Aishwarya Nair has always had a keen eye for design and interest in food from an early age. She studied hotel and restaurant management in New York before moving back to Bombay where she manages corporate food and wine merchandising for The Leela Group. Her passion for F&B and entertaining extends beyond her professional life to her personal life as well. She has launched a health food brand concept called AMAI and has worked with brands like Lufthansa to help with menu creation. With the festive season around the corner, we caught up with Aishwarya between her travels and asked her about how she likes to entertain.
Since my husband and I come from a South Indian heritage we love entertaining at home with a Kerala food theme. Making tapas style versions of our favorite foods makes for easier snacking at a party at home.
Kerela Food Theme
Being in the festive Diwali mood - tea lights, candles, and soft ambient lighting is the way to go to have the perfect feel for a celebratory evening.
I like sticking to more minimal, traditional elements to highlight my home. Flowers, big palm leaves when arranged well make for a more dramatic room. If I am having a more traditional meal at home versus drinks I like using Mogra flowers to add the element of scent in our living space.
Traditional way of welcoming
Flow of the night
Trusting that people are always late it is always advised to have time slotted for drinks and light snacks before planning the time of the sit-down dinner.
If you are introducing new people to a group at dinner for their comfort it is always easy to seat them together. A helpful tip as the host try and sit in the middle of the table so that you are able to assist in making sure both sides of the table are taken care of.
We are a Campari and spritz kind of family but from our observations, vodka and whiskey are the drinks most people gravitate toward. Starting the night with a dry, non-vintage champagne like Perrier Jouet always sets the perfect spirit (pun intended) for the evening!
Depending on the audience, keep the party music for more of an after-dinner fiesta. A good tip in the beginning of the evening is to start with jazz or other instrumental music which lets people chat and catch up.Post dinner, however, move to a more upbeat tempo if you plan to continue the party!
For many such amazing ideas this festive season, download the Discern Living App (available now on the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store)!