Dining with the stars on Hollywood’s biggest night
Trust Jennifer Lawrence (aka J-Law) to vocalize what everyone’s thinking on the Oscars Red Carpet. She said it most eloquently: “I’m starving. Is there food here?” Unfortunately for Jennifer, the Oscars are too classy for a Golden Globes eat-while-you-watch ceremony, but directly following the three and a half hour soirée, the winners and losers alike are greeted with a spread of mouth-watering plates at the exclusive Governors Ball. Wolfgang Puck was at the helm of the Governors Ball menu this year for the 19th time, and after so many years of catering to Hollywood’s A-listers, he’s learned a thing or two.
For one, don’t mess with the classics. While fancy dining and food you can’t pronounce seem to be all the rage these days, most stars look forward to Puck’s reinvented black truffle chicken pot pie. Another notable classic in Puck’s Oscars arsenal is his prime mini-burger. A far cry from the In-and-Out burgers served at Vanity Fair’s Oscars Party, these sliders are made with aged cheddar cheese and rémoulade (a French variation of tartar sauce).
This year, Puck threw tradition to the wind, and for the first time in Oscars history (and it’s a long history – the first Academy Awards was held in 1929), vegan dishes were served at the Governors Ball. Traditionally, Puck whips up 6,500 wood fire Oscar-shaped flatbreads topped with smoked salmon and caviar. This year, he covered some of these flatbread trophies in a lentil puree instead. From edamame guacamole served on seaweed, to a fresh and healthy kale salad, which Puck teaches Ellen DeGeneres to make in the video below, the Governors Ball was dietary-choice friendly this year. The food wasn’t the only thing that got an upgrade this year. The meal was no longer a stuffy sit-down affair. It was a party in every sense of the word, from small plates being passed around to comfortable lounge-style seating–comfortable enough that Ben Affleck thought it was the best place to shave off his good luck beard.
Desserts ranged from macarons to vegan chocolate mousse, but the real stars of the dessert course were thousands of mini Oscar-shaped chocolates covered with 24-carat gold. Although I, for one, am tired of the 3-D mania in Hollywood, it seems that the 3-D has made the jump from the big screen to the food scene. The Governors Ball featured a giant edible Oscar statuette that pops into relief when viewed through the 3-D glasses distributed with dessert.
The Governors Ball has come a long way from the vanilla and chocolate ice cream served in 1929 and Wolfgang Puck has been the force behind changing the Ball from a pretentious meeting of industry juggernauts to a laid-back party to celebrate film through food. And hopefully with $25,000 worth of black truffles, 600 Maine lobsters, 1,200 stone crab claws, 1,000 pounds of chocolate, 1,600 pounds of butter, 1,500 bottles of Champagne Thiénot, and maybe one or two pieces of the Laffy Taffy she stashed in her purse, Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t starving anymore.
Click here for more of the menu items served at the Governors Ball.
Cover photo source.