Hosting Black Book: Eeshaan Kashyap

Eeshaan Kashyap is no stranger to the Le Mill fam. Every year as the festivities amp up, Eeshaan brings his infectious energy and magnetic charm into our midst. The founder of Tablescape knows how to throw a party–call it a job hazard if you may! From reimagining objects and their presence in our lives to his innate understanding of materiality, Eeshaan’s mind works unlike any other. As a part of our ongoing series on how to throw seriously cool parties, we spoke to the maverick on his guide to making an evening worth remembering.

How do you plan a party? What is the thought process like?

I love planning and hosting. I love cooking and my parties are always centred around the table. I usually start planning by putting a guest list together. My thought process is always to have fun on the table and the right mix of people is always charming. I make it a point to always shuffle my guests and make them meet new people.

What do you do when you have a Sophie’s Choice level of struggle between picking themes?

I go with what feels right. Gone are the days of picture-perfect table set up or an editorial magazine cover. I love colour and prefer living in it. I usually pick a colour and work around building my table. I usually dress my table with a tablecloth or piece of interesting textile. The idea of pattern play with the materiality of the tableware adds a level of layering. It’s intriguing, fascinating and always the best part on the table, a great conversation starter.

What are some surprise elements you love to bring to the table?

I love, love the idea of bringing the baking tray hot from the oven. Whether it’s a Dutch pancake, cheese souffle or even hot spicy tiger prawns – I like the idea of eating together from one tray where everyone eats together and is such a delight. I even like doing chilled ice cream trays where we mix different ice creams and dress them together with condiments and confetti. Pure Joy!

What makes your parties unforgettable basis the feedback you have received?

The menu is always the highlight. I try and use brave flavour combinations. The last dinner party was epic where I made burrata ravioli in a miso, curry leaf sauce. The umami punch with the sharp curry leaf was unbeatable and unforgettable. I always have one special cocktail in all my parties. Sometimes, it’s a punch or a seasonal gin infusion. It works best for a larger gathering.

What is the secret ingredient in your parties?

I love the idea of using flavoured butters. They instantly transform the dish and one keeps thinking. I recently did togarashi butter on mushroom bread. It was confusing but addictive. Familiar yet close. I love the versatility of butter.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when entertaining guests?

It’s your party too!! Stop working in your own party. Prepare pre-plated large dishes that you have to just heat and not cook from scratch. Make cocktail punch or pitchers. Keep it simple and stock your bar with infusions, garnishes and mixers. Keep lots of condiments for people to choose, pick and pair themselves. Do larger baked or frozen desserts. They are easy and totally Instagramable.

Your secret to being a super host?

Cooking! I love people who love to eat. It’s pure joy for me to cook.