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Pratt Test Kitchen featuring Padma Lakshmi

Join bestselling author Padma Lakshmi, in conversation with J. Kenji López-Alt, for a virtual event celebrating the launch of her new children's picture book, Tomatoes for Neela. 

Registration required. Click here to register. Purchase a book from the Ivy Bookshop for Zoom access or watch for free on Facebook Live. Registration closes August 30th.

Registering for this event comes with a copy of Tomatoes for Neela from The Ivy Bookshop and Zoom access to the virtual event on 8/31. The event will also stream for free on Facebook Live.

ASL interpretation will be available for attendees.

At checkout, make sure to note if you would like to pickup your book at the Ivy, or if you would like to have it shipped (shipping addresses are required for all orders).

Tomatoes for Neela publishes on 8/31, the day of the event. Therefore, the Ivy Bookshop cannot guarantee that your copy will be available before the event. You will be notified when your book is available for pickup at the Ivy, or it has been shipped out to you.


Padma Lakshmi, bestselling author and host of Bravo's Top Chef and Hulu's Taste the Nation, and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal team up in this celebration of food and family.

Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati's famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.

Bestselling author and host of Bravo's Top Chef and Hulu's Taste the Nation Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family's treasured recipes. And Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures, as well as to our own, through food.


Padma Lakshmi is the creator and host of Hulu's Taste the Nation and host and executive producer of the Emmy-winning Bravo series Top Chef. She is the bestselling author of two cookbooks, the Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs, as well as her memoir Love, Loss, and What We Ate. Lakshmi is also cofounder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America, an artist ambassador for the ACLU, and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. She lives in New York City with her daughter. Her favorite kind of tomato is a San Marzano.


Juana Martinez-Neal is the Peruvian born daughter and granddaughter of painters. Her debut as an author-illustrator Alma and How She Got Her Name, was awarded a Caldecott Honor and was also published in a Spanish edition as Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre. Her second author-illustrator book, Zonia's Rain Forest and La selva de Zonia released in spring 2021. She has also illustrated numerous picture books including La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, for which she won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, and Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won The Robert F. Sibert Medal. Juana lives in Connecticut with her family. Visit her online at

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 7:00pm

Virtual Event

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