You might have heard the Oscars are on Sunday. (The Favourite is great; all the Best Actress nominees are amazing and wonderful, give them a five-way tie; still unsure how you can be in the shallow and far from the shallow simultaneously. Moving on.) The rich and famous will descend on the Dolby Theater like a cloud of gown-and-tux-clad insects, a mass held together by loaned diamonds, vape pens, and double-sided tape. Afterward, they eat.
Adam Campbell-Schmidt of Food & Wine spoke with a little-known cook named Wolfgang Puck who has, for the 25th consecutive year, created the elaborate menu that awaits attendees of the Governors Ball. The brief interview is worth reading in full, if only for little anecdotes like this one:
Since the mid-1980s, Hollywood agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar had hosted his own party at Puck’s Beverly Hills hotspot Spago... “Everybody came to Spago,” Puck said. “People would watch the show at the restaurant and then race downtown, because in those days the Oscars were downtown, go onstage to get their Oscar and then come right back.”
As for the food, it’s enough to make you want to eat all 30-odd dishes, or, perhaps, the rich. Some highlights:
- The traditional chocolate Oscar statuettes covered in 24 karat gold
- Nashville-style hot quail on a red velvet waffle
- Crostini of compressed watermelon with citrus feta cheese
- Crab deviled eggs
- Miyazaki Wagyu beef tartare on a tapioca crisp
- Spicy tuna tartare in sesame miso cones
- King Crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, made-to-order nigiri, and more raw seafood
- Frozen golden beets, with almond custard, Meyer lemon, and ice lettuce
- Austrian ricotta dumpling with watercress-pea pesto and lemon brown butter
- Five different dishes with truffles, including a black truffle chicken pot pie
- “Piper Heidsieck Golden Champagne Strawberry Push Pop.” Quick note: worth clicking through to F&W for that photo alone.
- These suckers:
Also, presumably, a lot of very expensive alcohol.
But the food won’t just be whatever they eat at the ball, plus the almonds or whatever Meryl Streep hands out during commercial breaks. The insanely, infuriatingly opulent gift bags also contain foodstuffs.
The “Everyone Wins” gift bags, which as The Independent reports, are not officially affiliated with the Oscars but are instead distributed by Los Angeles-based marketing agency Distinctive Assets, are given to nominees annually and have a value that tops six figures. They include lots of ludicrous, expensive stuff, but we’ll bypass the “luxury small-ship adventure” to the Amazon, Galapagos, Costa Rice, or Iceland, and the “private phobia relief sessions” with a leading expert on phobias in favor of the food/drink/weed stuff. Behold:
- “Premium cannabis-infused edibles, topicals, and concentrates” from Coda Signature
- A. Junod absinthe
- “Age Interventionist Renee Lynn’s CBDRxSupreme protocol”
- A field-to-table dinner for two at the Los Cabos, Mexico-based Flora Farms
- Lots of chocolate, including Chocolate Chocouture chocolates and Good Girl Chocolates, the latter of which are vegan
- Cannabis moisturizer and facial oil
- “Rouge Maple pure organic maple syrup and Glamour Gourmet gift set”
- A “poolside dinner from Nest Seekers International for nominee and friends prepared by celebrity chef”
- Salted Toffee Pretzel Crisp Bars from Optimum Nutrition
- Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies (stars—they’re just like us!)
- Posh Pretzels
- Southern Wicked Lemonade’s lemonade moonshine
- Tru Niagen Age Better dietary supplements
- “CloSYS – the spa kit for your mouth”
- And last but far from least, a Yeti cooler filled with Jarritos, which comes with “a commitment from Jarritos to donate a pallet of their great-tasting flavored soft drinks to a charitable event of the nominee’s choice”
On the other hand, I’ll be spending my Oscars eating Love Pizza, drinking my go-to fancy $38 champagne, and now munching on Milano cookies, because if Rachel Weisz eats Milano cookies then I do, too.