Some Puckish fare on the menu for Oscar Sunday
Just days before the Academy Awards, Jessica Contreras was busy misting 24-karat gold over an Oscar statuette. But on Sunday, that golden figurine isn't going to be presented to a winner -- instead, it might be eaten by one.
On Wednesday morning, Contreras, a pastry cook, was readying miniature chocolate Oscars for the 52nd Governors Ball. The glittering party, which was launched by the academy in 1958 to fete nominees and winners, will be held again this year at the grand ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center, adjacent to the Kodak Theatre.
"We actually had the molds made before I started working this party, and the academy was very unhappy about it," said Wolfgang Puck, who will be back to cater the event for the 16th year. "They're so protective of their image, you know. But now everything is good, and they take the molds back after the party and say, 'OK, can we lock these up?'"
Earlier this week, a handful of cooks crowded the ballroom's kitchen to get a head start on dicing and peeling vegetables -- including the 400 pounds of celery, 450 pounds of potatoes and 500 pounds of leeks that will be served Sunday night. This year, Puck's menu will include a potato galette with smoked salmon followed by a chicken pot pie and topped off with a Baked Alaska for dessert.