Padma Lakshmi’s tips on cooking, entertaining and entertaining guests
Inviting guests into your home is definitely a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be stressful! Each hostess (beginner or professional) has the task of making sure that your guests feel welcome and leave your home satisfied, from the nice conversations and of course the delicious food. at house beautifulwe love learning more practical hosting tips and tricks—and there’s no better expert on the art of being a gracious host than award-winning top chef Presenter and author Padma Lakshmi. And her main advice? It’s not worth stressing about. “When the host is relaxed, your guests are guaranteed to have a great time,” says Lakshmi.
As the Host in Residence of Maison Boursin, Lakshmi invited us to her premises to learn how to create a memorable dinner at your home, whatever the occasion. She also taught us the magic of cooking upscale Maison Boursin-inspired dishes (Boursin e Pepe is coming!). Read on below for tips you’ll be sure to use for your next dinner party!
1. Cook smarter, not harder
“Whether brunch or dinner, choose a menu 70% You can prepare your meal the day before,” advises Lakshmi. If you usually find yourself jumping into the kitchen from your seat at the table, this saves you the stress of feeling like you’re at a cooking competition night with the guests you’ve invited to share the night with you!
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Plan your menu to create a delicious meal that shows effort without breaking a sweat in front of your guests. Make the sauce for a pasta the day before and have the pasta ready when your guests arrive! It’s also great to have a charcuterie ready with a mix of savory and sweet, spicy and salty with lots of texture. Lakshmi suggests keeping nuts, canned goods, and chutneys on hand to spice things up.
2. Get your guests involved
Help your guests feel part of the meal by taking on tasks that aren’t much of a encouragement but are important enough to make their contribution have an impact. “I don’t like stiff parties So Perfect. It makes your guests feel like they need to be stiff and tidy. Nobody wants to be at this party,” says Lakshmi.
When someone asks, “What should I bring?” Pick them up, urges Lakshmi. Allow your guests to fill in the blanks on the dishes or dishes you aren’t interested in. You can ask your friends to help you prepare a salad, guacamole or even a drink when they come over. Assign a task for friends who don’t know each other that will facilitate conversation. You will find something in common!
Love tips from taste makers? We also. Let’s obsess over them together.
3. Cut your flowers
Everyone loves a centerpiece, especially when it’s a stunning array of flowers. But you should be able to see your guests’ faces across the table! Decorating the table should encourage conversation, not discourage it. If your arrangement is too tall or interferes with connecting, trim off the stems. Scatter the flowers that escaped around the table for added drama. You can also add flair and depth by arranging candles at different heights.
“Sometimes a more organic, simple floral arrangement is most beautiful,” argues Lakshmi. “You don’t have to break your bank with flowers.” Bonus tip? If you have children at home, ask them to tear off the petals of roses or daisies so they feel part of the process. When guests come and praise your tablescape, you can point out your hostess for her attention-grabbing work.
4. Put your guests first
Whether it’s through their favorite food, furniture to accommodate their comfort, or awareness of flower allergies, thinking about your guests the way you plan will make the party run smoothly. “Let your guest list dictate your movements around your home,” says Lakshmi.
This tip even applies to anticipating when your guests will arrive! If you know your siblings are always late, wait a little longer before cooking the pasta. “Have snacks for the guests who are on time so they have enough to eat,” she continues. Keep your dimmer light low enough for intrigue and intimate conversation, and no one will notice the wait.
5. Always have a party trick
For Lakshmi, one of the highlights of dining is keeping her guests on their toes. The smartest way to do this is with scents! Lakshmi relies on this $12 Amazon kitchen accessory to get her family and friends thinking. “I’m obsessed with using a microplane. It creates such subtle flavors of either lemon zest or parmesan or nutmeg – it’s been life changing.”
The zest of a lime freshens up a salad and brings a citrus aroma to your home. You can also layer scents by choosing fragrant flowers. Next, burn incense sticks an hour before guests arrive and you’ve got a custom scent without lighting a candle.
Thanks to these helpful tips, your guests will take notes on their next visit. Finally you can enjoy your well thought out dinner plans in style and with ease.
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