appreciation is what drives her to tell these stories.

She continued to explain, “I’m also endlessly curious about food from around the world, and I think what’s cool about America is that you can really travel the world with your fork by just going around our country. It’s exciting, you know. It is a food show, but food is just the excuse to get to know the people and their back story and their heritage. Because America is so rich with different micro cultures and subcultures in it, and I think that’s very interesting. To me, and I hope it’s interesting to others.”

As viewers devour the Taste the Nation Season 2, the viewing satisfaction comes not just from the diversity of dishes on the table. It is about being able to hear and appreciate these people’s stories. But, without that food as the foundation, people might miss part of themselves.

Padma said, “people sometimes don’t want to talk about politics or religion, but they’ll talk about their grandma’s apple pie. It is a good terrain to break the ice, and it’s a wonderful way to get to know someone. You tell me what a person eats and I’ll tell you who they are. You can tell a lot about a community by what it eats and how it eats together. It is the icebreaker. I’m hugely indebted to all of our participants because they open up to me, they get really deep, they’re vulnerable and raw. I’m going into their homes, learning about them, but at the same time I really rely on their generosity of spirit. The show would not be possible if it wasn’t for all of the people across this country who were willing to lay themselves bare.”

That connection is apparent in each episode. It is not a vanity piece for the celebrated cookbook author. Padma is there to tell the stories of others with a sense of generosity of spirit.

As people watch Taste the Nation Season 2, it is time to dig a little deeper, ask the difficult question, and enjoy the journey. Food is and will always be sustenance, but the story behind the ingredients on the plate fulfills in a profound way. In a world focused on differences, it is time to find the harmony that can extend beyond the table.

Taste the Nation Season 2 with Padma Lakshmi can be streamed on Hulu.