It’s a promise made by the Academy and chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Wolfgang Puck that every guest attending the Governors Ball will leave with an Oscar — a chocolate one dipped in gold leaf.
This delicious sugary treat is one of the many classics on Puck’s menu. Other favorites include the signature spicy tuna-filled sesame cones (more than 2,500 are made) and the Oscar-shaped matzo cracker topped with smoked salmon. Per the press materials, there will be 1,500 international attendees.
Puck has always joked that for his team, “it’s the most important party of the year,” and food trends and dietary restrictions are accommodated, but comfort food is what the audience craves.
Over the years, those lucky enough to be invited to the event have also spoken highly of the chicken pot pie, the mini-wagyu beef burgers on brioche buns, macaroni-and-cheese with black truffles, and wood-fired pizzas.
This year, new to the menu is a food station that will feature Britain’s iconic Beef Wellington which will be presented by Executive chef Elliott Grover of London’s CUT restaurant, who will present his version of the traditional dish of beef fillet wrapped in a savory mushroom mixture and baked in puff pastry.
Part of enjoying the delicious food is mingling with the guests. To that end, the traditional fish and chips will be scaled down (almost like a canape) to make walking around easier while eating. An English trifle with sherry will be served in small glasses and layered with tasty fruit.
There will be two dozen trays passed that include risotto and lamb chops. If your sweet tooth is in need, ice creme will be served in a made-to-order waffle cone and salted caramel mocha Oscar chocolate eclairs.
The Puck team (guided by Eric Klein, vice president of culinary) is always trying to bring new dishes for their international guests. It always provides a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian options.
Those choices include offering five kinds of pasta, Chinese-spiced, Hunan eggplant over rice, and a vegetarian version of West Hollywood’s Merois restaurant’s crispy rice crab salad. Still, tofu is substituted and topped with a honey and lime vinaigrette instead of a crab.
About 115 chefs were pulled across Puck’s global restaurant empire to work with the event. Ten designated cooks deal with any. Brad Pitt is one of the partners behind Fleur de Miraval rose champagne which will be served to pair with Puck’s menu. It’s a white Bordeaux blend from the Clarendelle family of French wines, a Le Dragon de Quintus Saint-Emilion Grand-Cru, and all manner of Don Julio tequila. Unlike past years, the Academy will produce the ball in-house; Wolfgang Puck Catering also handles the viewing party for 1,000 at the Academy Museum.
Puck’s well-earned legacy as Hollywood’s top chef is unequaled. Hollywood insiders know the power of his flagship restaurant Spago — still the place to be seen after 41 years. It will undergo a design refresh later this spring.