By Cat Oppenhimer
February 19, 2009
Maybe it was the army of men and women in white coats, maybe it was the vast array of obscure contraptions lining the stainless steel countertops…but upon first glance, the state of the art kitchen of world renowned chef Wolfgang Puck looks more like a NASA scientists’ lab.
This is not too much of a stretch, considering that Puck (and his team of a cool 350) have their work down to a science. That work is creating some of the most elegant and intricate dishes that fine dining has ever seen. And it is all for Sunday night’s Governor’s Ball, immediately following the 81st Academy Awards. With 1500 of Hollywood’s elite attending, nothing less will do.
Three days out from the big event, the pressure was on. However that did not seem to bother Chef Puck. He appeared cool as a cucumber. That is no surprise since this will be the 15th consecutive year that the master chef has been selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create the Ball’s menu. He sums up his goals for the evening’s multiple course meal in two simple parts: “Everything must look good and taste good. Then you are successful.”
The menu will include several ball favorites including Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones, Chopped Chino Farms Vegetable Salad with Ginger and Soy Vinaigrette, and for dessert, Pastry Chef Sherry Yard’s dark chocolate Oscars dusted in 24 karat gold.
Chef Puck will include locally grown, sustainable, and organic ingredients in all of his dishes. This is not just for quality purposes, but to feed the local economy as well. Yes, the recession hits hard, even in Hollywood. But the show will go on with no luxury spared. Sunday night’s winners, nominees, presenters, members of the Academy and press are surely in for a five star dining experience.
By Cat Oppenhimer