December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

by Colin Cowie

Give him short notice and Cowie whips up homemade ravioli, filet mignon in bordelaise sauce and a pear tart. Impromptu, he calls it. Ha! Still, the L.A. caterer and party planner to the stars (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) has flair and imagination, lavishing the same attention on sandwiches for a rustic picnic as on a dinner menu with duck in grape sauce, carrot flan and a berry gratin. It’s all so effortless—if you’re a guest. (HarperCollins, $45)

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