Padma Lakshmi Shares Her Favorite Outdoor Dining Must-Haves From Small Makers
Whether you're hosting a small potluck dinner, a block-wide barbecue, or something in-between, enjoying a meal together feels like the perfect way to celebrate after months of being apart. It's a leap toward normalcy, a moment to rebuild and nourish our communities. And when acclaimed author and Emmy-nominated TV host Padma Lakshmi brings people together, she focuses on creating a warm, welcoming environment.
"It's summer and people are excited to be entertaining again," Lakshmi told Food & Wine. "I think people feel comfortable when you are relaxed about your decor and entertaining styles. I always try to make it approachable."
Rather than fussy tablescapes or following design trends to a T, Lakshmi prefers to show her personality through a mixture of vintage pieces and one-of-a-kind finds from her travels. That's why she recently teamed up with Etsy, the online retailer focused on unique handmade goods, to share her favorite hosting and cooking must-haves.
"I'm super excited about this collaboration," she said. "It's a way to get products that aren't in every store in every city. There's an element of discovery that can be hard to find these days."
From rustic ceramic dinnerware and handcrafted serving spoons to comfortable seating and enchanting lighting, Lakshmi's hand-picked list is an excellent place to find inspiration for outdoor gatherings. Her selections come from a wide range of small makers, including minority- and women-owned businesses, and many items are customizable.
"I want to know where my things are made and who brought them to me and who's profiting. I like the idea that I'm helping people with my patronage."
Likewise, Lakshmi has been putting thought into the sourcing and seasonality of food for her upcoming children's book, Tomatoes For Neela. So it's no surprise that she's highlighted gardening upgrades for home-grown produce in her Etsy collaboration, too.
We combed through Lakshmi's entire collection and picked out a dozen of our favorites. Scroll down to check them out, and head here to see all of Lakshmi's picks.
Linen Pot Holder Set
To buy: $37 at etsy.com
11-Inch Ceramic Serving Bowl
To buy: $174 at etsy.com
Two Tone Wood Tray
To buy: $28 (originally $35) at etsy.com
Rustic Stoneware Pitcher
To buy: $156 at etsy.com
6-Piece Small Glass Bowl Set
To buy: $62 at etsy.com
4-Piece Ceramic Plate Set
To buy: $128 at etsy.com
African Print Cotton Apron
To buy: $36 (originally $48) at etsy.com
Moonstruck Cloth Napkin Set
To buy: $25 at etsy.com
Self-Watering Large Planter
To buy: $64 at etsy.com
Copper Plant Labels
To buy: $13 at etsy.com
Bohemian Ceramic Footed Planter
To buy: $26 at etsy.com
Cotton Picnic Blanket
To buy: $54 (originally $64) at etsy.com