Despite the fact that none of us Callans can cook worth a flip, we’re long-time fans of the Food Network series The Next Food Network Star. Similar to HGTV’s Design Star, the winner of each season of NFNS gets the opportunity to star in their own Food Network show. The most recent winner, season 6’s Aarti Sequeira, now hosts Aarti Party and it is the only non-competition cooking show I have programmed into my DVR.
I love, love, love Aarti. She’s adorable, she’s bubbly–she’s got this perpetually twinkly personality without straying over the fence to the annoyingly perky side. She also has this awesome British accent that could make reading the phone book sound fun. When I tell friends about her show, I can never just say, “art-y.” I have to say, “ahhh-tee,” like she does. Say it with me: Ahh-tee Pahh-tee. You’re feeling festive already, right?
Aarti’s schtick is that she takes everyday dishes and puts an Indian spin on them–taking all of the intimidation factor out of Indian cuisine. Indian is probably my favorite food genre–surprising, since I never had it until I was about 26. My dad was visiting me in New York City for the first time, and while contemplating our dinner options during a walk through my West Village neighborhood, my dad pointed to an Indian restaurant and said, “Let’s have something weird.” I was hooked after one bite.
Aarti’s on-air kitchen set matches her fun, girlie personality. People commonly say they want to live in the Something’s Gotta Give house…I want to live in Aarti’s kitchen.
The Aari Party kitchen is all about color. A fuchsia, marigold and white palette sets the stage, and it’s everywhere…in the graphic floral wallpaper, in the bright backsplash tile, and in the funky furnishings in the spaces beyond the open kitchen. The whole thing just screams, “Happy.” Check it out:
Add some scroll-y accent tables:
…some nesting tables in a similar finish:
For the walls, nothing but a bold, graphic print will do:
Add some cute accessories…
…some pops of dark blue in pillows and whatnot:
In the kitchen, only red cabinets and bright tiles will do!
Of course you have to have a bold Kitchen Aid mixer in there…
And for your table:
I’d be remiss if I didn’t finish this post by passing along raves for some of Aarti’s recipes as well. I’ve pulled off a mean Pulled Pork with Mango BBQ Sauce and fumbled through her amazing Baked Samosas with Mint Chutney–boy, do I recommend that one. Unfortunately, I completely botched a batch of Coconut Toffee, which, if you look at the directions, should be fool-proof but I am one hell of an effer-upper in the kitchen, so I managed to jack it right up!
Hmmm…pink coconut bars would be great for Phoebe’s birthday party this weekend. Maybe I’ll give it another go!
Hot dogs a la rosa is real yummy too.