Last year's Oscars was all about golden opulence and red accents, but this weekend the Governors Ball is looking East for inspiration. You can too, when you create the look for an Oscars viewing party. Start by running a red-carpet-like runner down the middle of your table. Serve the popcorn in a big white bowl and let guests help themselves by filling movie popcorn bags. Place the gourmet hot dogs on a pretty floral-printed plate. Metallic river stones and matching candles provide a zen, glowing atmosphere. Place champagne buckets around the room and serve the sparkling wine and cocktail in stemless champagne flutes. Throw plush pillows on the couch and arrange orchids in oversize tubular vases.
At the Governors Ball, the majority of the stars will be sipping sparkling wine, so stock up on more affordable bottles of Cava or Prosecco. Place wine buckets around the room and fill with ice and bottles. Arrange champagne flutes or saucers nearby. Besides sparkling wine, three specialty cocktails will be poured at the Oscars afterparty. Select one to serve your friends. I like the Golden Rush, a concoction made with orange-flavored vodka, lemon juice, and sparkling wine.
Instead of mixing one libation at a time, prepare a large pitcher. For those who don't drink, serve a mocktail of cranberry juice mixed with lime soda. To check out the recipe for the Golden Rush, read more
Pastry chef extraordinaire Sherry Yard is famous for creating the desserts served at the Governors Ball. Every year she offers the stars chocolate Oscars and buttery shortbread cookies. For my Oscar viewing, I'll take a tip from Yard and serve a bite-sized dessert. Decadent chocolate fudge with (or without) walnuts is rich and delicious. Instead of slicing the fudge into neat squares, use an Oscar cookie cutter to shape the fudge into mini statuettes.
If you don't have time to make dessert, simply fill bowls with movie-theater candy, like Junior Mints, Mike and Ikes, and Milk Duds. To look at the fudge recipe, read more
Every February I invite an intimate group of friends over to watch the Academy Awards. In 2007 I cooked a menu that featured Wolfgang Puck's recipes. In 2008, I made a smorgasbord of elegant, award-winning appetizers. This year I've decided to serve a buffet of classic movie foods. However, I'll give the concession-stand snacks the star treatment. Instead of offering guests boring old popcorn, toss fresh cooked kernels with truffle oil, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Wrap mini sausages in puff pastry for an upscale take on the ordinary hot dog. Serve with a trio of dipping sauces — honey mustard, chipotle ketchup, and garlic mayo.
Trade in the theater's bright orange nacho cheese and stale tortilla chips for a creamy goat cheese béchamel and blue corn chip variation. Not into the Oscars? These recipes would be excellent at any movie-watching shindig. To add them to your recipe collection, read more