The Vibe Of A Dinner Party All Comes Down To The Host, According To Padma Lakshmi

Want to host an incredible dinner party? Check yourself. According to culinary star Padma Lakshmi, the atmosphere of an event largely rests in the hands of the person hosting the affair. Though organizing a flawless dinner party carries a fair amount of work to plan and prepare not only a delicious menu but also a seating arrangement that encourages conversation, the stress of the event should not come through. 

While Lakshmi admitted to Food & Wine that the attendees present will dictate the atmosphere of the event, the host's approach to the evening — whether it be anxious or calm — can change the night entirely. She encourages hosts to focus on the moment at hand and create space to connect with those present. "The basic principle of entertaining is to just make your guests feel really good and happy to be there," she explained.

A relaxed approach to hosting

The goal is to make your guests feel welcomed into your home while savoring the time to converse in a relaxed environment. "I think when you entertain at home, you get to know a person in a different, more informal, intimate way," she suggested to Food & Wine.

It can be helpful to have a lively aroma wafting through your home as guests enter to establish a calm, warm space. Use flowers, burn incense, light candles, or use a microplane to add citrus zest to dishes. Finally, Lakshmi encourages hosts to cook dinner party recipes in advance and not shy away from menu items that can be served chilled or at home temperature. To Kitchn, Lakshmi suggests that first-time hosts find recipes that can be served after a few last-minute touches are added so that any heavy lifting in the kitchen is eliminated long before the earliest guest arrives. Your advanced planning will result in a lighter load the day of the event so you can be free to mingle and pour drinks with ease — and much less stress.