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Globally Inspired Dinner Party

Martyn Lawrence Bullard turns to his travels for table inspiration

Written and produced by Krissa Rossbund
  • Michael Garland

    Recipes start here

    Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s passport boasts stamps from destinations both near and exotically far. So do the gatherings in his Hollywood Hills home. When the international trendsetter entertains, he surprises guests with an eclectic mix of accoutrements from his travels.

    “I love creating tablescapes and never repeat the same one,” Martyn says. “I think guests love the theater of my table, so I want to give them new combinations and even new locations around the house. Their reactions are always so rewarding.”

    Morocco drives this table scheme, set in Martyn’s dashing global dining room. A black-and-white tablecloth that sports a distinctive Moorish star pattern lays the ground for other graphic elements, including red-and-white salad plates that feature a painterly motif inspired by Spanish iron balustrades. Sheer white overlays that wrap the black napkins whisper the same design as the tablecloth.

    Photography: Michael Garland

  • Michael Garland

    Moroccan Flair

    While the table has international tones, the menu does not. Martyn served all-American favorites from carrot-ginger soup and a green goddess wedge salad to cheesecake—all to accompany the robust entrée of filet mignon and squash and potato ragoût.

    In the dining room, Martyn mixes comfortable classic armchairs with carved beauties from his travels. Dynamic red and purple accents come into play with crystal stemware and flowers tucked into silver crowns that he designed for Christofle. “The flowers, while color-coordinated to the porcelain and crystal, are exotic in themselves because  of their sexy, loose arrangement,” he says. Panels on the windows are made from “Nebaha Embroidery” fabric from Martyn’s collection for Schumacher. Underfoot, a rug designed by Martyn for The Rug Company adds graphic interest.

    Rug ("Mamounia" by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard):

  • Michael Garland

    Black Tie

    Black linen napkins get dressed up with the addition of a square sheer overlay of Martyn’s white-on-white “Mamoun Sheer” fabric and vintage silver napkin rings that are coated in black enamel.

  • Michael Garland

    Crowning Glory

    Adding sterling silver to the repertoire of media he designs, Martyn created the “Silver Kingdom” crown for Christofle, giving a regal lift to the graphic “Mamoun” linen from his eponymous fabric collection.

  • Michael Garland

    What’s Your Flavor?

    An assortment of garnishes for martinis, including olives, peppers, purple carrots, and starfruit, fills vessels from the “Block” server by Michael Aram. The chic nickelplate contrasts with the dark wood base.

  • Michael Garland

    Color Trio

    A stylish suite of stemware includes three colors—jewel-tone “Ruby” wineglass and amethyst “Fanny” tumbler, both from William Yeoward Crystal, and Baccarat’s clear “Harcourt” tall wine goblet.

  • Michael Garland

    An Apple a Day

    Designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Daum, the crystal apple paperweight rests on the red-and-white “Balcon du Guadalquivir” salad plate from Hermès and Haviland’s black “Laque De Chine” dinner plate.

  • Marty Baldwin

    Get the Look - Black and White

    We assembled variations on the subtle table scheme to give you options that are equally stylish.

    “Cameron” horn napkin ring. “Marcus” dinnerware with a speckled white salt glaze. “Naiya” hand-crocheted abaca placemat in dark brown. All from Blue Pheasant.

  • Marty Baldwin

    Get the Look - Burgundy

    “Keon” napkin ring in tarnished silver. “Elini” marble-inspired porcelain dinnerware with gold edge. “Henry” faux shagreen square placemat in cool gray. All from Blue Pheasant. 

  • Marty Baldwin

    Get the Look - Purple

    “Azure” striped horn napkin ring. “Marcus” dinnerware in black glaze. “Tanner” hair-on-hide placemat. All from Blue Pheasant. All linen napkins are from Sferra’s “Fiesta” collection. 

  • Michael Garland

    Magnificent Menu

    Handsome menu cards are printed on a background design that subtly mimics the statement pattern of the tablecloth fabric. The “Amina” faux shagreen tray in cool gray is from Made Goods.

  • Michael Garland

    Menu and Shopping List

    While Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s dining room is a reflection of his global tastes and travels, his dinner menu is decidedly American, beginning with cleverly garnished ice-cold martinis and ending with Turtle Cheesecake. Chef Mary Payne Moran’s take on classic steakhouse fare will delight you.


    Martini Madness

    Carrot-Ginger Soup

    Classic Wedge Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

    Chile-Cocoa Rubbed Filets

    Squash and Yukon Gold Potato Ragoût

    Turtle Cheesecake

    Shopping List

    We’ve organized a shopping list to make shopping for this party menu easier for you. Package sizes are included so you have enough for duplicated recipe ingredients. Note: Purchased chocolate and caramel sauces may be used in place of homemade.

    Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping:

    • Olive oil (need 4 tablespoons)
    • Canola oil (need 3 tablespoons for homemade chocolate sauce)
    • Light-color corn syrup (need 1 tablespoon for homemade caramel sauce)
    • Granulated sugar [need about 2 cups (+ 1-1/2 cups for homemade caramel sauce)]
    • Salt (need 1-1/4 teaspoons plus more to taste)
    • Freshly ground pepper (need 1/2 teaspoon plus more to taste)
    • Unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Nestlé) (need 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
    • Paprika (need 2-1/2 teaspoons)
    • Vanilla [need 4 teaspoons (+ 1/4 teaspoon for homemade caramel sauce)]
    • White wine vinegar (need 1/3 cup)
    • Lemon juice (need 1 teaspoon for homemade caramel sauce)
    • Mayonnaise (need 1/3 cup)
    • Unsalted butter [need 6 tablespoons + 2/3 cup (+ 2 tablespoons for homemade chocolate sauce)]
    • 3 eggs
    • All-purpose flour (need 1/4 cup)
    • Non-stick cooking spray


    • 1 medium Vidalia onion
    • 2 medium shallots
    • 1 bunch green onions
    • 1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 1 large zucchini
    • 1 large yellow summer squash
    • 1 (1-pound) package peeled baby carrots
    • 1 small knob fresh ginger
    • 1 large head iceberg lettuce
    • 1 (12-ounce) package cherry tomatoes (need 1 cup)
    • 2 lemons
    • 16 ounces fresh basil leaves (need 2 cups)
    • 1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 1 bunch fresh oregano (need 2 sprigs)


    • 1 (14-ounce) package graham crackers
    • 1 (11.5 to 12.5-ounce) jar chocolate sauce, if not making homemade (need about 1 cup)
    • 1 (11.5 to 12.5-ounce) jar caramel sauce, if not making homemade (need about 1 cup)

    Meat counter

    • 1 package bacon (need 6 slices)
    • 8 (6-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks

    Bakery aisle

    • Candied ginger
    • Ground cardamom (need 1 pinch)
    • Ground chipotle chile pepper [2 teaspoons (Whole dried chipotle chile peppers may be found in the grocery section.)]
    • Chili powder (need 1/2 teaspoon)
    • Candied pecans
    • 1 (4-ounce) package dark chocolate (60% cocoa for homemade chocolate sauce)
    • 1 (4-ounce) package semisweet chocolate (need 1 ounce for homemade chocolate sauce)


    • 1 (8-ounce) container crème fraîche
    • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
    • 2 (8-ounce) cartons sour cream
    • 1 (12-ounce) carton cream (for homemade caramel sauce)
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Martini Madness

    Dry or dirty, gin or vodka, shaken or stirred, up or on the rocks—the martini sparks both conversation and controversy. One thing is certain: The garnish is the finishing personal touch. In addition to stocking up on traditional cocktail onions, pimento-stuffed olives, and lemon twists, make a mad dash down the condiment aisle and then visit the olive and salad bars to amass an arsenal of garnishes. Your guests will love building their skewers. Here are some ideas:

    • Peppadew peppers
    • Cornichons
    • Star fruit
    • Basil leaves
    • Cucumber
    • Olives: Niçoise, Greek, and blue cheese-stuffed
    • Italian pickled vegetables
    • Mini corn on the cob
    • Red/orange carrots, thinly sliced
    • Large caper berries
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Carrot-Ginger Soup

    Serve this refreshing soup as a shooter-style hors d’oeuvre, or double the recipe and serve as a first course.

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
    • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
    • 1 (1-pound) package peeled baby carrots
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
    • Pinch of salt
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    • Finely chopped candied ginger
    • Pinch ground cardamom

    Heat oil in 3- to 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallot to pot. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.

    Add carrot, paprika, fresh ginger, and pinch of salt to pot. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until carrots start to brown. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer 1 hour or until carrots are very tender.

    Puree soup to desired consistency using an immersion blender or regular blender. Stir in sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup in shot glasses topped with candied ginger and cardamom. Makes 8 servings.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Classic Wedge Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

    • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
    • 1-1/4 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • Juice of 2 lemons (6 tablespoons)
    • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
    • 6 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
    • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
    • Cracked black pepper

    In blender combine basil, parsley, chopped green onions, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, mayonnaise, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cover; blend until smooth.

    To serve, place lettuce wedge on salad plate. Top with tomato, bacon, sliced green onion, and cracked black pepper. Serve with dressing. Makes 8 servings.

    Storage: Dressing may be stored in airtight container in refrigerator up to three days.

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Chile-Cocoa Rubbed Filets with Squash and Yukon Gold Potato Ragoût

    Chile-Cocoa Rubbed Filets:

    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 8 (6-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • Compound Butter (recipe follows)

    For steak, preheat oven to 400°F. In small bowl combine cocoa powder, paprika, chipotle pepper, chili powder, and salt. Spread mixture on plate. Place each steak on plate; press to coat all sides with spice mixture.

    Heat cast iron grill pan or grill over medium heat. Coat each steak with nonstick spray. Cook each steak 4 minutes on each side. Place rack in shallow baking pan; transfer steaks to rack. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until 145°F for medium-rare. Cover lightly with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Serve steaks topped with slices of compound butter. Makes 8 servings.

    Compound Butter: In small bowl stir together 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon each chipotle pepper and cocoa powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. On piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape butter mixture into cylinder and wrap. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

    Squash and Yukon Gold Potato Ragoût

    • 1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
    • 10 ounces zucchini and yellow summer squash, cut in 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
    • Chopped fresh parsley

    Preheat oven to 400°F. In large bowl combine cut potatoes, squash, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

    Coat very large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread vegetable mixture on baking sheet; bake 20 minutes. Turn vegetables. Bake another 15 minutes or until browned and tender. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche; sprinkle with parsley. Makes 8 servings.

    Recipes from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Turtle Cheesecake

    • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
    • 3 eggs
    • 2-1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2/3 cup butter, melted
    • 1-1/4 cups sugar
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 (8-ounce) cartons sour cream
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • For serving: Chocolate Sauce, Caramel Sauce, and purchased candied pecans

    Allow cream cheese and eggs to stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, for crust, in large bowl combine crushed graham crackers and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of 10-inch springform pan; set aside.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and the 1-1/4 cups sugar with electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy. Beat in flour on low speed until smooth. Using fork, lightly beat eggs. Add eggs and 3 teaspoons vanilla all at once, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Pour batter into crust-lined pan. Place in shallow baking pan in oven.

    Bake 40 minutes or until 2-1/2-inch area around outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Remove from oven. In medium bowl stir together remaining sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Using spoon, spread mixture evenly over top of baked cheesecake. Return to oven; bake 15 minutes more.

    Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Using small sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool completely on rack. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before slicing.

    To serve, cut cheesecake into 12 to 16 pieces; place on serving platters. Drizzle cheesecake slices with Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce, and sprinkle with candied pecan. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

    Chocolate Sauce:

    • 4 ounces dark chocolate (60% cocoa), chopped (3/4 cup)
    • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/4 cup)
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    In small saucepan combine chocolates, oil, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. To store, chill up to two weeks. When ready to use, heat sauce on 100% power in microwave about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds. Makes about 1 cup sauce.

    Caramel Sauce:

    • 1-1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light-color corn syrup
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1-1/4 cups cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

    In medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, and water. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly. (Make sure sugar is completely dissolved by checking mixture in bowl of metal spoon. Mixture should be clear with no sugar granules.) Increase heat to medium; bring to gentle boil. Do not stir. Cook 18 to 19 minutes or until mixture is golden brown-caramel color. Remove from heat. Whisk in cream and vanilla. (Mixture will foam.) Continue whisking until cream is incorporated. Return to medium heat; continue cooking until mixture is slightly thickened (5 to 8 minutes). Transfer caramel sauce to bowl. Place bowl in large bowl of ice water to cool sauce quickly. Transfer sauce to covered container until ready to use. To store, chill up to two weeks. When ready to use, heat sauce on 100% power in the microwave about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. Makes 1-3/4 cups sauce.

    Tip: To store cheesecake, place in airtight container. Cover. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

    Tip: To make ahead, bake and cool cheesecake as directed. Place cooled cake in freezer bag or airtight container; freeze up to 1 month. To thaw, place cheesecake in refrigerator 24 hours, or thaw individual slices at room te

    Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Dominique Vorillon