Colicchio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Officials at NBCUniversal and Magical Elves, the “Top Chef” production company, paid tribute to Lakshmi in statements indicating that they plan to continue with the programme. “We will miss her at the judges table and as an executive producer, but we will forever be grateful for her unwavering dedication to connecting with chefs and Bravo viewers alike,” Casey Creeley and Joe Sharon, co-CEOs of Magical Elves, said in a statement.
Lakshmi, 52, an Indian-born model, author, and activist, has been lauded for bringing levity and humor to the reality show, becoming the undeniable face of the franchise.
Last month, Lakshmi’s other TV show, “Taste the Nation,” aired its second season, on Hulu. On it, she travels to the United States, exploring what it means to cook and eat in America.
Also last month, she appeared on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, disguised as a gold coin bikini. “This is me,” she wrote, along with a video from her photoshoot. Posted on Instagram. “I’m not going back to my twenties if you pay me all the money in the world.”
Her first cookbook, Easy Exotic, was published in 1999. She has since released several others, including Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet; a memoir, “Love, Loss, and What We Ate”; Reference guide called “The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs”. and a children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela.
Brett Anderson Contribute to the preparation of reports.