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Oscars 2014: Wolfgang Puck's Governors Ball Menu

Oscars 2014: Wolfgang Puck's Governors Ball Menu

It seems crazy to serve food at a red carpet event. It's Hollywood! Beautiful people don't eat! Nonetheless, every year, Wolfgang Puck cooks up a feast for Hollywood's A-List at the Governors Ball. And this year is no exception. Wolfgang Puck will be serving individual "caramel gardens" at the Governors Ball following the Oscars Sunday night: The desserts feature coffee "soil" with chocolate malted trees and fleur de sel. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

For starters, the celebrity chef is serving Bolognese-stuffed rice balls, mini-burgers with aged cheddar and remoulade, spicy tuna tartare in a sesame miso cone, salmon on flatbread shaped like Oscar statuettes and topped with caviar, and taro root and avocado tacos for the vegan guests. Because it's Hollywood and they are all vegan.

Trays homemade pretzels with pimento cheese and Parmesan-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates, and small plates of comfort food favorites like chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, baked potatoes with caviar, Shanghai lobster and short rib with goulash and spaetzle will be passed. We love that Wolfie is serving goulash and spaetzle - way to keep it close to your Hungarian roots, chef! 

“It’s a little bit like ‘The Best of Wolfgang,’ so I think it’s really exciting for us,” Puck told The Daily Meal.

There will also be a slew of seafood options. According to the academy’s list of “fun facts,” 1,300 farmed oysters, 7,500 individual shrimp and 1,250 stone crab claws will be served.


For dessert, there is bound to be a solid chocolate Oscar statue for celebs to lick or bite the heads off of in photo opts. But we're more interested in the licorice and chocolate parfait with caramelized tobacco leaves (gluten free, because it's Hollywood and no one eats gluten), yuzu semifreddo with green tea meringue and sake blueberries, and a “caramel garden," which Puck describes as coffee "soil" bringing forth a chocolate malted tree with fleur de sel. The grand finale will be a be an enormous gold-dusted chocolate cake celebrating Wolfgang Puck's 20th year as the official Governors Ball chef. Because it's Hollywood and every party needs a pimped out cake.


Wolgang Puck's Bacon Wrapped Dates

I love this easy appetizer’s combination of sweet, salty, nutty, meaty, and smoky flavors and smooth, creamy, and crispy textures — all wrapped up in just an intense bite or two. The effect works best when you seek out ingredients of the highest quality. You’ll need a wooden toothpick to secure each stuffed and wrapped date for baking and serving. And let me add one more important word of advice: People will love these so much that you might want to plan on making multiple batches.

— Wolfgang Puck



18 large dates, preferably Medjool, slit lengthwise and pitted
18 pieces good-quality Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, each about 1-by-¼-inch
6 slices good-quality smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thirds


1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Insert a piece of Parmesan into each date. Wrap each date with 1 piece of bacon, securing it with a wooden toothpick.

3. Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the dates over. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer. With the tongs, transfer the dates to paper towels to drain, carefully patting them dry with more paper towels. Serve immediately.



Intrigue and pamper your Oscar party guests with a few of these tantalizing Governors Ball recipes, right from the master chef himself, Wolfgang Puck.

3/4 pound ground Wagyu Snake River Farms beef

Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces aged cheddar cheese, sliced

6 slices Brioche bread, punched out with a 2-inch ring cutter

Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)

Arugula leaves

6 cherry tomatoes, sliced

3 cornichons, sliced


2 cups heavy cream

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons peanut oil

3/4 cup red onion, brunoised

1/2 cup each of red & yellow bell peppers, brunoised

Preheat a grill or grill pan.

Put the ground beef in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands to combine. Take 2 tablespoons of the beef and shape it like a meatball. Flatten slightly and drizzle the burgers with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Place the burgers on the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn them over with tongs. Put about 1/2 oz. of aged cheddar cheese on top of the burgers, allowing it to melt. While that’s cooking, put the brioche circles on the grill. Toast them slightly on both sides, about 2 minutes total.

In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, garlic, rosemary and paprika. Reduce by half. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a sauté pan, heat the peanut oil. Sweat the onions, red and yellow bell pepper until glossy. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool to room temperature.

Put the toasted brioche circles on a platter. Top each with a small spoonful of Remoulade. Put the burger on top (cheese side up), followed by an arugula leaf, a slice of tomato and a slice of cornichon.



Oscar Recipe: Smoked Salmon Pizza with Caviar

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Intrigue and pamper your Oscar party guests with a few of these tantalizing Governors Ball recipes, right from the master chef himself, Wolfgang Puck.



3/4 cup Pizza Dough

2 Tbsp. Chili and Garlic Oil

1/2 tsp. thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup

Dill Cream

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced smoked salmon

2 tsp. chopped fresh chives

2 Tbsp. Sevruga caviar, optional


Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. 

On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out the dough into an 8-inch circle, with the outer edge a little thicker than the inner circle. Brush the dough with the oil and arrange the onions over the pizza. Slide a pizza paddle or rimless baking sheet under the pizza and then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. 

With the pizza paddle or a large spatula, carefully remove the pizza from the oven and set it on a cutting board. Use a knife, an icing spatula, or the back of a spoon to spread the Dill Cream over the inner circle. Arrange the slices of salmon so that they cover the entire pizza, slightly overlapping the raised rim. Sprinkle the chopped chives over the salmon. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut the pizza into 4 or 6 slices. If you like, spoon a little caviar in the center of each slice. Serve immediately.


Oscar Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

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Intrigue and pamper your Oscar party guests with a few of these tantalizing Governors Ball recipes, right from the master chef himself, Wolfgang Puck.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 pound organic red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 pound organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup white wine

2 cups organic chicken stock

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup shelled or frozen peas

Approximately 1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted following package instructions

1 cage-free egg


Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour until evenly coated.  In a large skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Add the chicken pieces, reduce the heat slightly, and sauté, turning them occasionally, until light golden and thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Add the remaining oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan, then add the potatoes, carrots, and onions and sauté until they begin to look glossy and bright, 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and bay leaf, and sauté, just until the vegetables begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add the wine, turn up the heat, stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits, and simmer until the liquid reduces by about half, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the 1 cup of cream.  Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer briskly until the liquid reduces by about half again and is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.  Remove the sprig of thyme and the bay leaf.

Stir in the reserved chicken pieces and the sherry.  Stir together the butter and remaining flour and stir this paste into the mixture.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to 4 large individual ovenproof 2-cup soup bowls, 4 ramekins of the same size, or a 2-quart baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is cold, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Make sure the puff pastry is no thicker than 1/4 inch.  With the tip of a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 4 circles that will overhang the rim of the serving bowls or ramekins by about half an inch; for a single large baking dish, cut 4 circles that will cover its top, or use one large sheet.

In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon cream to make an egg wash.  Brush the tops and outsides of the rims of the bowls.  Place the bowls, ramekins, or baking dish on a baking tray and place the puff pastry circles on top, pressing them gently over the sides of the dishes. Pierce the tops with the tip of a paring knife.  Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.  Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling hot and the pastry is a deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.  Serve hot.


Oscar Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Signature Herb Goat Cheese



Wolfgang Puck's Signature Herb Goat Cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper

1 7- or 9-ounce log of goat cheese



Homemade Tomato Sauce


Whichever sauce you choose, make sure to buy the best tomatoes you can. In the winter, when tomatoes are not in season, choose a good quality canned WHOLE PEELED tomato. Not a sauce, not a puree, not a crushed tomato. Get a whole tomato and follow the recipe the same way. Or, better yet, make all the recipes in the summer with fresh tomatoes and freeze or can them for consumption in the winter.

Raw Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
freshy ground black pepper
crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Seed and chop the tomatoes into bit size chunks. Add them to a large bowl with the garlic, shallot, basil, olive oil and mix well.  Add salt and peppers to taste. Let the mixture stand at room temperature with a tea towel or paper plate covering the bowl for at least 1 hour, up to 3. What you will find is a luscious sauce that is perfect over al dente pasta or on top of crisp slices of bread. For extra flavor, grate Parmegiano Reggiano cheese on top of your dish when serving.

Barely Cooked Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

6 vine ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Seed and chop the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the wine, salt and pepper. If you like a spicier sauce, add a pinch of red pepper flakes at this point.  Simmer covered until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices, about 30 minutes.

Serve over pasta.

Grandma Style Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

10 vine ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery
1 large carrot
2 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/4 cup of good red wine
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 dried bay leaf

Boil a large pot of water. When the water is rolling, turn the heat off and gently add in the tomatoes. Keep an eye on them, and when you see the skin start to blister, fish them out with a strainer. Carefully peel the skins off the tomatoes and gently squeeze out the seeds. Chop and set aside.

In a large heavy duty pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Using a grater, grate the celery into the pot. Repeat with the carrot, garlic and shallots. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Let cook together for 2 minutes.  Add half of the tomatoes and using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes well. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and the wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving.


Cocktails to Shake Up Your Cinco de May Fiesta

By Fabiana Santana for

Fresh Sauza® Margarita

1 can of frozen limeade

1 bottle of Light Beer

1 can of Sauza® Blanco Tequila

1 can of water

Pour frozen limeade and beer into pitcher with ice. Fill empty limeade can with Sauza Blanco and pour into pitcher. Fill empty limeade can with water and pour into pitcher. Stir and enjoy (responsibly). Makes 9 servings.

Rosangel is the world’s first and only hibiscus infused tequila and makes for a lively cinco de mayo cocktail. The tequila is aged in port barrels for two months then infused with hand picked Hibiscus for a perfumed, floral taste with a hint of vanilla. It’s subtle pink hue makes it as pretty as it is delicious.

Rosangel Margarita “Pink Margarita”

1 1/2 oz ROSANGEL

1/2 oz Premium Orange Liqueur

1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Orange juice

1 Tbsp Cranberry Juice

Splash of Ginger Ale

1 1/2 cups of Ice

Mix all ingredients into a shaker filled with the ice and shake vigorously until blended well. Strain into a margarita glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Rosangel Sunrise


1 Part orange juice

splash of pomegranate juice
Fill a glass with ice. Slowly pour the ROSANGEL into the glass. Add the pomegranate juice and then slowly top with the orange juice. Garnish with a cherry and slice of orange.


Coconut Curry & Shrimp Chicken

Althea Needham's Chicken & Shrimp Coconut Curry

Makes: 12 appetizer of 6 main dish servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Althea Needham's Chicken & Shrimp Coconut Curry
  • 2  tablespoons flour
  • 1  can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1  can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2  tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1  tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2  teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1  pound shrimp

1. In a small bowl, stir together flour and 1 tablespoon water; set aside.

2. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, vegetable broth, ginger, lemon juice, curry powder, black pepper, garlic powder and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes, until reduced.

3. Add chicken to saucepan and cook 2 minutes. Stir flour mixture and shrimp into pot and cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and liquid has thickened. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 12 appetizer of 6 main dish servings
  • Calories 157,
  • Total Fat (g) 8,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 7,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 79,
  • Sodium (mg) 291,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 3,
  • Fiber (g) 1,
  • Protein (g) 17,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Greek Green Salad Recipe

Vlita (amaranth) is one of the favorite greens for making salads on Crete. This wild green is just one of many gathered in the countryside that find their way onto tables in homes across Greece as horta - leafy green salads. Photo by Jim StanfieldGreens are hot right now. Especially the wild varieties grown throughout Greece. Here is an easy salad recipe that tastes great and packs all the antioxidant power of Greek greens!

  • 1 hearts of romaine, torn or rough cut
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens, torn or rough cut
  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, trimmed of fronds and tops (save the fonds and chop and sprinkle them over pasta) 
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • A few sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • juice of one lemon
  • cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Asiago or Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved for garnish


Place torn romaine and mustard greens in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.  Cut fennel bulb down the center, then again, quartering it and remove the core in each quarter. Slice the bulbs so that the layers separate and add to the salad along with the onions. Chop or hand tear parsley into the salad and mix all the greens together. In a small bowl  add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cayenne pepper. Mix it with a fork and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until a dressing forms, about a half of a cup will be enough, but if you want a heavier dressed salad, add more. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well with your hands. Add shaves of cheese on top and serve.

The greens in this salad can be subsituted with any of the below wild Greek greens, which are wonderful eaten raw, or add them in addition to the above ingredients for an extra green salad. 

  • Palmer Amaranth
  • Cabbages (white, red, kale, etc.)
  • Catnip (Catmint, Nepeta)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Golden Thistle
  • Leeks
  • Mache (Lamb's Lettuce, Wild Lettuce)
  • Mallow
  • Nettles
  • Palmer Amaranth (Albersia, Vlita)
  • Poppy
  • Sow-thistle
  • Spinach
  • Spiny Chicory
  • White Beet Leaves
  • Wild Parsley
  • Wild Parsnip

Here is a list of Greek greens that taste great cooked (i recommend a quick blanch and then sautee with garlic and extra virgin olive oil)

  • Brassicae greens (kale, collard greens)
  • Burr Chervil
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Eryngo
  • Notchweed
  • Palmer Amaranth
  • Sow-thistles
  • Spinach
  • Spiny Chicory
  • Wild Lettuce (Mache)
  • Wild Chicory
  • Wild Mustard Greens