All the Gorgeous Details from Padma Lakshmi’s Private Birthday Party (PHOTOS)

09/14/2015 at 11:24 AM ET

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty for Tiny Prints

Padma Lakshmi’s party planning philosophy is simple: Don’t stress.

“I think the best parties are when the hostess is relaxed,” Lakshmi tells PEOPLE exclusively at her private 45th birthday party on Friday at New York City’s ABC Kitchen. “So whatever you can do to get as much done a head of time and relax is what you should do.”

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi’s 5 Game-Changing Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party 

Inviting only her closest friends and family, Lakshmi rented out the back room of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten beloved East Village restaurant and collaborated with online stationery boutique Tiny Prints to decorate the dining space with personalized touches, including “Celebrate Padma” cocktail napkins, acrylic blocks featuring her favorite wines and bubblies, goodie bags stuffed with personalized stationery and notebooks, and floral place cards for each guest, which her 5-year-old daughter, Krishna, helped her design. The aesthetic — organic and simple and floral — was inspired by the way Lakshmi and her “dear friend Jean-Georges” love to cook.

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty for Tiny Prints

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi: ‘I Date Less as a Single Mom’

“I throw a lot of parties. I do a huge gala every year called the Blossom Ball for my women’s health foundation. So once I design the invitation, I’ll give that to my florist and that is her inspiration for the decor,” Lakshmi says.

“Poppies aren’t in season right now — she was like, you’re killing me — but she took those invitations and just used the same colors to make the floral arrangements really lush and beautiful. We’re right at the hinge moment between summer and fall, which was my inspiration.”

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty

Despite having thrown parties where she “made paella on the beach for 70 people,” Lakshmi admits she likes to keep it relatively low-key for her birthday.

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty for Tiny Prints

“When I was growing up, my birthday was always over labor day before school started, and now that I’m an adult, it’s always during Fashion Week,” she says. “This dinner is my big celebration — it’s been a very quiet simple birthday with the people who are most important to me.”

RELATED: Lisa Vanderpump: How to Host a Drama-Free Cocktail Party

On Sept. 1st, Lakshmi’s actual birthday, she had a “decadent but private” home picnic with her daughter, feasting on Mr. Chows. For a 5-year-old, Lakshmi’s daughter is a remarkably adventurous eater — and chef.

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty for Tiny Prints

“She cooks with me all the time. She even has her own recipes. She makes a savory fruit salad. We chop everything up for her and then she adds in seasonings with lemon juice or yuzu, a drop of olive oil, and she’ll put different spices in it,” Lakshmi says.

“The biggest gift you can give your child is the joy of cooking. A child who has her hand in making her own food is likely to eat better for the rest of the life. And that’s what she does. Whether its just breaking ends of beans or shelling peas or washing the basil. She loves it.”

Padma
Cindy Ord/Getty for Tiny Prints

At the Top Chef host’s party, guests dined on ABC Kitchen’s seasonal, nouveau American fare, including this simple crostini. Here’s the recipe:

Heirloom Tomato Crostini
Makes: 4 Servings

4 ripe heirloom tomatoes
4 large slices good sourdough bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh basil leaves

1. Cut the tomatoes in half from top to bottom, remove the cores, then cut crosswise into ¼- inch thick slices.
2. Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler heat source. Preheat the broiler.
3. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a broiler pan. Generously drizzle oil on both sides of the bread. Broil, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes.
4. Immediately arrange the tomato slices, overlapping slightly on the toast. Season with salt and pepper and tear the basil leaves over the top. Drizzle with a little more oil and serve immediately.

Reprinted from Home Cooking with Jean-Georges by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Copyright © 2011.

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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Kate on

Private, ha ha ha. That’s hilarious.

ugh on

abc kitchen is nowhere near the east village.

it’s on broadway between 17th and 18th street.

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