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Oscars 2017: How Wolfgang Puck Serves Hollywood A-Listers at the After-Party

The Academy Awards Governors Ball is a dizzying display of excess

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For the 23rd consecutive year, California cuisine titan Wolfgang Puck is in charge of the sumptuous feast at the Governors Ball, a party for Hollywood’s A-listers immediately following the Oscars ceremony. Every year, Puck tries to outdo himself by creating a menu that’s more luxurious than the previous one, but also attuned to the dietary preferences of the entertainment industry elite — think lots of vegetable and fish dishes, along with some heartier stuff for people who maybe aren’t on a diet.

Beyond offering a wide variety of foods, Wolfgang and his team also have to be prepared to give the 1,500 invitees as much as they want of everything. At a press preview earlier this month, Puck told reporters: “If you want to eat five potatoes with caviar, we’ll give you five potatoes with caviar... If you want to eat braised short ribs or chicken pot pie, or you like Kobe sliders or it’s just one of our pizzas, whatever you like, we have it for you.” Apparently, Barbara Streisand is especially fond of the Governors Ball chicken pot pie.

Here’s a peek at what Puck and the event’s organizers are working on for this year’s party on Sunday, February 26:

• Sunday night’s menu will have more than 50 dishes, including gold-dusted popcorn, parsnip agnolotti, lobster corn dogs, taro root tacos with shrimp, Wagyu short ribs with parmesan funnel cakes, and spicy gougères topped with black truffle powder. In keeping with tradition, Puck and his crew will also be serving Oscar-shaped matzo crackers with smoked salmon. Attendees can get baked potatoes with caviar or Dover sole, as well as poke and sushi made-to-order. And the dessert station will have red velvet waffles, lava cakes, and a “chocolate buffet.” Puck and his crew are also making 7,000 chocolate Oscars statuettes dusted with 24-karat gold.

[Getty/Los Angeles Times]

• The bar will be stocked with magnums of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, as well as red and white wines that Francis Ford Coppola Winery is bottling for this event, with labels designed by Coppola himself. Ciroc French 75s and cocktails made with Hilhaven Lodge whiskey will also be available. Every guest will take home a bottle of the Piper-Heidsieck bubbly.

[Last year’s feast]
Getty/Kevork Djansezian

• The visual theme for this year’s feast is “magical transformation.” The entryway will have a red-and-gold motif with midcentury modern details, while the walls and tables in the main ballroom will be covered with 1,800 yards of white satin. Event producer Cheryl Cecchetto says she wants to create an environment that’s “soothing, seductive, very calming.” Around 10,000 flowers will be positioned around the space. Approximately 900 servers will attend to the actors, filmmakers, and flacks at the party. The staffers will be adorned in uniforms designed by Jeffrey Kurland, who also did the costumes for several Woody Allen films and the new version of Ghostbusters.

The private event kicks off at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center immediately after the Academy Awards on Sunday night. It lasts till midnight, but apparently the A-listers can stay as long as they want — a few years ago, Jeff Bridges was spotted dancing by himself inside the ballroom 20 minutes after the party had officially ended.

Oscars Governor’s Ball Menu: What the Stars Will Be Eating [Variety]
The Post-Oscar Governors Ball By the Numbers [THR]
Oscars Governor’s Ball [Official]

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