‘Top Chef’ host Padma Lakshmi working on picture book

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Padma Lakshmi

FILE – In this Sept. 22, 2019 file photo, Padma Lakshmi arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The “Top Chef” host and best-selling author is working on her first picture book, “Tomatoes for Neela.” Viking Children’s Books announced Tuesday that the book is scheduled for fall 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Padma Lakshmi’s next book is designed for the children’s table.

The “Top Chef” host and best-selling author is working on her first picture book, “Tomatoes for Neela.” Viking Children’s Books announced Tuesday that the book is scheduled for fall 2021. According to the publisher, “Tomatoes for Neela” is an intergenerational story about a little girl who likes to cook and helps prepare her family’s savory tomato sauce.

“Cooking and the passing down of food knowledge is one of the most enriching ways I bonded with the women in my family,” said Lakshmi said in a statement. “And it’s how I bond today with my daughter, passing down skills and advice that I hope will give her a lifetime of healthy eating long after I am gone.”

The book is a collaboration with prize-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal, and will include a recipe by Lakshmi, whose previous works include “Easy Exotic” and “Love, Loss and What We Ate.”

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