The care and feeding of celebrities reaches critical mass on Oscar night.
Two veteran caterers of the glitziest shindigs on Hollywood’s biggest night revealed some of the ins and outs of the process and, of course, some of what their well-known guests can expect.
“This year is going to be our 20th anniversary,” famed chef Wolfgang Puck said of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Ball, which will be hosted in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center just after and above where the 86th Academy Awards will be handed out today.
“So this year is not about the movies, it’s about our 20th anniversary,” Puck joked.
Actually, it’s about making the movie industry’s elite feel comfortable and satisfied, so Puck plans to continue a small plates approach begun at last year’s Governors Ball, which he feels is more conducive to hanging with your closest A-list pals rather than a sit-down dinner.
“Who needs another boring banquet?” Puck reckons. “They want to be able to party. You want to sit with your friends, with the people you do the same things as. We’ll have all our maitre d’s and managers at the front door of the ballroom, and we reserve a section of the dining room so that, when we know that Barbra Streisand has come and she has 10 people, we can give her this table to be with her friends. Or, if Marty Scorsese comes with six people, when Clint Eastwood or somebody else like that walks in, we seat them at the same table so they have something to talk about.”
GRILLED RAISIN BREAD CHEESE SANDWICHES WITH GORGONZOLA, MARSCAPONE, ASIAN PEARS
3 SANDWICHES = 1 DOZEN HORS D’ OUEVRES
6 SLICES OF THIN SLICED RAISIN BREAD
3 OZ. MARSCAPONE CHEESE
3 OZ. GORGONZOLA CHEESE
1 ASIAN PEAR PEELED, CORED, SLICED THIN
2 OZ. BUTTER FOR PAN GRILLING
PLACE 6 SLICES OF RAISIN BREAD ON WORK TABLE.
SPREAD THE MARSCAPONE CHEESE EVENLY ON ALL SLICES
SPRINKLE THE GORGONZOLA EVENLY ON 3 OF THE RAISIN BREAD SLICES.
ON TOP OF THE CHEESE PLACE 3 SLICES OF PEAR.
PLACE THE OTHER SLICE ON TOP AND CLOSE THE SANDWICH.
IN A SAUTE PAN MELT 2 OZ. OF BUTTER AND OVER LOW TO MEDIUM HEAT GRILL THE SANDWICHES ON BOTH SIDES TILL GOLDEN BROWN.
TO SERVE: TRIM THE EDGES OFF THE SANDWICHES AND CUT INTO A CRISS CROSS TO FORM 4 LITTLE TRIANGLE PIECES. PLATE, SERVE AND GARNISH WITH FRESH HERBS.
Chef Wayne Elias, the leading man behind the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards viewing party, also known as the most successful fundraising Hollywood event on Oscar night, puts best food before best picture. For the past 10 years, Elias has been pleasing the palates of stars from Helen Mirren to Britney Spears. And when it comes to Oscar grub, Elias loves transforming beloved comfort foods into decadent treats. Case in point? Ooey gooey grilled cheese. Elias’ take, the richly indulgent grilled raisin bread cheese sandwich, features hearty servings of creamy gorgonzola cheese, buttery mascarpone and juicy Asian pears for a touch of sweetness.
“These sandwiches are not only delish, but they are easy to prep ahead of time, and then heat them in the oven, cut, and serve,” Elias says. “The flavors of the raisin bread with the blue cheese and mascarpone are so mouthwatering and the Asian pear gives them a nice sweet flavor. And really, who does not like grilled cheese?”
Our thoughts exactly.
For 10 years Chef Wayne Elias and his business partner Chris Diamond at Crumble Catering have dished it up for a cavalcade of stars at the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.
Held in West Hollywood Park, Chef Wayne and his Crumble Catering team collaborated again with Chef Gordon Ramsay, creating the perfect dining experience for Hollywood’s biggest night.
The menu for this year’s event, which was hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish and raised $5.1 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS, featured five delicious courses delivered flawlessly by Chef Wayne and his Crumble Catering team of more than 200 cooks, servers and bartenders.
Guests enjoyed appetizers such as Chef Wayne’s Famous Grilled Raisin Bread Sandwiches with mascarpone, gorgonzola and Asian pears; entrees including Citrus Steamed Sea Bass with grapefruit, lemon and lime; as well as Grilled New York Steak and Truffle Fingerling Potatoes with parmesan and cream spinach; along with a variety of scintillating desserts like Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Huckleberry Sauce and Lavender Ice Cream.
Crumble has been in business for over 15 years, and is an extension of Rockwell Table and Stage. As a perk to being part of Rockwell, we have the resources and capability to handle any size event. Our resume speaks for itself, and includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood. We will never deny anyone seeking our services, and can easily do multiple events a day without a problem. If you’re interested, we also offer an in-house entertainment division with a variety of performance and cabaret options. If you want it, we can get it.
We promise that you won’t have to lift a finger on the day of the event. Our staff will work hard to ensure everything is up to your standards. Whether it’s a film premiere or intimate gathering, we look at your party like it’s our party.
Check back for pictures and recaps of our recent events! We’ll also include a few past favorites, and have tips from our head chef! To start personalizing the event of your dreams, click here and fill out our Event Questionnare, Chef Wayne will reach out to you directly to discuss creating your perfect event.
Last week, Crumble Catering had the opportunity to provide gourmet concessions for a charity screening of Ben Affleck’s newest film ARGO. The screening was a benefit for two of Affleck’s favorite charities, Children Mending Hearts and Eastern Congo Initiative. Two hundred and fifty guests attended the event at The Writer’s Guild in Beverly Hills.
ARGO is based on the true story of how 6 Diplomats were rescued during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Using the movie’s foreign locale as inspiration for the fare, Chef Wayne created middle eastern inspired hors d’oeuvres and two savory sweet buffets. The main course was accompanied by a complementing selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.
Below is a sampling of the night’s menu.
ARGO Charity Screening Menu
Saffron Persian Chicken
Basmati Rice with Currants
Stuffed Dolmas with Herbed Rice
Lavosh Pinwheel Wraps with Feta Cheese, Walnuts, and Green Herbs
Beef Shish Kabob with Peppers, Red Onions, and Mushrooms, Marinated in Garlic, Onion, Paprika, Olive Oil, Red Wine and Pepper,
Baby New Zealand Lamb Chops with Fresh Garden Mint Sauce
Puff Pastry Filled with Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Rosemary, Spinach & Hazelnuts
Sautéd Prawns with Lemon Garlic Butter and Fresh Basil, Finished with Chardonnay
By Alesandra Dubin – Buzbash.com
February 27, 2012
Call it Hollywood drama: The 84th annual Academy Awards took to the Kodak Theatre last night, only it’s not called the Kodak anymore. The bankrupt company pulled out of its naming-rights contract earlier this month, so for now the venue is known generically as the Hollywood & Highland Theater. Among the other changes to the big night was the insertion of Billy Crystal as host, after Eddie Murphy pulled out of hosting duties following original producer Brett Ratner’s resignation. (Ratner did so under heavy pressure after making gay slurs last year.)
But here’s something that didn’t change significantly on Oscar night: There wasn’t a major shake-up in importance of the biggest and most buzzed-about events: the Governors Ball hosted by the Academy after the show, Vanity Fair‘s viewing bash, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation fund-raiser. All three galas were back on the scene commanding their typical A-list attendance and frenzy of media attention (albeit with some format and venue changes). Some guests at these events also made their way to Madonna’s well-known annual party, which this year was not co-hosted with Demi Moore, who has been tending to her own much-publicized issues.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation viewing bash, produced by V Productions, moved to a new location this year: the redesigned West Hollywood Park. The event’s guest count ballooned to 890 from last year’s 750 and offered a five-course dinner from chef Cat Cora with support from Crumble Catering. Given that West Hollywood hasn’t even opened the park yet, it stopped construction in order to keep the prestigious party within the city limits after its move from the Pacific Design Center. Chopard, Neuro, and Wells Fargo sponsored, and Foster the People performed. The fund-raising event took in $5.25 million, thanks in part to auction items like the opportunity to join John and husband David Furnish at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, which fetched $230,000.