With the Academy Awards tonight, the next big event after the stars walk the red carpet and the golden statues are presented is the all-important after party.
While movie buffs and perpetual party planners were busy working on creative themes and menus of their own, Food Network Magazine went behind the scenes of one of the biggest parties in Hollywood.
Renowned chef Wolfgang Puck is the culinary mastermind behind the popular Governors Ball, the after-Oscar event that hosts 1,500 celebs and other hot shots. Puck has already been at work for several weeks preparing for the star-studded event.
According to the timeline he provided to Food Network Magazine, the menu has long been set, as it’s something he starts thinking about around six weeks before the show. Though Puck is making more than 50 dishes, you can bet mini kobe burgers, smoked salmon and gold-covered chocolate Oscars will be among them—those are served every year.
As you might imagine, when you’re serving 1,500 dinner guests, there are a lot of special requests ranging from vegetarian to gluten-free to raw to vegan. But with a crew of 300 sous chefs from his restaurants, plus culinary students from L.A., the gang’s got it all covered.
The cooks get started early—around 6 a.m.—on the day of the show and continue their preparation while watching a live feed of the ceremony. That’s so they can synchronize having the hot dishes on the table just before the glammed-up guests arrive.
Once the celebs move on to the next venue, the food served at the Governors Ball doesn’t just go to waste. Instead, it’s given to Angel Harvest, a non-profit organization that disperses the unserved leftovers among soup kitchens and shelters to help feed the community.
Not until this last generous duty is complete does Puck afford himself his only luxury of the evening. When he can finally relax, he toasts a job well done with a glass of champagne and calls it a night.