Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wolfgang Puck: 85th Academy Awards Oscar Menu

It's time again for the most glamorous award show of the year, the Oscars, and for the 19th consecutive year, Austrian celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck will be creating the menu for the Governors Ball, the star-studded party following the Academy Awards. "Our goal each year is to honor Hollywood’s brightest stars and most accomplished artists with a culinary masterpiece. "After the Oscars, everyone is so hungry they don’t care that it’s fattening. We’re lucky. Most people don’t eat before they go to the Oscars. Everybody wants to fit into their dress, and makeup and hair take a long time, so that doesn’t leave time for a leisurely lunch. So come ten at night, people will eat anything."

Smoked Salmon Oscars with Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleons

Wolfgang Puck's famous Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones

Vegetable Spring Rolls, with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

This years menu includes such signature favourites as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini Kobe burgers with aged cheddar and remoulade. "Members of the Academy love chicken pot pie," says Puck, who has kept the most-requested dish on the menu along with some modern dishes such as Japanese baby peach salad, steamed red snapper with Thai spice, Tuna Niçoise with green olives, and new vegan options including kale salad with grilled artichoke and lemon vinaigrette, beluga lentils with cauliflower and baby vegetables, and farro with apple, beet and spiced walnut.

Japanese baby peach salad

Kombu Chip with Edamame Guacamole

Kale Salad with Grilled Artichoke and Lemon Vinaigrette

Steamed Red Snapper with Thai Spices

Chestnut Tortellini with White Truffles

Concord Grape Macaron

This years Academy Award nominated films

"We have so many great nominated movies from Argo and Les Miserables to Silver Linings Playbook. It's a really great year for movies with lots of variety, so we are going to serve a variety of dishes," Puck says. "But people always want these Mini Kobe Burgers. I can give them caviar, but they still ask for them. It’s the funniest thing, people are thinking about them already at the Oscars, because most of them are hungry. It’s such a staple now. We went from regular beef to kobe beef and sometimes we put black truffles on them. Some people say, 'what's the black stuff on top?' They’re not all gourmets who come to the Oscars!"

Mini Kobe Burgers with Aged Cheddar and Remoulade - "We make the brioche ourselves 
and use the best beef, a truffle aioli and a sharp cheddar cheese"

Vegan Pizza with Pesto and Grilled Vegetables

Catering for 1,500 of the most important people in Hollywood takes a hefty staff, Puck explains. An incredible 300 chefs and kitchen staff will prepare for the Governor's Ball, and 650 waiters will serve on the floor. The kitchen will go through five kilos of American farm raised caviar, 10 pounds of white truffles from Italy, 10 pounds of winter black truffles from Burgundy, and 30 pounds of edible gold dust, which will be used in part for dessert maven Sherry Yard's gold-dusted chocolate Oscars. She'll also have over 150 other desserts on hand, from edible sugar chandeliers, mini Baked Alaska pops, Chocolate Crème Brulee with Raspberries and Concord grape macarons, inspired by the Ball's décor this year of aubergine, chartreuse and champagne.

Pastry Chef Sherry Yard frosting her Chocolate Soufflé Cake

Chef Yard's macarons

This years Governor's Ball décor: aubergine, chartreuse and champagne

The Governor's Ball signature cocktail this year - Ultimat Blue Sunrise 

Oscar winners, nominees and presenters will be toasting to the year in movies with Thiénot champagne, the exclusive champagne of the Oscars, along with this years Governor's Ball signature cocktail, The Ultimat Blue Sunrise, made with ultra-premium Ultimat vodka, and fresh blueberry and mango juices. In an effort towards environmental responsibility, the Academy promises to recycle materials used at the event, compost floral arrangements and donate unused, prepared food to L.A. Specialty Chefs to End Hunger — Bravo.

The Ultimat Blue Sunrise
Serves 1

1 1⁄2 oz Ultimat Vodka 
1⁄2 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur 
2 oz Fresh Blueberry Juice 
1 oz Fresh Mango Juice 
Blueberry or blackberry Garnish 
Silver Sugar Rim

Combine Ultimat vodka, Patron Citronge, fresh blueberry and mango juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a spear of fresh blueberries or blackberries.

Wolfgang Puck’s Mini Cheese Burgers with Remoulade & Aged Cheddar 
Makes 12 mini burgers

3/4 lb ground beef
1/4 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz aged cheddar cheese, sliced
6 slices Brioche bread, punched out with a 2-inch ring cutter or 12 mini buns
Arugula leaves
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
3 cornichons, sliced

Remoulade Sauce:
2 cups heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup of brunoise of red onion
1/2 cup of brunoise of red bell pepper
1/2 cup of brunoise of yellow bell pepper

For the remoulade sauce, combine the heavy cream, garlic, rosemary and paprika in a medium saucepan, and reduce by half. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a sauté pan, heat the peanut oil. Sweat the onions, red and yellow bell pepper until glossy. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool to room temperature.

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Put the ground beef in a bowl and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands to combine. Take about 2 tablespoons of the ground beef and roll it in the palm of your hand like you are making meatballs. Flatten the top slightly and put the mini burger patties on a side plate. Drizzle the burgers with oil and season the tops with salt and pepper. Turn the burgers over and season the other side.

Place the burgers on the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn them over with tongs. Put about 1/2 ounce of aged cheddar cheese on top of the burgers, allowing it to melt. While that’s cooking, put the brioche circles or mini buns on the grill. Let them toast slightly on both sides, about 2 minutes total time.

To put the burgers together: Put the toasted brioche circles or bun halves on a platter. Top each with a small spoonful of Remoulade. Put the burger on top, cheese side up, followed by an arugula leaf, a slice of tomato and a slice of cornichon. Top with other half of the brioche or buns, and secure with a decorative pick.

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