Photos Courtesy Wolfgang Puck
Master chef Wolfgang Puck (of Spago and CUT), who's already been chosen to cook for 16 Governors Balls (the official Academy Awards after-party), is revving up to prepare the 17th feast this Sunday night after the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony. With more than 1,500 Oscar winners, nominees, presenters, and other guests eating your food, a chef just might get a little edgy. Slashfood chatted with Chef Puck to find out what he, partner chef Matt Bencivenga, pastry chef Sherry Yard, and their staff of 300 have up their sleeves for the glitterati, what makes the perfect Oscars party, and what makes for a kitchen disaster or two. Puck even reveals a surprise move that may shock Spago fans.
Slashfood: What's one of your favorite dishes from last year? And what are you excited about this year? We hear the menu packs a lot of Latin flavors.
Wolfgang Puck: We make something different every year. (Except Sherry Yard's gold-dusted desserts -- everyone goes home with an Oscar.) Last year we prepared Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie -- we assembled the dish at night, and in the morning and we baked it perfectly hot for all of the guests. This year my tribute to The King's Speech is the entrée of Pan-Roasted Dover Sole with Fennel, Olives, Haricots Vert, Tomatoes, Lemon, Sherry, and Olive Oil. We're flying in 1,600 Dover Sole for the dinner.
What about the "Black Swan Paella?"
We have a Vegetable Risotto "Paellla" with Saffron, White Wine, Chile, and Parsley -- it has great flavors, and it's easy for Natalie Portman to eat since she is vegetarian.