In increasingly busy lives and complex schedules of most nuclear families, having a large group of people over to share a meal is a rarity. To express gratitude to your loved ones, or just warm a house, hosting a gathering in a year is good practise. There’s more to it than ordering food and stocking a bar. We spoke to the hostess with the mostest, Roohi Jaikishan, whose legendary gatherings are the talk of town.
What are your ground rules when hosting a party?
My mother and grandmother were incredible hostesses who could manage a dinner or lunch for several people at a drop of a hat. I come from a big family and gatherings for meals have always been a vocal point of sharing, conversations and just being together. There is joy in conversations that are spontaneous. Dinner table conversations encourage that. I try to seat people who are not familiar with each other.
As the festive season approaches, how do you manage your schedule for both hosting and attending?
Honestly it’s a struggle with work my schedule and planning a party or dinner. It’s years of experience on how to organise and plan the menu and the bar. I have a good support team at home that is trained well enough.
What are common mistakes to avoid when having a group of people over?
You must create the environment that makes your guests feel comfortable and nurtured. If you're stressed, your guests are going to pick up on it— so when your friend shows up with Mr. Wonderful and you don't have the room or extra seat on the table put up a big smile and do your best.
Your secret to being a superhost?
Entertaining Rule Number One: Never let them see you stress. A light hearted banter with your guests to squeeze in and get cosy works . The sense of abundance of food but the sheer joy of sharing. There is purpose and a pure memory of the serveware, recipes that come from a legacy of recipes.