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Oscar Governors Ball: What's on the menu?

February 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Every year after the tension and excitement of the Academy Awards ceremony, the guests are ushered into the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood and Highland Center for the chance to mix, mingle, eat and drink at the annual Governors Ball.

"I want them to feel like it's their home; this is their club; this is their space," said special events producer Cheryl Cecchetto, who's leading the Oscar Governors Ball team for the 22nd year.

Her inspiration this year is a very exclusive club for Oscars' 1,500 very exclusive guests.

"I wanted them to feel really comfortable here, kick off their heels," said Cecchetto. "This is place for them to say, 'OK now I can eat the Kobe beef burgers and the salmon pizzas and the Moet & Chandon champagne.' And just have a great time and socialize and celebrate and congratulate."

For the 17th year, chef Wolfgang Puck will be cooking up a storm behind the scenes, in the kitchens of the Grand Ballroom next to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

"I like the pressure and I like to be excited about the food," said Puck. "We just started probably five days ago to think of what we're going to cook because I think I work better under pressure."

The menu includes "Black Swan" paella and Dover sole for the main course. Puck says he may have been thinking of best picture nominee "The King's Speech" when he came up with the dish.

"We got inspired a little bit from the movies," said the celebrity chef.

Of course, many of his Oscar-themed traditions will still be on the menu, including the smoked salmon Oscar appetizer to start things off and the golden dusted chocolate Oscars for dessert.

Puck says this is the biggest party of the year, but the best part for him is when it's over.

"I can go sit down and have a good glass of wine," he said.

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. You can watch the ceremony broadcast live on ABC7 beginning at 5 p.m. PT.

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