They will nibble on Oscars-shaped flatbreads topped with smoked salmon and caviar, sip French champagne and sink their teeth into little chocolate Oscar statuettes. Nothing is good enough for Hollywood’s elite who will be wined and dined after the Academy Awards on Sunday by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
Puck has catered the extravagant post-Oscars party -- the Governors Ball -- for many years, preparing thousands of dishes for the 1,500 guests, together with the night’s winners, who attend the bash. “We have been doing the Oscars for 25 years, that is absolutely superb,” the 69-year-old chef told the media on Thursday throughout a tour of his kitchen where he was prepping for the extravaganza.
“I remember the first time we did it, it had been in downtown LA, at the Shrine Auditorium,” he added. built the kitchen in the parking lot, it was raining and windy, it was so difficult. Now we have two state-of-the-art kitchens, so it makes it much easier.”
Sunday’s menu, he said, will feature some classics that are always hit with partygoers, together with wood-fired crisp flatbreads -- 6,500 of them -- with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and caviar. Among the opposite 60 dishes on the menu, this year are going to be spicy deep-fried quail, black truffle chicken pot pie, Wagyu beef and agnolotti (a variety of ravioli) with black truffle and spring peas.
“We’ve got the black truffle from France,” the Austrian-born Puck gushed as he showed samples of his dishes. “People love the smell, and that we make a thousand of them, so the whole dining room smells like a truffle.”
On the sweet side, excluding the 24-karat dusted chocolate Oscars will be passion fruit and strawberry cookies, mallow orange pate de fruit and espresso macarons. Puck, a regular on television talk shows, said no less than 35 pounds (16 kilograms) of black truffle, 350 pounds of Atlantic bigeye tuna and 250 Maine lobster will be served at the event.
And whereas the caviar (a mere 33 pounds) and also the quail (400) are from the US, the champagne (about 1,400 bottles) is from France and also the Iberico ham (five whole legs) hails from Spain. Puck, who worked in a number of France’s top restaurants before relocating to the US at age 24, aforesaid the menu reflects the international flavor of the Academy Awards that honor movies and actors from across the world.
“I really believe the movie industry is worldwide,” he said. “They have movies in France, in Italy, in England, and now Mexico is really strong, they have ‘Roma’. “So our cooking here is a little bit like that. We have influence from Asia, from Italy, France.”
In total, Puck -- who heads an empire of restaurants stretching from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas and Singapore -- said he will be serving 16,000 individual dishes on Oscar night, together with vegetarian dishes -- enough to keep everyone satisfied through the evening. Helping him prepare the feast are 200 assistant chefs who will be backed by 850 servers and 10 maitre d’s on Oscar night.