by Betty Ho, Big City Chefs food writer
A self proclaimed film buff, I eagerly anticipate each year’s Academy Awards for the glamor that unfolds on the red carpet. It’s a wonderful occasion to sit down in the comfort of my own home yet take part in the very essence of Hollywood. And though I always intend to throw a fabulous, meticulously planned Oscar party for me and my friends, year after year the awards show always manages to sneak up on me. This year is no different; the 82nd Academy Awards airs this Sunday night, March 7 at 8/5p on ABC. While four days is not enough time to send out glittering invites or plan an elaborate affair to rival that of the Vanity Fair after party, it is ample time to put together a low-hassle yet enjoyable meal centered around delicious California cuisine (it is Hollywood, after all) and classic cinematic cocktails.
To start, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences own website has a great Oscar Party Kit with excellent recipes and party planning ideas. Their glittering roster of cocktails with names like Moet Golden Glamor and Red Carpet Fizz will definitely be making an appearance on my own menu. Equally applause-worthy is Epicurious.com’s “Oscar-inspired Movie Menus”. Hosts and hostesses can consider planning the night’s menu around the film they think will win Best Picture or take a sampling from each menu. With ten films up for Best Picture this year rather than five, there are plenty of choices for a mouth-watering awards night! I’ve got my eye on the soul food inspired “Precious” menu or, if I’m strapped for time, the incredibly easy “Up in the Air” menu, a clever update of the normally drab continental breakfast.
With so many menu choices and party ideas, the little time leading up to the Oscars might be spent on decision-making, but there are options for every budget and schedule. For Big City Chefs’ own Chef Rebecca, a private chef for hire in New York and Los Angeles, “Thinking of the Oscars conjures up high-end everything: fancy clothes paired with fancy foods and beverages.” Viewers at home have the option to dress up or down, but the glamor of the occasion can still shine through in a fancy cocktail. Chef Rebecca suggests her favorite:
The Ultra-Glam French Martini (courtesy of Los Angeles and New York Private Chef Rebecca of Big City Chefs)
1 1/2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Chambord or Black Raspberry Liqueur
1/2 oz. dry Vermouth
Splash of Pineapple Juice
Garnish with pineapple wedge (or freeze pineapple and shave over the top of martini just before serving, or cut pineapple into small cubes, skewer and freeze, then add to drink to serve)
Whatever dishes you choose to serve, don’t forget to print out an Oscar-ballot and enjoy the show!
(C) Copyright 2010 Big City Chefs, Inc.