This Is the One Thing Wolfgang Puck Won’t Serve at the Oscars
The famed chef has been catering the Governors Ball for the past 29 years.
The Oscars take place on March 12, and you know what that means—a lot of Old Hollywood glitz and glam. Most of us will be spending the night at home, watching it all unfold and rooting for our favorite films, songs, and performances. (My Oscar wish? Michelle Yeoh all the way, baby!) But even though many of us won’t be attending the ceremony, that doesn’t mean we can’t get the inside scoop on what will happen on the big night.
We got a chance to chat with famed chef Wolfgang Puck, who is catering the Academy’s official post-Oscars celebration, the Governors Ball, for the 29th year. Puck and his team at Wolfgang Puck Catering (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) have planned a delicious menu of old favorites and new dishes—and after previewing them, we can say the celebs will definitely not be going hungry on Oscar night. Instead of a sit-down dinner, there will be a lot of passed trays, small plates, and food stations. “The inspiration for the menu comes from our team of talented chefs at Wolfgang Puck Catering as well as from the menus at our restaurants, Spago and CUT,” Puck says. “This year we are bringing out Chef Elliott Grover from CUT London and will be featuring dishes like fish and chips, beef Wellington, and for dessert, a trifle. Our classic dishes include the chicken pot pie, the cacio e pepe macaroni and cheese, the smoked salmon Oscars, and our gold-dusted chocolate Oscars.”
And it seems like the celebs really love comfort food. Puck says the pot pies and mac and cheese are always a win. “The chicken pot pie is a favorite of Barbra Streisand and the Prince of Monaco, while Viola Davis is a fan of the macaroni and cheese,” he explains. “Joaquin Phoenix loves our vegan selection of dishes! And everyone takes home our gold-dusted chocolate Oscars. Best of all—everyone leaves happy and satisfied.” As for what he’d never serve, Puck says never say never, but pork chops haven’t been on the menu yet.
Of course, since it’s Hollywood, a town known for picky eaters, allergies, and food intolerances, there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items. “We are always ready for all allergies and food preferences because we cook everything to order,” Puck says. “Also, serving small plates allows us to have more variety on the menu in which we accommodate vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free with both savory and sweet dishes.”
To give you a better picture of the scale of the Governors Ball, some stats from a press release show truly whopping numbers: 120 chefs, 400 pounds of smoked salmon, 100 pounds of Yukon potatoes, 65 pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef, 2,500 endive leaves, 5 gallons of hummus, 300 pizza dough balls, 300 pounds of sushi-grade ahi tuna… and the list goes on and on. And while that might seem like an excess amount of food, it doesn’t go to waste—at the end of the night it gets donated to Chefs to End Hunger and non-donated food scraps are composted.
If you’re planning an Oscars watch party, Puck shared some tips, which include setting up stations with party snacks so you don’t have to miss too much of the show and getting the chance to mingle with guests. As for what to serve, he suggests: Small roasted potatoes split crosswise and topped with crème fraiche, varieties of caviar, and snipped chives; a special blend of nuts you can make ahead of time; and a few batches of popcorn and potato chips with a variety of seasonings. And his last (but very essential) advice? “Don’t forget to chill the Champagne!”
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