Oscars 2017: What is on the menu at the official Governors Ball after party?

From shrimp tacos to caramel cappuccino 'Oscar' lollipops

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 22 February 2017 13:57 GMT
Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnon Milchan and Steven Spielberg take a selfie at the 2016 Governors Ball
Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnon Milchan and Steven Spielberg take a selfie at the 2016 Governors Ball (Getty)

While the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards red carpet and finding out who wins is exciting, what happens at the after party when the creme de la creme of the film world get together to eat, drink and let their hair down is what most of us want to know, right?

The Governors Ball is the Oscars’ official after party. It is where the winners of the highest award in film go to engrave their prestigious gold-man statues, congratulate or commiserate their peers and eat what is considered some of the finest food around.

The menu for the ball is headed up by Austrian-born American celebrity chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck who has organised the catering for the event for 23 years and earlier this week released his 2017 menu. The ceremony and afterparty take place on Sunday 26 February where La La Land is expected to sweep the board after amassing a record-breaking 14 nominations.

Divided into many sections including ‘passed Hors oeuvres’, Savoury Bites, Passed Small Plates, a dessert station and a sushi station the menu is three A4 pages long.

From Korean steak tartare on puffed rice to baked potato with caviar to lobster corn dogs, the menu fuses the luxury of Hollywood and fine dining with a more casual, party feel. The desserts are accompanied with little chocolate award replicas which Chef Wolfgang says means everyone can walk away with an Oscar even if they didn’t win.

David McIntyre, the executive chef at Cut at 45 Park Lane in London, which was opened by Chef Wolfgang in 2011, worked with the chef for 18 years before moving to the UK capital two years ago.

He says the organisation of the menu very much reflects the small plates trend in food at the moment while also marking a shift towards a more casual way of dining which fits the atmosphere of the event very well.

“As the years have passed by, I think it has become a little more casual and fun,” he told The Independent. “That’s what the trends are: small plates, appetisers and Hors d’oeuvres and that’s what has evolved in these dinners for the stars… Everyone wants to mingle and have fun. After sitting through a long ceremony, the last thing you want to do is sit again and have dinner.

“It’s about passing these things around and getting people to move around and have fun.”

2016 Best Supporting Actress winner Alicia Vikander gets her Oscar engraved at the Governors Ball (Getty)

Chef David has worked behind the scenes at such functions before and says his experiences of working them has always been a “lot of fun” as around 200 chefs are involved in some part of the process.

The menu would of course not be LA-appropriate if it did not cater to a range of dietary requirements and Chef Wolfgang’s extensive menu marks many gluten free, dairy free vegetarian and vegan options.

Chef David has pulled on the experience of his time with working with Chef Wolfgang to devise an awards season menu which will be served at Cut 45 Park Lane.

Some of the items feature on the actual Governors ball menu such as the slow-cooked chicken pot pie with black truffles, which Chef Wolfgang has said has been requested to him by John Travolta, Barbara Streisand and Viola Davis.

“When we thought about what dishes we were going to pull off the menu it was really what was popular in past governor’s balls and what would sell here,” Chef David explains. “The chicken pot pie is comfort food and warming and it’s a cold time of year in the UK at the moment so we figured it would fit perfectly.”

The menu, which draws to a close on Sunday evening with a live screening of the Academy Awards, will also feature gold-dusted popcorn – another feature from the actual menu.

For those unable to sample either menu, Chef David recommends recreating Cut at 45 Park Lane’s smoked salmon blinis with crème fraiche, lemon and oscietra caviar. If caviar is difficult to obtain, he assures us it tastes just as good with salmon roe instead.

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