Whenever the great and the good of Hollywood get together, the pressure is on to serve up something that makes the grade. With a star studded guest list and sophisticated palates, catering for the Oscars requires a touch more forethought than your average dinner party. As delicious as frozen mini pizzas and prawn rings undoubtedly are, they lack a certain razzmatazz.
Fortunately for the rich, famous and fabulous, the food on offer at the Academy Awards tends to deliver this by the bucketload. Every year, celebs snack on mouthwateringly luxurious goodies, lovingly prepared by the world’s cleverest culinary minds. Even if you go home empty handed, you can at least guarantee that you’ll be well fed.
For the last 25 years, food for the ceremony has been created by legendary LA-based chef Wolfgang Puck. Famous for his irreverent and playful approach to classic recipes, Puck runs a vast restaurant empire, and is the creator of infamous dishes like “luxury pizza”, which comes topped with smoked salmon and caviar. Every year, Puck and his team dedicate several months to planning and executing the array of complex and memorable nibbles that get greedily gobbled by the world’s most famous performers. 2019 was no different.
Everything on offer, from Amuse Bouche, to raw sushi, to carefully crafted small plates, ticked the dual boxes of being light-hearted, yet incredibly delicious. snacks included platters of parmesan breadsticks, bagel pretzel bites, scamorza cream cheese, tomato confit and aged cheeses, all served alongside candied spiced nuts, pineapple and dried fruit. Guests could then take a trip to the 2,600-pound, carved ice “raw” bar where plates could be piled high with sashimi, crab claws, oysters and scallop crudo.
If guests felt a hankering for something a little more substantial, they could choose from an array of “passed small plates”, which featured a range of meat-eating and veg friendly options. Included were crispy brussels sprouts, pea shoots, frozen beets with ginger milk curd and yuzu, and white asparagus soup. In addition to new creations, guests were also treated to old classics, such as Puck’s much loved “Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie”, which has gone on to achieve cult status among the acting community. As you might expect, whatever you were eating, it was all washed down with a never ending river of champagne flutes. Along with an extensive collection of desserts, the Oscars 2019 had options to keep every guest happy.
Of course, pulling off a menu like this requires an enormous operation. The entire event needed 300 culinary staffers working in tandem to serve roughly 1,500 guests food and drinks. 13,000 glasses, 12,000 cocktail forks and spoons, 4,800 small plates were on standby to make sure everyone could serve themselves, not to mention the 7,000 mini chocolate Oscars and 300 pounds of Miyazaki wagyu beef that the kitchen had to import. It might look like a seamless exercise, but once you look below the surface it becomes clear just how much hard work has to go into keeping Hollywood happy.