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You Think You Throw the Best Parties? You Haven't Met Ken Fulk!

Produced by Laurel Benedum, Charles Curkin
Photo credit: Allie Holloway

From ELLE Decor

In addition to being one of the most prolific and beloved interior designers on the ELLE Decor A-List, Ken Fulk is also a consummate host with the wildest imagination. So for our entertaining roundup, we asked him to ignore the budget and guests’ vital status to throw an impossibly fabulous hypothetical dinner party. This is one you will not want to miss.

GUEST LIST “Elizabeth Taylor circa 1963 for beauty and some trouble, Oscar Wilde for his naughty wit, a young Paul Newman to stare at longingly, and a 19-year-old Barbra Streisand to serenade us.”

INVITATION “An old-fashioned Western Union telegram that says, ‘Please join me for the meal of a lifetime. Come to the Stork Club at 3 East 53rd Street. Tuesday at 8 p.m. Ken.’ ”

PLAYLIST “I’d start with some Great American Songbook romance—songs by Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, Blossom Dearie. As the night progresses, I’d move into something a bit more upbeat: classic R&B like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha. After that, if the mood is right, we’ll shift into some funky disco to keep the night rolling.”

CENTERPIECE “Mountains of deep-pink peonies arranged in a low crystal bowl.”

WINE “It would be Champagne. A 1995 Dom Pérignon P2 brut rosé served in a perfectly cut Baccarat coupe.”

MENU “Tableside Caesar salad followed by Zuni Café’s roasted chicken and shoestring potatoes. For dessert: Minetta Tavern’s coconut cake.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned

HOSTING DO’S AND DON’TS “No more fretting once your first guest arrives. It’s a party, so relax! If you’re not having fun, then neither are your guests. Also, turn the lights down and the music up. There can never be enough candles. Don’t overthink it—simple food is always the best, just make sure it’s hot and delicious. Don’t cheap out on the wine. Use the best china and silver you have—don’t save it.”

BEST DINNER PARTY EVER? “The craziest was a 150-person dinner at our studio in San Francisco, in honor of fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, for wealthy museum patrons. It featured a surprise striptease by Dita Von Teese atop a velvet bull. This was followed by a raging dance party with bondage-clad go-go dancers. Jean-Paul kept screaming, ‘Magnifique!’ The blue bloods weren’t sure what hit them, but a grand time was had by all.”

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