(LOS ANGELES) — Padma Lakshmi is branching out with her new Hulu food and travel program Taste the Nation, debuting on Thursday.  It features the Top Chef host hitting the road to visit and cook with chefs in immigrant communities across the U.S.A.

Lakshmi tells ABC Audio that one of the main things on which the series will focus is how our food tastes better because it comes from all over the world.

“All these immigrant enclaves and the people who live there are what make this country cool,” she says. “They are what make our culture rich.  And they make they make our food more delicious and variable, diverse.”

“Filipinos, Peruvians, Thai people, everybody has contributed to to this country, and we often don’t hear those stories,” adds the 49-year-old Chennai, India native.  “I’m tired of hearing the same stories told by the same people.”

“I just thought it was time to hear the stories behind all the ethnic foods that Americans love to eat,” she continues.  “And I wanted the people making that food to tell us those stories themselves rather than having others translate for them that always get the spotlight.”

Lakshmi also felt there was something else missing from these kinds of shows: women.

“A lot of these food shows that travel to different destinations are usually done by men — Tony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, Marcus Samuelsson, Guy Fieri, on and on and on.  And so I wanted to bring my own point of view to the genre,” she explains.

We’ll also see the author/activist in a more real, unpolished way than on Top Chef.

“I have a potty mouth.  You know, I’ve been protected by the good editors at Top Chef for 14 years now,” she says with a laugh.  

By George Costantino and Jason NathansonCopyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.