Known as "the entertainologist," Lulu Powers is L.A.'s party-throwing darling. She might turn you into one, too!
With a client roster that includes Bill Clinton and Madonna and a second book on the way, Los Angeles entertaining designer Lulu Powers is swamped. But she's never too busy to host — she threw a bash for 200 the night of this shoot!
"I'll have someone over for Champagne and potato chips!" Powers says. Raised in a party-happy Connecticut household, she learned feting tricks from her parents: "They always adorned their drinks. Dad threw in whatever was in the garden, even a green bean! He was a little avant-garde."
Powers moved to L.A. for screenwriting, only to find it was her kitchen skills that had star power. As evidenced in her first book, (William Morrow), her trademark is lush, abundant arrangements that look as painterly as a still life. "I like to use lots of overflowing bowls at different heights to add interest. It's an edible tablescape that's quick to pull together. Go for bounty! Pile up the fruit and break open a pomegranate. And remember, nobody is going to walk in and say, 'Oh, she has the cheese wrong.' You're the party captain. Enjoy it!"
A Baroque Cheese Spread
"It's not hard to turn a party staple into a masterpiece — just pile it up! Buy a good variety
of cheeses: one each of goat, cow, and sheep, plus a mix of soft and hard. Take them out of the fridge two hours before the party so they can soften, and add colorful bites, like dried orange slices and olives. Try this pimento dip, grilled bread, and baked prosciutto for a little something extra."
Lulu's Favorite Cheeses
1. (cow, medium, UK) 2. (Sheep, hard, Holland)3. (goat, soft, Spain) 4. (hard, cow, Vermont USA)5. (mixed milk, denes soft, Italy) 6. (semi-soft, goat, California)7. (firm, sheep, France)
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄4 cup labneh or mayonnaise
- 8 oz. drained pimientos, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 1⁄2 cup sweet relish, drained
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1 tsp. honey
- Hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste
1. Put the cheddar, cream cheese, and labneh in your mixer to blend. 2. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients until mixed well. Serve with grilled bread.
- 3 loaves crusty bread, such as ciabatta or baguette Olive oil, salt, and pepper
1. Slice your bread however you like. 2. Turn on your grill or put a cast-iron pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3. Place the bread slices on the grill and toast until golden brown on both sides.
- 20 oz. sliced prosciutto
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Lay the prosciutto slices on a baking sheet, side by side. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until somewhat crispy; they will get crispier as they cool.
This story originally appeared in the 2016 February issue of CQ.