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The Cookstr 10: Ten Oscar-Worthy Dishes (3rd Annual Edition)

February 17, 2011

Once again, our invites to the Academy Awards got lost in the mail, so we are focusing our attention on our third annual “Let’s Pretend We Were Invited to the Governors Ball After the Awards Ceremony” menu. On February 27th we know exactly where we will be: sitting right in front of the television, eating, and making uncensored comments about people’s outfits.

Rocco DiSpirito's Jambon de Bayonne, Baby Artichokes and Arugula

Here are a couple of things to think about, other than the food, as you plan your Oscar shindig.

1) Are you someone who welcomes a running commentary, sometimes drowning out the award host’s witty comments and the acceptance speeches, necessitating frequent rewinding? Or are you more of a “Shhh, it’s on!” person, who prefers absolute silence except during the commercials? You may want to consider this as you draw up your guest list.

2) Do you embrace the Oscars as an opportunity to put on your finest evening wear, enjoying pretending that this night is as special in your life as it is for, say, Natalie Portman? Or are you thrilled that you don’t have to spend three hours getting your hair and makeup done, and like to spend the evening in pants with an elastic waist? Again, you may want to advise your guests accordingly. Nothing is more off-putting than someone showing up in a tiara, with you in your yoga pants, or vice versa.

Jamie Oliver's The Nicest Tray-Baked Lemon Sole

Now then, the menu. This is what famed chef Wolfgang Puck is going to be serving the bright lights of Hollywood after the show comes to a close.



Maki Rolls – Spicy Tuna, Sweet Shrimp, Crab, Vegetable

Nigiri – Tuna, Sweet Shrimp, Yellowtail, Salmon, Snapper

Sashimi – Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Snapper

Cucumber Salad, Edamame, Wasabi, Soy and Pickled Ginger



Shrimp, Oysters, and Crab

Cocktail Sauce, Mustard Sauce and Mignonette


Tray-Passed Hors D’oeuvres

Smoked Salmon on Oscar Flatbread with Caviar and Crème Fraiche

Spicy Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones with Masago

Mini Kobe Cheeseburger with Remoulade and Aged Cheddar

Taro Root Taco with Smoked Lobster, Avocado and Pickled Jalapeno

Crispy Rice with Hamachi, Yuzu Aioli, Soy and Edamame

Quince Truffle Crisp

Black Truffle Pizza with Ricotta and Thyme


Trio of Wolfgang’s Signature Salads

Artichoke Salad with Confit Tomato, Shaved Parmesan, Arugula, Lemon

Heirloom Beets with Oranges, Almonds, Goat Cheese, Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Iberico Ham, Black Truffle Aioli and Mizuna Leaves

Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh's Spring Risotto


Pan Roasted Dover Sole with Fennel, Olives, Haricot Vert, Tomatoes, Lemon, Sherry, and Olive Oil

Butler-served Vegetable Risotto “Paella” with Saffron, White Wine, Chili, Parsley

Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner's Lemon Poppy Seed Cheesecake with Berry Puree


Sherry’s Sweet Bouquet Layers of Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Cremieux, Cassis Gelee, Valrhona Ivoire 24 Karat Chocolate Oscar


And this is what we’ll be serving as we watch the show:

1. Wolfgang Puck’s Smoked Salmon Pizza. Oscar-shaped flatbreads topped with smoked salmon, caviar, and crème fraiche have become the iconic hors d’oeuvre of the Governors Ball. However, years ago, Wolfgang Puck became celebrated for another brilliant smoked salmon dish: his smoked salmon pizza, which is the winner of the lifetime achievement award in the smoked fish category.

2. Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze’s Asian Tuna Tartare. This tartare is as spicy as Mila Kunis in Black Swan. Fresh ginger, a bit of chopped jalapeño, and wasabi powder are the flavors, but there’s not so much heat that the delicate flavor of the raw tuna is overpowered.

3. Hiroko Shimbo’s Salmon Skin Roll. A tray of sushi is always a great way greet your esteemed guests, and if you’ve never made it at home, it’s something to try at least once. There are over 250 people in the kitchen alone at the Governors Ball, not to mention over 900 catering staff–you may want to call upon your social network if you need some help.

4. Anya von Bremzen’s Truffled Tortilla. Ten pounds of black truffles will be used to tickle the palates of the Governors Ball attendees. At a retail cost of about $50 per ounce…well, we’ll let you do that math on that one. Our budget is a bit more short-subject-documentary than Inception, so we’re going with a Spanish egg, potato, and mushroom tortilla, with a drizzle of more affordable truffle oil to provide that ethereal truffley-ness.

5. Rocco DiSpirito’s Jambon de Bayonne, Baby Artichokes and Arugula. Baby artichokes and peppery arugula match up beautifully, and paper-thin slices of ham are the finishing touch in this salad. We can’t resist pointing out how ironic it is that ham is being served up to a bunch of actors….

6. Robin Miller’s Beet-Apple Salad with Pistachios and Goat Cheese Dressing. Beets have a wonderful affinity for nuts and goat cheese, and this salad also plays the natural sugary-ness of beets against the tartness of green apples. The yogurt dressing also echoes the sweetness of the beets with the inclusion of Oscar-gold honey.

7. Tom Douglas’s Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut-Star Anise Mayonnaise. Aioli is basically garlic mayonnaise, but in this dish the homemade mayo is spiked with citrus, exotic star (star! ha!) anise, and finely chopped toasted hazelnuts. Make sure the asparagus are still firm when you take them off the fire as they will continue to cook a bit as you plate them up.

8. Jamie Oliver’s The Nicest Tray-Baked Lemon Sole. Sole is a very elegant fish, certainly befitting the occasion. The Provençal flavors of the Hollywood version are very much present in this recipe, skillfully supported with cherry tomatoes, herbs, garlic, lemon, and black olives.

9. Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh’s Spring Risotto. For the record, we do realize that this newsletter includes a number of ingredients that aren’t exactly in season in most areas of the country. But, in the quest to be true to the official Governors Ball menu, we’re squinting a bit at the seasonality factor. You can certainly vary the vegetables according to what is available, and adjust the cooking times accordingly.

10. Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner’s Lemon Poppy Seed Cheesecake with Berry Puree. Do celebrities actually eat dessert at the Governors Ball? This is something we plan to muse on while scooping up forkfuls of brightly flavored cheesecake drizzled with berry puree.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 24, 2011 4:02 pm

    I maintain one copy of every of my stories because I need to know which journal has rejected or accepted every story. What you are really promoting is First British Copyright. The story belongs to you, even though here I’d recommend that promoting the exact same story to various magazines truly a small impolite in that every magazine wants to be individual and different. Imagine the disappointment of an editor to find that competing magazines have the same story.

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