When Padma Lakshmi
takes you out to lunch, it's
order big or go home. Like, really big. Like, four lunches big. So, when we spent the day with the Top Chef host, cookbook author, and accessories designer, we ate our way through not one but four of her favorite NYC restaurants in NYC's Lower East Side
. Included on her must-try meal itinerary? A whirlwind global food tour, no passport necessary: We sampled spicy, spicy Chinese, some very authentic fried chicken, fresh Austrian Wiener schnitzel, and even some New Zealand pinot noir.
Of course, along the way, we got some Q-T with the culinary star herself, whose brand-new, first-ever jewelry collection for HSN, PL by Padma Lakshmi
, is available to buy today! And, not only did she dish on her affordable new baubles, the multi-tasking phenom also let us in on everything, from her stay-slim diet and workout secrets (hello, her job is to eat!) and tips for guaranteed glowing skin and makeup to what she looks for in a guy and, naturally, her signature dish. If you aren't hungry after clicking through, you're not human.
Photographed by Michael Flores