Features 3 minutes 26 February 2019

Oscars 2019: What the Stars Ate at the Governors Ball

In Wolfgang Puck’s 25th year catering for the star-studded official afterparty, the celebrity chef served up some staples as well as a few quirky surprises.

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The 91st Academy Awards held on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles caps off an awards season that has been full of surprises. It was the first time since 1989 that the Oscars had gone without a host, but the absence was barely noticeable in a fast-paced show full of highlights and headline-grabbing moments. Green Book took home a surprise win for Best Picture and acclaimed director Spike Lee finally landed an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, while Rami Malek has just become the first person of Arab heritage to win the Best Actor category in history for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

When the curtains closed, 1,500 of Hollywood’s biggest names flocked to the Governors Ball held at the Hollywood & Highland Center, where they tucked into more than 70 different dishes prepared by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and his catering team. The extensive menu was a mix of snacks, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, small plates, chef stations dishing out hot food and a hand-carved ice bar with seafood, sushi rolls and made-to-order nigiri.

Like previous years before, Puck’s signature dishes took center stage. Classics including the smoked salmon Oscar statuettes topped with caviar and his highly raved black truffle chicken pot pie made their appearances, while staff passed around Puck’s signature pizzas and spicy tuna tartare in sesame miso cones.

Puck's signature smoked salmon Oscar statuettes.
Puck's signature smoked salmon Oscar statuettes.
New highlights on the menu this year also included a Nashville-style hot fried quail served on a red velvet waffle with house-made pickles—Puck’s quirky take on chicken and waffles—as well as an Austrian ricotta dumpling with watercress-pea pesto and lemon brown butter, inspired by his mother’s recipe.
Nashville hot fried quail on red velvet waffles.
Nashville hot fried quail on red velvet waffles.
Puck also made sure his celebrity guests ended their evening on a sweet note with a decadent array of desserts—24-karat gold-dusted Valrhona Illanka chocolate Oscars, designer chocolate bon bons, and vegan and gluten-free offerings like cashew vanilla tiramisu. The stars washed it all down with four signature Don Julio Tequila cocktails by renowned mixologist Charles Joly, custom wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.
Decadent desserts at the Governors Ball.
Decadent desserts at the Governors Ball.
This year marks the 25th year in a row that Wolfgang Puck and his team at Wolfgang Puck Catering have created the menu for the Oscars Governors Ball. But just how did he land this recurring gig for what may just be the most star-studded party of the year?

In the mid-1980s, Puck would host prolific Hollywood agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar’s private Oscar viewing parties at his iconic Beverly Hills restaurant Spago, where celebrities would watch the show. If they won, they would race downtown to collect their awards and return to Spago right after. When Lazar died at the end of 1993, Puck decided to forego hosting the annual party to honor his late friend. But as fate would have it, the Academy’s board of directors invited Puck to cater for the official Oscar afterparty in 1994 and he turned it into the event to attend. For a quarter of a century now, Puck’s highly-anticipated menu at the Governors Ball has become an Oscar tradition.
2019 is Puck's landmark 25th year catering for the Governors Ball.
2019 is Puck's landmark 25th year catering for the Governors Ball.

Click here to see the full menu from the 2019 Governors Ball.

Highlights From the Menu

Amuse Bouche
Crostini of Compressed Watermelon with Citrus Feta Cheese
Crab Deviled Eggs
Avocado Tostadas with Crunch Cabbage and Chipotle Glaze (V)
Mini Taro Root Taco with Miso Glazed Eggplant and Smoked Soy Mushrooms (V)
Crostini with New York Steak, Classic Chimichurri
Spicy Ranch Popcorn
Housemade Potato Chips

Tray Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
Wild Mushroom Potsticker, Black Truffle Ponzu (V)
Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Tartare on Tapioca Crisp, Togarashi
Mini Taro Root Taco with Miso Glazed Eggplant and Smoked Soy Mushrooms (V)
Heirloom Carrot “Tartare,” Pickled Mustard Seed, Horseradish, Sunchoke Bark (V)
Smoked Salmon Oscars Matzo
Miniature Miyazaki Wagyu Burger, Sharp Cheddar, Remoulade
Wolfgang Puck Signature Pizzas
Spicy Tuna Tartare In Sesame Miso Cones
Alaskan King Crab, Crispy Rice Cake, Avocado, Aji Amario-Yuzu Ponzu
Opal Apple “Summer Roll,” Cucumber, Shiso, Pomegranate Pearl (V, GF)

Small Plates
Caramelized Cauliflower, Golden Raisin, Lime, Labneh, Pinenut, Shiso-Za'atar
Frozen Golden Beets, Almond Custard, Meyer Lemon, Ice Lettuce (V)
Snap Peas, Asian Pear, Pomelo Salad, Cacik Cheese, Mint, Walnut
Compressed Persimmon, Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico, Burrata, Wild Arugula
Sunchoke and Fennel Soup, Chips, Truffle Gremolata
Potato and Caviar 2.0
Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie
Winter Truffle Baked Cavatappi and Cheese
Pea Agnolotti, Black Truffle, Pea Shoots, Parmigiano-Reggiano Brittle
Miyazaki Wagyu Beef NY, Carrot Vichy, Spigarello, Yuzu Kotcho Ponzu
Loup De Mer, Calçot Onions, Artichokes, Fennel, Romesco Salsa, Espelette
Nashville Hot Fried Quail, House Made Pickles, Red Velvet Waffle
Torchio Pasta, Arugula, Tomato, Caper Berries, Aleppo Pepper, Black Olive Oil, Basil Flower (V)
Austrian Ricotta Dumpling, Watercress-Pea Pesto, Lemon Brown Butter

Raw Bar
Fresh Seafood
Assorted Sushi Rolls
Made-to-Order Nigiri
Scallop Ceviche, Black Garlic, Satsuma Tangerine Miso, Micro Herbs
Sea Urchin with Eggless Custard, Dashi, Unagi Glaze, Finger Lime
Albacore Tataki, Sweet Onions, Ginger, Momiji Chile, Ponzu

24-Karat-Dusted Valrhona Illanka Chocolate Oscars
Ombre Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Pillow Cake with Coconut Mango and Passion Fruit
Coconut-Chocolate Bar (V)
Yuzu Religieuse
Passion Fruit Cookie with Chocolate Chunks
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Milk Chocolate and Caramelized Pecan Cookies
Strawberry Cookies
Hazelnut and Almond Brownies
Espresso Macarón
Matcha Cherry Macarón
Hibiscus Orange Pâte De Fruit
Piper Heidsieck Golden Champagne Strawberry Push-Pop
Mini Wolfgang Puck Dark Chocolate Bars

Photos courtesy of Wolfgang Puck Catering.


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