Nupur Malhotra - September 24th, 2020

Freethinking with Freedom Tree - Styling Kyoto

A feast for the Senses

When entertaining, how you set the table is your first impression—it sets the tone of the meal and confesses the evening’s character to your guests. Do you use exotic linens and glassware from all around the world to reflect your worldly menu and general globetrotting sensibilities? Or do you use your grandmother’s plates to serve recipes you still keep in her recipe box?

We asked our maverick friends from all over the world to tell us how they curate their own tables. While a designer loves to dress up her place settings with exotic pieces, a homemaker lets nostalgia be her guide, using flea market finds for vases and glassware. A painter gave us one of our favorite tricks: use painted tiles as coasters or a cheeseboard.

Handpainted Dinnerware

Our research led us to the Modern-Day Renaissance Man. A culinary wizard, purveyor of all things cool, and partner at PassCode Hospitality—Eeshan Kashyap (@eeshankaswears many hats with élan. A true maverick, he keeps the childlike wonder in him alive and kicking and it reflects in the way he perceives the ordinary. He is also the curator for concepts, aesthetics, and plans experiences. He is known as the "Tastemaker" of the group in the Food and Beverage vertical. We watched him move pieces around the table as he dressed up food in our handcrafted Kyoto dinnerware range and shared his wisdom. Here’s a peek into our conversation with him to find inspiration for your next dinner party.


The aesthetic you use for the plating is delightfully insane. Tell us about your inspiration.
EK: I draw my inspiration from everything around me and my idea is always to make everyday more interesting. I have been plating and setting up my table almost every day during the lockdown. I try and make every meal special, why not! The art of plating is simple, the food needs to be eaten comfortably but could be elevated by using different materials and texture. I use big dry palm leaves to even grapefruit peels to serve food. 

How did you develop the mood board for the Kyoto collection?
EK: The Kyoto Collection brings great excitement with the delicate hand-painted patterns which remind me of my time in Kyoto and all things beautiful around it. The negative space on the plates and bowl form an illusion with food. I was instantly drawn to the patterns and I wanted to make edible sculptures with them. The still life with "Kyoto collection" was one such attempt. The collection is very calming and celebrates life in a very happy way.

What are your favorite props?
EK: I love using my wooden 18" thaali which I got from a roadside shop in Kolkatta around the red light near Park street. I jumped out of the car and got these with me. Heavy and super impractical, but I love it. It adds a lot of depth to my ceramics.

It may sound like asking someone to choose their favorite child but still, your favored cuisine when dining out.
EK: I love cooking and even more hosting. We must plan a garden picnic. I love to cook & eat the food from the Malabar coast. I lived there for many years and it truly is from God's own country.
And when staying in?
EK: Cocktails because I get to sip them too. But Everything honestly. I don't rigid. I like being different and playful.

Mix- Match Textures, Materials, It's a ritual and one must do it.

Is there anything you won’t eat?
EK: Raw Lobster, I am a brave eater and let me not start the things I have eaten, but one thing which caused a bit of discomfort was fresh lobster sashimi. Never raw again. The lobster was a bit Crabby with me.
Any plating hacks for everyone at home
EK: You must always try to eat on your dining table, it helps you think, chat, and set up your table. A few flowers around on the table add so much romance. Plan your meals and don't be afraid to mix match. All things perfect are BORING. 

The understated sophistication of ethereal blues of Kyoto and the delicate ceramics of Japan. Create a striking yet soothing ambiance at home with the Kyoto collection. Hand Painted ceramics for joyful gatherings around the table.
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