“Top Chef” host, and judge, Padma Lakshmi is teaming up with comedian Samantha Bee to raise awareness for immigrant workers in the restaurant industry.

The two stars are a part of the “Thank You” campaign which Bee launched last week with a hilarious segment on her TBS show. Bee began the piece by heading to South Philadelphia to interview Cristina Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who has worked her way from dishwasher to restaurant owner. Martinez owns one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the area.

We watch as Martinez tells Bee that she left her her native Toluca, Mexico for a better life because of her abusive ex-husband. Martinez now works to advocate for undocumented workers in the restaurant industry as immigrants are involved in every aspect from farmers to busboys and bartenders.

Watch the full segment below:

Bee also met with Lakshmi in true “Top Chef” style, but, needless to say, Bee’s cooking didn’t impress the judge. Jokes aside, the “Top Chef” judge took the time to advocate for the immigrants, both documented and undocumented, who are vital to the hospitality industry in the United States.

“We all have a responsibility to reach down and pull up the people who really break their back for you, day in and day out,” Lakshmi said in her interview.

I talked with @fullfrontalsamb about the importance of immigrants in the restaurant industry & had her expertly prepared “jolly rancheux” 👩🏼‍🍳 #fullfrontal #weareallimmigrants #samanthabee #fbf

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on

Lakshmi and Bee also promoted their new “Thank You” T-shirts, the proceeds of which will go to groups that advocate for immigrant workers.


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