One of the best parts of the myNewYorkeye - ROAD TRIP TO HOLLYWOOD was being able to taste the food designed by Master chef Wolfgang Puck.
Most of us have followed his career or been to eat at his establishments. Well, on assignment I was invited to a tasting (in LA) and the culinary creative cutie literally smacked into me as he was taking his place, behind a bevy of delicious delights which was stationed for the media set up to preview this year’s Governors Ball, which is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ official post-Oscar® celebration, that will immediately follow the 87th Oscars® ceremony on Sunday, February 22.
He didn’t hit me hard, mind you, but my dramatic mind allowed the 2 second event to play out in uber slow-motion. It was a Hollywood moment and the second such encounter, the previous year Oscar winner Jaret allowed me to hold his Oscar in the winners room. This exchange with Wolfgang was equally as meaniful and there was iconic food involved so it equaled itself out—perfectly.
“Darling, are you ok,” the legend asked with his accent as smooth as ice, well it was to my ears. “Please forgive me but I am in a hurry,” and with that he released me and took his spot behind the food set up at precisely 10 am and then it was lights, camera, action, questions and food.
For years, I had consumed everything the media would offer on the Oscar celebrations and would almost press my nose to the television set when the bounty of food was being shown.
So for our team to be included in the invite only preview, which also included the Academy governor Jeffrey Kurland, and event producer Cheryl Cecchetto, who along with Wolfgang Puck sharing what the 1,500 invited guests (Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants) are going to see, taste and drink—-well, it was another highlight to an overall year that is getting off to a tremendous start!
“The artistry and glamour that have truly defined Hollywood for decades will be highlighted at 87th Oscars Governors Ball,” said Kurland. “We’ve selected the most stunning imagery from the Academy’s vast collections to set the stage for our guests. The Academy will honor and share these timeless moments of a legacy that is in our blood and truly makes us who we are.”
As the chair of the Governors Ball, Kurland will oversee the décor, menu and entertainment planning, as well as design the attire to be worn by the evening’s staff. Kurland is an acclaimed costume designer whose feature credits include “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Radio Days,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Inception,” “Beautiful Creatures” and the upcoming “Tomorrowland.” He received an Oscar nomination for Costume Design for “Bullets over Broadway.” This will be Kurland’s sixth year serving as Governors Ball chair.
Cecchetto, along with her Sequoia Productions team, will work with Kurland to manage every detail pertaining to the event, including décor, entertainment, food and personnel.
Now this is the part that left me speechless and humble. We got to sample signature Puck favorites such as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged Cheddar.
CEO Carl Schuster will direct more than 900 event staff through the detailed logistics and hospitality experience.
Diageo Luxury Brands will again be the star at the Oscar® Night with Sterling Vineyards® wines, Johnnie Walker®, Haig Club™, Talisker™, and Ketel One® being served thorughout the evening.
That’s not close to all we sampled because the pastry team (Della Gossett, Spago’s executive pastry chef; Kamel Guechida, corporate director of pastry for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group; and Jason Lemonnier, Los Angeles pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering) put their collective “foot” into the sweets including creating such exotic stand-alones like the apple millefeuille with cider jelly, peanut butter strawberry lollipop, milk chocolate panna cotta with raspberry and cherry, and of course Puck’s traditional 24k gold chocolate Oscars.
This is Puck’s 21st consecutive year creating the menu for the Governors Ball and master chef Wolfgang Puck not only posed with me, along with his VIP Brand Ambassador, he personally gave me two of his 24K gold chocolate Oscars.
6,500 wood-fired Oscars-shaped flat bread will be made
3,500 miso cones
6,000 mini chocolate Oscars
2,000 custom Oscar boxes!!