After all the Oscars have been handed out and speeches have been made at the 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony, 1,500 guests will head over to the Grand Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center for the annual Governors Ball. At this soiree, they will sip from 1,000 bottles of Moet & Chandon Champagne and dine on a menu—designed by Wolfgang Puck and chef Matt Bencivenga—of more than fifty dishes, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening.
Puck describes the Governors Ball menu as part innovative cuisine and part comfort food. Selections include signature smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles; in addition to more inventive lobster tacos, Shanghai lobster with coconut curry and jasmine rice and Chinois lamb with cilantro-mint vinaigrette. Five kilos of American farm-raised caviar are on hand to be incorporated into dishes such as the aforementioned smoked salmon Oscars and in gold-wrapped baked potatoes topped with caviar and creme fraiche.
Speaking of gold, 25 lbs. of edible gold have gone into desserts like the 24-karat chocolate Oscars and chocolate mousse in golden egg cups. All bling aside, the crown jewel of the dessert spread has to be the chocolate staircase that leads up to a white chocolate screen that has an airbrushed 3-D image of Oscar, which comes alive when you don a pair of 3-D glasses.
This year’s ball was conceived with more of a social arrangement in mind than in years past. Instead of sitting down to a formal meal, guests will be in more of a lounge type atmosphere where they can nosh on food from stations set up across the ballroom, in addition to what is being tray passed, and mix and mingle in different spaces throughout the ballroom.
For VIPs who want to nibble on something other than what is showcased for them, Puck has an army of 10 chefs on hand just to handle special requests; want grilled salmon? No problem. Pasta instead of chicken pot pie? They can handle it. Just listen to Wolfgang Puck:
Take a trip through the ballroom in our photo album below and see Wolfgang Puck’s creations for a perfect Oscar spread.
If you’re planning your own Oscar party, start cooking now. Puck says the biggest mistake people make is leaving all the food prep and cooking until the last minute. He says creating comfort food similar to what is being served at the Governor’s Ball is easy. You can braise your short ribs ahead of time and get all your ingredients together for a chicken pot pie and then assemble and cook it just before you’re ready to serve.
You can also create the very same Moet & Chandon Champagne cocktails with this recipe for the Red Carpet Glamour: