Wolfgang Puck (Photo: Getty Images)
Come the end of the Oscars ceremony, there will be some winners and there will be (many more) losers, but Hollywood’s finest shouldn’t fret: Whether they walk out of the Dolby Theatre Sunday night with a golden statue or not, they can take heart in the fact that they are about to eat very, very well.
For the 22nd year in a row, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and his team will be orchestrating the over-the-top culinary feast known as the Governors Ball. That means 1,500 guests (including nominees, winners, presenters, and other all-around fancy types) will spend their post-Oscars hours grazing on dozens of artistic dishes, a glistening sushi and shellfish bar, and a chocolate buffet that would give Willy Wonka a run for his money.
Hollywood types like their baked potatoes topped with caviar. (Photo: Getty Images)
Trays of pretty passed hors d'oeuvres – all bite-size and perfect for noshing while mingling with fellow A-listers – include his spicy tuna tartare served in tiny sesame miso cones along with mini burgers topped with aged cheddar and remoulade, and those cute little grilled cheese sandwiches paired with roasted tomato soup shooters.
While some of Puck’s comfort-food-inspired small plates – like chicken pot pie with black truffles; artichoke and fromage agnolotti; and ancient grain risotto with peas and mushrooms – sound like they might be a little rich for movie stars who make a living off looking good, Puck tells Yahoo Celebrity that many celebs haven’t been shy in years past about letting him know what they’re dying to indulge in. “Viola Davis enjoys our mac and cheese, Martin Scorsese loves our handmade pastas, and we always have a New York steak for Sylvester Stallone,” he says.
There’s steak for Stallone. (Photo: Getty Images)
Though at least one Academy Award winner likes the lighter fare. “When Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar [in 2013], I greeted her at the ball and she was so surprised to meet me, and said ‘I love your soup!’” Puck recounts.
Over the years, Puck and his chefs have incorporated more vegan and gluten-free fare, too. This year, a chopped salad with artichokes, asparagus, radicchio, and haricot vert; chilled white grape and almond gazpacho; taro root tacos with wild mushrooms; and coconut cupcakes fall into both categories. "We always have some interesting and delicious dishes for them,” Puck says of his guests with dietary restrictions.
Seafood lovers are in for a treat. (Photo: Getty Images)
He’s clearly expecting a lot of seafood lovers, too. A mind-blowing 2,600-pound sculpted ice raw bar will showcase a variety of sushi, 1,300 oysters, 7,500 shrimp, 1,000 stone crab claws and 300 Maine lobsters. There’s also a last-minute addition to the menu: “Our purveyor in Alaska is sending us 40 king crabs,” Puck shares. “We are going to serve them with emerald rice, ginger, black bean sauce, and some plum wine."
But partygoers will have to save room for a ridiculous selection of more than two dozen desserts, with an emphasis, of course, on chocolate. "We know that people are so hungry after the show and after a long day, they just want to eat,” laughs Puck. And that means everything from chocolate passion layer cake to raspberry panna cotta to a chocolate fountain to those fabled caramel Oscar lollipops.
The Oscar lollipops are always a fan favorite. (Photo: Getty Images)
And, finally, we can’t forget the booze — not that most guests who just sat through a three-hour show would. In addition to free-flowing wine and some specialty whiskey cocktails (including an adorable drink served out of an eggshell), the French Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck will be serving three super prestigious magnum-only vintage cuvees from 1988, 1998, and 2002. Chef Puck isn’t hiding the fact he’s ready to toast a certain someone in the Best Actor category. In addition to catching up with Sylvester Stallone, he says he’s most looking forward to chatting with The Revenant star and nominee Leonardo DiCaprio at the soiree: “Hopefully when he wins!”