Padma Lakshmi is queen when it comes to all things food, entertaining, and now, the style you’re doing it all in. With The Padma Collection, Lakshmi’s been cooking up tableware perfect for your next dinner party. What’s more, the Blue Optic Drinkware from the collection is making its debut on Gilt today at noon. It’s a perfect way to usher in spring, as is Lakshmi herself – I mean, who better than to represent the first day of a long-awaited season? Yeah, that’s what we thought – Lakshmi told winter to pack its knives and go. Here, she talks advice to young chefs, lazy weekend regimens and foods that make you glow…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Breakfast: Green tea with honey, or our French Breakfast tea with milk and honey. One poached egg on a crunchy piece of rye sourdough toast with lots of hot sauce and a grapefruit.
Lunch: A big juicy bowl of noodles and shrimp with lots of veggies.
4:30pm Tea Time: Another cup of our French Breakfast tea with milk and honey. Sliced manchego cheese on toast with red jalapeno jam
Dinner: If I stay in, probably home-cooked Indian or Asian food. If I go out, it could be anything from Uncle Boon’s to Marea to Talde, or Le Bernadin or Jean Georges if I’m feeling fancy. But I don’t normally eat like that very often. I love Il Buco and Indochine too.
How do you always start your day?
I’m usually up by 7am on weekdays, as I have to wake up my daughter Krishna for school. This is a process so sometimes we don’t get down to breakfast until 7:30! But the weekends are lazy and dreamy and we just wake up whenever we want! I usually go to the gym or boxing after she goes to school and then start my business day after that.
Could you give us your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I have no beauty routines. I’m lucky if I manage to wash my makeup off at night! I get facials every six weeks from Christine Chin and I splurge on Tracie Martyn too around Emmy time. I drink a copious amount of water and I think this helps my skin immensely. I always use moisturizer as soon as I come out of the bath and this too helps a lot. Other than that, I don’t have many beauty routines. I do get regular massages as my back flares up from all the boxing!
In terms of health/diet, how do you practice beauty from the inside out?
The best thing you can do for your appearance is to eat well. Your skin needs nutrients to glow and be healthy. A variety of fruits and vegetables as well as other foods in many colors give you the vitamins you need, and lots of water helps too. People think being as thin as possible is all that matters, but that is totally wrong. Being well nourished, hydrated and rested is what makes you healthy and attractive.
How would you define your personal entertaining style?
I like my home to feel approachable and warm. I like an elegant table but don’t want it to be stuffy or intimidating. Flowers and candles are big go-to’s for me. I also like an eclectic mix of different servers and dishes. I keep it pretty simple but not predictable.
What do you always put out at a dinner party?
What do you always bring to one as a guest?
What’s the ultimate dinner party faux pas?
When people bring along a guest without asking or letting you know in advance. Being late is also rude.
Could you tell us a bit about your new tableware line? What are some of your favorites from the collection?
I wanted to do pieces that were classic and versatile but not boring. I like pops of color and glass, as it lets the light through and adds sparkle. We have Turkish glass platters, which feel very Eastern but go beautifully with a myriad of decor styles. I also love the stemware in the new smoky blue. The bowls are also deeper for pasta and to keep soup warm longer. These pieces are meant for everyday as well as special occasions.
What about the drinkware collection? Why the color blue?
I wanted a more masculine color to add to the collection. Blue, but not a traditional nautical blue, something more moody and mysterious. I think of our blue as closer to periwinkle; it has a touch of grey. For spring, it’s nice to have an elegantly subdued color like that mixed in with all the bright flowers and pastels people usually associate with the season. The color travels well into summer entertaining too, and is the same tone as blue hydrangea. I think the new blue is an excellent accent for traditional whites and silver, and also pairs beautifully with wood, bowls etc.