'Top Chef' host Padma Lakshmi says she's 'like a truck driver' stuck in a model's body

Claudine Zap
Yahoo! TV

Stop the presses. Padma Lakshmi, the stunning host of "Top Chef," says she's "like a truck driver" stuck in a model's body. Just your run-of-the mill, gorgeous truck driver. Got that, guys?

In an interview with Playboy magazine, the reality star explains how she looks high-maintenance but really isn't, saying, "A lot of men get frustrated with me, actually, because I am like a guy. Honestly, I'm like a truck driver trapped in this body. I don't want to be your best friend. I don't expect you to give me a birthday card or send me flowers. I don't need fancy trips. You could take me across the street."

The 42-year-old added, "Don't get me wrong. That stuff's nice, but I am a physical and sensual person. I love to be held. I love massages. I'm just not a Hallmark kind of gal."

[Related: 'Top Chef' Judges Hugh Acheson and Gail Simmons Talk Wolfgang Puck and Eggs]

She is the kind of gal who puts on weight when she eats the super-rich fare presented for the challenges. She admitted to packing on the pounds during the series, which requires her to taste everything.

The Indian-born model explained that she has learned a trick or two from her modeling-career days about what to wear on camera.

"Having been a model for 15 years, I…know a thing or two about how to dress if I've put on a few pounds," she says. "And I usually gain between 10 and 15 pounds over six weeks each season. Then I spend 12 weeks working it off."

[Related: Check Out a Recap of Last Night's 'Top Chef']

Divorced from literary star Salman Rushdie, the mother of 2-year-old Krishna has been in the press bemoaning the hard work of being a single parent. But she's also been involved in a bitter custody dispute with the biological father of her baby, Adam Dell, whose involvement in parenting she has sought to minimize.

According to the Daily Mail, Lakshmi's "late boyfriend billionaire Teddy Forstmann also set up a trust fund for Krishna before his death." The two had been dating for several years, including when she gave birth.

Meanwhile, Lakshmi stays focused on the food. While the cookbook author says the show has not improved her cooking, her palate is spot-on. Lakshmi notes, "I have an incredibly sensitive palate, which is why I can do what I do. If you saw me chop an onion, you would be highly unimpressed. But if I taste a dish, I can usually replicate the ingredients. And if I kissed you, I could probably tell what you had for lunch."

Padma tells Jimmy Fallon about the new season of "Top Chef" in this "Late Night" clip: