How to Make Padma Lakshmi’s Luxe Kettle Chip Snack on a Budget

On a recent “Last Meals” episode of Mythical Kitchen (watch it below), Mythical Chef Josh was joined by actress, model, executive producer, Top Chef and Taste the Nation host, and self-proclaimed bed picnic-er, Padma Lakshmi. While she admitted, “I think food is better when it gets messy” and chose a nacho fountain as part of her last meal, another dish of hers caught our eye. Padma Lakshmi’s luxurious kettle chip snack is as beautiful as it is mouthwatering… and expensive. But no need to fret! In addition to making sure that you buy the best brands for each of the four ingredients—kettle chips, sour cream, caviar, and chives—we’ve provided low-cost alternatives to the best of our ability (hey, we’re talking caviar here!).

The Kettle Chips

The Kettle Chips

Cape Cod 40% Less Fat Kettle Cooked Original Potato Chips

Padma specified that the chips in her snack are kettle chips, and it’s important to know why. These chips aren’t just chips. They’re little boats of love that are about to hold a dollop of wet sour cream and some very expensive caviar. They need to remain crunchier than your average potato chip, not go soggy like a Lay’s chip that spent two seconds in your mouth. Because sour cream is fatty and the caviar really needs to shine, it’s also important to go with a plain, reduced-fat chip. And trust me, with Cape Cod’s reduced-fat chips, you’re not settling. They were the highest ranking kettle chips in our plain chip taste test. Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo called them “crispy and light, yet still kettle-style crunchy.” He also noted that they’re well-balanced, so they won’t take away from the other ingredients in our snack.

Related: What Are Kettle Chips?

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

The Sour Cream

Knudsen Hampshire Sour Cream

On top of your perfect little kettle chip boat, you’re going to add a dollop of sour cream. The goal here is to fill the kettle chip, but not flood it. You’re going to want a thick sour cream that can hold its shape, but not one with an overwhelmingly tangy flavor. That’s where Knudsen comes in. When Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling tried a spoonful, she thought that it tasted luxurious and would go well “on a potato chip with some caviar.”

Related: What Is Sour Cream, Actually?

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

The Caviar

Whatever You Can Afford

Let’s talk caviar. We haven’t taste tested caviar brands because—as is probably the case for the average person—it’s out of our budget. If it’s not out of yours, you probably know what to buy. But if you have money and don’t know what to buy, I’ll nudge you towards the good stuff. The best of the best is beluga caviar, but because beluga sturgeon are critically endangered, importing their roe is banned from most Caspian-bordering countries. I say most because Iran, which has conservation efforts in place, is allowed to export theirs. If you don’t have an Iranian buddy to hook you up, you can go for Osetra, which comes from the Osetra sturgeon, a fish native to the Caspian Sea.  In the “Last Meals” episode, Mythical Chef Josh used Osetra and Golden Osetra (a rarer form of Osetra). California Caviar specializes in sustainably sourced caviar, including Osetra. If all this fancy talk is boring you and your wallet is crying, trout roe is a cheaper alternative. But you can also opt for an even cheaper option: salmon roe. I would like it on record, though, that I think salmon roe and trout roe defeat the whole purpose of this snack. My Iranian boyfriend and every caviar-loving person I know (i.e. his family) would be very disappointed in me suggesting these larger roes as alternatives to real caviar. I get that you gotta do what you gotta do with what you got, though!

Credit: Liv Averett / iStock

The Chives


A little sprinkle of chives completes this snack. You can get chives at any grocery store. But if you really want to be fancy, grow your own chives. Just don’t be alarmed when they start sprouting big purple flowers because yes, that happens. And it is sort of scary.

Credit: Liv Averett / iStock

About the Author

Navya Hari

Navya Hari is a writer, baker, and utter nuisance who would gladly take the salt out of every recipe and replace it with ten cloves of garlic. When she’s not whipping up some medieval pie, trying to create food from a video game, or covered in flour, you can probably find her asleep in bed dreaming about Indian mangoes.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *