Lights, Camera, Food: Food Served at the 2023 Oscars

by Eugenie Kim (’26) | March 31, 2023

Art by Matthew Tran (’23)

Every year, A-List Hollywood celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett, gather at the Oscars, a renowned awards ceremony. At the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes the artistic and technical merit of the film industry as shown through various categories. Although many viewers tend to focus on the avant-garde displays of fashion and celebrity drama, or on the awards themselves, another important aspect of the ceremony is the dinner. A plethora of caterers and restaurants, along with host Jimmy Kimmel, served the attendees a menu prepared by Wolfgang Puck, a well-known chef who is marking his 29th year as the event’s caterer.

To begin, attendees were given a snack box containing a bottle of water and a choice of classic candies such as Good n’ Plenty, Milk Dud, and even Hot Tamales. Inside the box, the guests received a personal note from Jimmy Kimmel, referring to a donation made towards the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Besides candy, Kimmel also included a Philly-style pretzel from actor Adam Shapiro’s restaurant, Shappy Pretzel Co., a go-to refreshment among service tables in Hollywood productions.

After the guests finished their snack boxes, dinner was served. Prior to the event, Chef Puck created an assortment of meals designed to fit the celebrities’ dietary restrictions; however, though the menu was created by Puck, ten Michelin chefs prepared the appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Each celebrity was given the option to choose from hors d’oeuvres, savory bites, a shellfish station, hot small plates, cold small plates, and both made-to-order and ready-made gourmet desserts.

As I looked over this year’s menu, I found many unique plates. For me, one of the most interesting was the taro root taco served with charred pineapples, shallot, cilantro, and puri, a deep-fried bread native to India, with sumac hummus. The taco was described as a house-made “ranch-dusted taco,” adding a classic American flavor while also being filled with jackfruit carnitas and salsa verde. Blending traditional flavors from India, the Middle East, Mexico, and the U.S., the taco served as a celebration of cultural diversity found in the film industry. After dinner, the culinary team served dessert: dark chocolate bark with fruity and floral undertones of lavender, rose, and jasmine. The guests were also offered chocolate cigars, served in a brown box mimicking a cigar box, as well as s’mores cookies, whoopie pies, raspberry brownies, and made-to-order ice cream scooped in waffle cones. As always, Puck concluded the dinner with his signature dessert of the Academy Awards: the chocolate Oscar, a gold-painted chocolate replica of the famous statue gifted to winning nominees. Though the chocolate Oscar may seem luxurious, it called for the attendees to be conscious of both the chocolate industry’s workers and its environmental impact, as the chocolate was produced fairly and sustainably.

Overall, while most viewers of the Academy Awards praise actors for acting, designers for creating extravagant looks, and the host for bringing the show together, it is important to note the effort of those behind the screen. From the chefs to the servers, delivering elegant food to such a wide variety of nominees is no easy feat. Next year, the Oscars production team should give the dinner its well-deserving spotlight.

Categories: Food

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s