Padma Lakshmi is on a journey to redefine the idea of American food.
The Top Chef hostis venturing out of the competitive kitchen and bringing viewers on a culinary journey across the United States in her new Hulu original travel series Taste theNation. Premiering on June 19, the show does a deep dive into the diverse food cultures that make up the country today.
Throughout the ten-episode season, Lakshmi visits various regions and communities in U.S., from indigenous groups to recent immigrants who now call America home. "The gateway to another culture often happens first through food," Lakshmi says in the trailer released exclusively to PEOPLE.
The award-winning cookbook author expands her palate, tasting favorite meals and trying new dishes. "This is my first rodent," Lakshmi says to one of her guests, before declaring that it "tastes like chicken."
Each episode explores the roots of various cultures and showcases the connections between their history and food to ultimately challenge what it means to be American. "Everything that the American cuisine is today is because all these different people and cultures contributed to it," says Lakshmi.
As host and executive producer, Lakshmi considers this series her passion project. "This is what American food looks like. This is the original. This is the real America," she says.
Watch Taste the Nation on Hulu starting June 19, a day after the Top Chef Season 17 finale airing June 18 on Bravo at 10 pm E.T.