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Wolfgang Puck Dishes on His Academy Awards Menu

Wolfgang Puck Dishes on His Academy Awards Menu

The Spago chef discusses changes to his usual Oscars routine

Wolfgang Puck has already revealed the menu for his annual dinner at the Academy Awards’ Governors Ball, but since this year is going to be so different than years past, we caught up with the chef to get the full scoop behind the changes.

"We changed the Academy Awards completely," Puck said. "Before, the Academy Awards' dinner, the Governors Ball dinner, was always a black-tie, sit-down, very serious dinner — it was boring! That’s not how we live today. So we have a party where we’re going to sit on tables like that, where friends can pull up a chair. It’s going to be all small plates, so you can get a small lamb chop from Chinois with a cilantro vinaigrette or a little lobster [or] a little steak from Cut or a pizza and pasta from Spago. But it’s going to be a party instead of a black-tie dinner. It’s going to be just as good if not more interesting!"

For more from chef Puck, including details on the particularly special drink option they have this year, watch the video above!


The predictions. The red carpet. The gowns. The winners. The losers. The parties. That's when it gets really interesting for me. Here's Wolfgang Puck's menu for the 2015 Academy Awards Governors Ball. If you read through it, you'll see that outside of a lot of expensive caviar and truffles, it is full of comfort food you can easily make at home for your own Academy Awards viewing party. You'll find mac n cheese, pizza, sliders, grilled cheese, chocolate chip cookies, and other comfort food favorites along with easy to create stations like his famous cheese board, sushi bar, and dessert buffet.

A very simple design includes lots of red draping, gold men and an assortment of branches with forced spring blooms and a variety of containers full of spring flowers of all one kind. Photo:

This signature cocktail is called "Blood and Sand". Photo:

Very elegantly presented but it is still a cheese board. You can do this one at home- easy! Photo:

True comfort food, Hollywood style. Puck's spin on classic Chicken Pot Pie includes shaved truffle on top. Photo:

This is another "can do" recipe. Pizza crust, a dill infused marscapone and sour cream spread and some smoked salmon. Caviar garnish if you have the budget. Photo:

A classic comfort food favorite punched up with truffles, Wolfgang Puck's Mac n Cheese in individual serving dishes. Easy to recreate, just leave off the truffles. Photo:

Flatbread shaped like the Oscar statue covered salmon, creme fraiche and caviar. Photo:

Wolfgang Puck makes luxurious Kobe beef or lamb sliders for his party. Small bites make serving so easy. Photo:

Use movie props you find at the party store or DIY to create a magical dessert buffet. Load it down with chocolates and other favorite sweets. Photo:

Make a gold statue or buy one. I did mine with a Ken doll (arms removed) spray painted gold. You can find these at most party stores around this time of year. Everyone likes something on a stick so simply buy lollipop sticks at the craft store and make magic. Photo:

French Macarons are always a hit. These are infused with huckleberry and Earl Grey tea. They are pretty time consuming to make so I'd opt to buy them at a local bakery unless that's just your thing! Photo:

Are you kidding me? Wolfgang Puck makes chocolate puffed rice cereal haystacks like normal folks make! but of course he puts them on a stick to fancy up the presentation. Photo:

Chef Wolfgang Puck readies caviar, gold dust for Oscars feast

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three-hundred pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef will be sliced, 1,500 quail eggs cracked and some 1,400 champagne corks popped as Hollywood’s stars dine on chef Wolfgang Puck’s recipes after the Oscars are handed out on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Puck, the celebrity chef in his 24th year preparing the post-Academy Awards feast, on Thursday unveiled his menu for the annual Governor’s Ball that will serve up 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of edible gold dust to 1,500 guests of A-listers and Oscar winners.

“We are really all of us excited, and I really think for us it’s always very special,” the 68-year-old Austrian-born Puck said.

Diners will be treated to more than 50 dishes, including small-plate entrees such as mini pea and carrot ravioli with black truffle, a raw bar featuring caviar parfait with 24-karat gold, and cocktail-inspired macarons like negroni and mojito.

The event will require a staff of more than 1,000 to prepare food, serve 800 stone crab claws and pour more than 10,900 glasses of wine from director Francis Ford Coppola’s winery.

Puck, who also included vegan and gluten-free fare such as spinach campanelle and tiny taro tacos, approached the event with his trademark enthusiasm, cracking a raspberry dessert with a spoon while declaring sweets his “most important thing”

“As long as the Oscars is not tired of me, I’m not tired of Oscar,” Puck said with a grin.

An Oscar party can also require specific solutions: The four-plus-hour event starts at 4 p.m. on the West Coast, and space restrictions often mean that the TV is in one room and the food in another. Puck solves these problems with passed hors d&aposoeuvres during the preshow, followed by a buffet for the main event.

Start with Snacks

For viewers glued to the tube during the red-carpet arrivals, Puck recommends his bruschetta-like roasted garlic crostini�sily eaten while dishing on dresses and dates. The garlic can be baked in advance—it&aposll keep for three days in the fridge𠅊nd spread on the toasts at the last minute. Various garnishes such as thinly sliced prosciutto or roasted red peppers are a cinch to add on top.

Move on to Mains

For the buffet, Puck prefers a hearty meal of late-winter dishes. If, like him, you have an extra television in your kitchen, try setting up the food in there. If not, diners can drift over to fill their plates during commercials, then head back to the TV when something exciting happens. Sterno cans will keep everything warm (if you don&apost have chafing dishes, improvise with regular heatproof dishes set on bricks—place the fuel between the bricks), and Puck&aposs gently braised beef brisket and buttery spätzle won&apost overcook, even after a whole evening over the flames.

To keep his Caesar salad from wilting, Puck recommends putting out only a small amount at a time, refilling the bowl with fresh lettuces, dressings, and croutons whenever it&aposs emptied.

Award-Winning Extras

At the end of the evening, while the last, crucial awards are being announced, pass around finger-food desserts. Puck&aposs "Hollywood Stars"—linzer cookies sandwiched with raspberry jam, or chocolate shortbread with a Mascarpone filling—make a grand finale. Try baking up extras to send home with guests as favors.

Lights, Camera, Gluten-Free Apps

2/11/16 By Alison Spiegel

The 88th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 28. If you aren't already gearing up for Hollywood's big night, perhaps a taste of what the stars will be served for dinner will get you excited.

Wolfgang Puck Catering gave us a sneak peek at its Oscar-night menu.

To be honest, much of the menu sounds like it hasn't been updated in a decade: Passed appetizers include a Chinese chicken salad on a wonton crisp, curried chicken salad on walnut raisin toast and shrimp cocktail. Pretty sure we were all eating that when Crash somehow won Best Picture in 2006.

That said, other parts remind us that it is very much 2016. First, items are labeled gluten free, nut free or dairy free. Ah, Hollywood. Second, the raw bar is called "Poke, Sushi and Shellfish." There hasn't been a hotter raw fish dish than poke since tuna tartare (also on the menu). And in case anyone was worried, they'll be serving avocado toast (vegetarian, NF, DF).

We just wonder who'll go to the chocolate buffet, which is the longest section of the menu. It includes treats like tiramisu push pops, caramel Oscars lollipops, milk chocolate peanut butter ring dings, a macaron tower and the obligatory chocolate fountain.

Planning a menu that must take into account not only dietary restrictions but the constant movement of so many guests is no easy feat. Barbara Brass, vice president of catering sales for Wolfgang Puck Catering, says that chef Wolfgang Puck aimed to put his biggest hits into small-plate format for the night. "Adding variety was important, but creating more of a fluid environment where guests could mingle was the main objective."

Though the catering group updates the menu every year, certain popular dishes, like macaroni and cheese and handmade agnolotti, are always there.

See below for the complete menu.

Wolfgang Puck Catering

2016 Oscar Menus
GF - Gluten Free
NF - Nut Free
DF - Dairy Free

Pre Show - Tray Passed

Curried Chicken Salad on Walnut Raisin Toast (DF)
Chinese Chicken Salad on Wonton Crisp
Roasted Red Hummus with Jicama Sticks (DF)
Smoked Salmon Mousse on Cucumber (NF)
Brioche Crostini with Seared Au Poivre Filet Mignon (NF)
Tomato, Feta and Olive Skewer (Vegetarian, GF,NF)
Shrimp Cocktail (GF,NF,DF, Contains Shellfish)

Levels 1 and 2.
Mini Burgers
Assorted Pizzas
Tuna Cones

On the Bars

Root Vegetable Chips (Vegan,GF,NF,DF)
Homemade Potato Chips (Vegan,GF,NF,DF)

Tasting Menu

2016 Oscars Governors Ball

Governors Ball - Passed Hors d'Oeuvres

Spicy Tuna Tartare, Sesame Miso Cone (NF)
Mini Burgers, Aged Cheddar, Remoulade (NF)
Smoked Salmon Oscar Matzo (NF)
Assorted Pizza (some Vegetarian, Some Vegan, NF)
Aged Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato (Vegetarian,NF)
Avocado Toast with Radish, Sea Salt and Finger Lime (Vegetarian,NF,DF)
Grilled Fig filled with Local Ricotta and Saba (NF,GF,Vegetarian)
Pork Potsticker with Ponzu (NF)
Taro Root Taco with Wild Mushrooms and Salsa Verde (Vegan, NF, GF)
Crispy BiBimBap (NF, Vegetarian)

Table Platter

Homemade Pretzels, Pimento Cheese (Vegetarian,NF) x2
5 Year Aged Gouda (Vegetarian,GF,NF)
Parmesan Reggiano (Vegetarian, GF, NF)
Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika (GF,NF,DF) x2
Roasted Nuts with Rosemary, Cayenne, Sea Salt and Brown Sugar (GF)
Fleur de Sel Breadsticks (NF,DF)
Seeded Lavosh (NF,DF)

Poke, Sushi & Shellfish Station
(Contains Shellfish, GF,NF,DF)

Passed Small Plates - Hot

Baked Potato with Caviar (GF,NF)
Chicken Pot Pie, Black Truffles (NF)
Apple-Celery Root Soup with Black Truffle (Vegetarian)
Baked Macaroni and Cheese (NF)
Ancient Grain Risotto with Peas, Mushrooms and Pea Leaves (Vegetarian, NF)
Wagyu Shortrib, Cauliflower Purée, Golden Raisins and Puffed Thai Rice (NF)
Artichoke and Fromage Agnolotti, Black Winter Truffles (Vegetarian, NF)
Dover Sole, Sweet Potato, Chili, Orange Miso Vinaigrette (NF, GF)

Passed Small Plates - Cold

Baby Beets, Cara Cara Oranges, Frisee, Arugula and Shallot Vinaigrette
Chopped Salad with Artichokes, Asparagus, Radicchio and Haricot Vert (Vegan, GF, NF)
Chilled White Grape and Almond Gazpacho (Vegan, GF)

Chocolate Buffet

Caramel Oscars Lollipops (GF, NF)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (NF)
Coconut Macaroons (NF)
Chewy Cranberry Meringues (Pink Color) (GF, NF)
Macaron Tower (Pistachio, Violet, Mango, Chocolate and Raspberry) (GF)
Crunchy Pearl Chocolate Dome
Raspberry Opera (NF)
Strawberry Marshmallow (GF, NF)
Bubble Banana/Strawberry Cheesecake Lollipop Freeze dried Strawberry (NF)
Rum "Baba Savarin" Raspberry Gelee (NF)
Mini Yuzu Tarte Tropezienne (NF)
Dark Chocolate Brownie (NF)
Tiramisu Push Pop (NF)
Assorted WP Chocolate Bonbons, Bars, and Barks
Strawberry White Chocolate Puffed Rice Rocher (NF)
Kalamansi Pate De fruit (GF, NF)
Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Ring Dings
Passion Fruit Mallomars (NF)
Lemon Meringue Tart Lollipop (NF)
Vanilla-Raspberry Religieuse (NF)
Chocolate Fountain

Vegan and Gluten Free Items
Coconut Cupcake
Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Passed Small Plates - Dessert

Chocolate Passion Layer Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Speculoos, Banana Ice cream
Sweet Taco, Pistachio Lady Finger, Market Cherries
Raspberry Panna Cotta, Champagne Caviar, White Chocolate Décor
Vanilla Bean and Hot Fudge Sundae

Moulin de Mougins (Mougins, France)

A long time ago, before I even opened Spago, I was on the French Riviera with a girlfriend who didn’t care about food. I left her at the hotel and went to go see my friend Roger Vergé at Moulin de Mougins, where I ate alone on the terrace. I still remember I had a lobster salad with black truffles, stuffed zucchini flowers, and then for dessert, wild strawberries with vanilla ice cream. It was a perfect lunch and I was happy to be alone and concentrate on just the flavors instead of conversation. (Photo: Moulin de Mougins)

What's On the Menu at the SAG Awards and After-Party Gala?

Anyone who’s hosted a dinner for Very Important People (your future mother-in-law, your boss, your fanciest friends), knows that it takes tons of advance planning. Now throw Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Sandra Bullock into the mix.

For Saturday’s upcoming SAG Awards, Wolfgang Puck is slicing and dicing his way to a menu befitting Hollywood’s most A-list crowd — who also happen to be rather discerning diners. It’s no small feat: 800 lbs. of filet mignon, 400 lbs. of farro and 7,000 kale chips — plus copious amounts of champagne — are only part of the equation for the celeb-studded feast at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium.

As the nominees watch the show, they’ll be enticed by one of Puck’s signatures: miso glazed wild salmon with spicy orange noodles, a standout among stars. “The dish has Asian flavors so that you get all the different layers of taste,” Matt Bencivenga, chef and managing partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering, tells PEOPLE.

The high-powered menu continues at the post-awards Gala hosted by PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, where Puck, Bencivenga and company are whipping up late-night noshes including spicy tuna tartare, mini prime cheese burgers, winter squab tortellini and pumpkin cheesecake pops to accompany the afterparty antics.

Borrow some of the culinary sparkle and try one of these Tinsletown-approved dishes at your own viewing party. Get the recipe for [premium title=”Wolfgang Puck’s super sliders” url=”,,20711693,00.html”], and find the instructions for miso salmon below (tip: Bencivenga recommends blanching and marinating the noodles and salmon the day before to make prep easier).

However you play host, Bencivenga offers this advice for pleasing VIPs: “Know the crowd that’s coming. Know what you want and want to be. And plan ahead.”

Miso Glazed Wild Salmon with Spicy Orange Noodles

½ cup mirin (a sweet golden-yellow Japanese wine)

In a sauce pan, bring the sake nearly to a boil before removing from heat. Ignite with a long-handled match to burn off the alcohol. Shake the pan gently until the flame dies down. Add mirin, bring to a boil. Mix the sugar and miso together with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.

4 oranges, squeezed for juice and peeled for zest

1 cup chili goop (can be found in most Thai food stores)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

¼ cup toasted white sesame seeds

1 tsp. togarashi (Japanese mixed pepper)

Blend egg yolks, mustard, garlic, ginger, water, red miso, sesame seeds, rice vinegar and sugar until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients slowly while beating vigorously.

Miso Broiled Black Salmon

5 oz. salmon (or black cod) marinated in miso marinade for 24 hours

3 oz. egg noodles, cooked and cooled (Lo Mein)

1 carrot, cut into thin matchsticks

1 cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks

1. Blanch haricot vert in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender. Shock in ice water to cool down. Cut the marinated cod/salmon in four pieces before placing on a foil wrapped tin on top of carrots. Place in broiler, brushing with excess marinade and turning while it cooks for about 3 minutes.

2. Add cilantro, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and sushi ginger to the cooked noodles. Toss with the noodle vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Spin noodles on a pasta form and cut in four pieces before placing on a plate. Put a small pool of sesame miso vinaigrette on plate next to the noodles. Place 4 pieces of cooked fish on top of the vinaigrette and garnish noodles with pea tendrils.

Wolfgang puck celebrities oscar

4) Not even A-listers can get Wolfgang to spill his culinary secrets.
"I never tell [stars my recipes during the Governors Ball]. They can be the movie stars, and I don’t want them to cook!"

5) Wolfgang has never actually seen a full Oscars telecast.
"You know I have never really watched it fully. I’ll watch bits and pieces of it. Mainly at the end when they announce best actor or best director before the best movie, I will watch that because then I know that’s my cue to get busy in the kitchen."

Above: In 2017, Mahershala Ali, winner of Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, shared his moment in the spotlight with Chef Wolfgang at the Governors Ball.

The Nominee's luncheon was entirely vegan, ABC's George Pennacchio reported on Twitter, from the vegan bread and cheese plate to the chocolate- and fruit-based dessert course.

This year's Oscar menu will be 70% plant-based, and it's been widely reported that Joaquin Phoenix, an Oscar-nominee and vegan advocate, was responsible for many award dinners shifting to meat-free menus.

But chef Wolfgang Puck told US Magazine that many dishes aren't much different from previous dinners, including roasted vegetables like beets, mushrooms, and eggplant.

"We always had a lot of vegan dishes, we just never talked about it," he said.

The Academy said in a press release the menu is designed to be more environmentally sustainable and help reduce the organization's carbon footprint.

Wolfgang Puck's Plant-Based Menu for the 2020 Oscars Will Make You Drool!

Veganism is the hottest trend to hit Hollywood's awards season.

The Golden Globes kicked things off in January by offering a 100 percent plant-based meal. Of course, in the weeks following, the Critics' Choice Awards followed suit by offering plant-based dishes. By the time it was the Screen Actors Guild Awards, a precedent was set, and Wolfgang Puck created a special vegan menu for the awards show.

Thus, it wasn't surprising when the 2020 Oscars announced their menu for the Governors Ball would be 70 percent plant-based. Puck has been the longtime caterer for the Governors Ball. In fact, this will be the food expert 26th time overseeing the famous feast.

While this plant-based trend may seem revolutionary to some, it's actually been a specialty of Puck's for quite some time. On Wednesday, the famed chef and his son Byron Puck made this very point during an appearance on Daily Pop.

"Yes, there's a lot of plant! We always did, but we never said it," the Austrian-American chef relayed to co-hosts Carissa Culiner and Justin Sylvester. "Because, we always love vegetables. You know, I go to the farmer's market all the time…So, vegetables are my thing."

Per the 70-year-old master chef, growing up on a farm made vegetables a major staple in his diet.

"We had meat once a week," Puck exclaimed.

Although the plant-based dishes will be front and center at the 92nd Academy Awards celebration, a few staples will remain on the menu. We're, of course, talking about the Pucks' iconic Smoked Salmon Oscars.

Thankfully, Daily Pop viewers got a close up of this treat—along with several others. In fact, Byron concocted an impressive spring roll out of apple slices.

Although the elder Puck is all about presentation, he made it clear that taste is what is most important.

"The look is always important. You know, that's why we put make-up on," Puck expressed. "But I think at the end, it has to taste delicious."

For all of this and more, be sure to watch the Pucks' drool-inducing cooking segment above.