Things are heating up for Top Chef's host, Padma Lakshmi, 40.

The beautiful kitchen connoisseur is facing a custody battle with ex Adam Dell, 41, a venture capitalist and brother of the founder of Dell Inc., reports The New York Post's Page Six column. The dispute concerns the couple's baby from their previous relationship, 11-month-old Krishna.

A source tells the paper that Dell "has to fit into [Lakshmi's] schedule" in order to get the seven hours a week he's allowed to see Krishna under the current agreement. This month he had to fly to the Bahamas to spend a few hours with his daughter, and he must always go through Lakshmi's lawyers to arrange meeting times.

Dell's lawyer, Bill Zabel, released a statement specifying that Dell "wants to have an active and substantial role in the upbringing of his daughter with Padma Lakshmi. Unfortunately, Ms. Lakshmi has severely limited his time with their daughter and has refused to negotiate a reasonable co-parenting agreement. Mr. Dell has tried his best to avoid going to court, but Ms. Lakshmi has given him no other choice at this time." In addition to more reasonable meeting times, Dell wants to be listed on the child's birth certificate as her biological father.

But Lakshmi isn't having it. A rep for the television personality and ex-wife of Salman Rushdie said, "It appears to us that Mr. Dell remains more interested in garnering media attention than working out details to see Krishna or in her welfare."

Dell's timing is good, as the couple's current custody agreement is set to expire in February when Krishna turns one year old. "Adam does not want to take the baby from her," a source for Dell told Page Six. "He hopes this will result in a reasonable co-parenting agreement." —KIMBERLY STEELE

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