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And the Smoked Salmon Oscar Goes to...

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For 15 years Wofgang Puck has been the official caterer of The Governors Ball, the celebration that follows the Academy Awards. And this year, LAist was there for the preview. This time we get to show you pictures of Oscar-shaped chocolate statues. We also had the opportunity to test-taste a few of the treats and the cocktails that will be served at the Ball.

Wolfgang Puck Catering will be serving 1,500 Ball guests, which will include Oscar® winners, nominees, presenters and telecast participants. "Our menu will have star-quality ingredients each dish showcasing the essence of seasonal flavor. With locally grown, sustainable and organic ingredients, guests will enjoy an award-worthy culinary experience."

The menu includes decadent and pricy delicacies such as Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones, Maine Lobster, Caviar, and a variety of sushi and sashimi. Cocktails include a blue martini made with Ultimat vodka, a champagne fizz from Moet and Chandon and a Patron gold cosmopolitan with orange and blackberry. Wines from Sterling Vineyards and champagnes from Moet and Chandon will be served at the Ball.

Pastry Chef Sherry Yard pulled out all the stops with an amazing chocolate stacked Bento box filled with a variety of pastries, sorbets and gelato, all topped with Puck's signature gold-dusted chocolate Oscars®.

The Academy Awards for will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at The Kodak Theater, followed by the Governors Ball. Check out videos, the complete menu, and recipes that will help you party like a movie star after the jump!

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Wolgang Puck discusses the menu.

Sherry Yard is badass

A little bit about our favorite subject - champagne...

Why Moet is pronounced mo-et instead of mo-ayyyyy even though it looks French by Greg Thompson:

diaeresis, or dieresis, is the pronunciation of two adjacent vowels in two separate syllables instead of a dipthong, also the name of the diacritic mark ( ¨ ) prompting you to do so (eg Noel and Naive). Used more in English and Dutch. Surprisingly not related to the umlat. The T in Moet is pronounced mainly because, though Claude Moet founded his company in Epernay and had roots in Champagne dating to the 1400s his family was Dutch. Others were Dutch or Napoleonic Prussian/ German, including Mumm, Deutz, Krug, Bollinger, Heidsieck....

Images of Governors Balls past...remember, they were serving champagne, vodka and Patron. It was my responsibility to try all of the cocktails.

81st Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball

Menu created by Wolfgang Puck with chef partner Matt Bencivenga and Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard

Tray Passed Hors d'Oeuvres

Mini Kobe Burgers with Aged Cheddar and Remoulade
Spicy Tuna Tartare in a Sesame Miso Cone
Wasabi Pea Crusted Crab Cake with Mango and Thai Basil
Smoked Salmon Pizza with Caviar and Dill Creme
Black Truffle and Ricotta Cheese Pizza
Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Chicken Pot Stickers with Ginger Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Sushi and Seafood Station

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Rolls: Tuna, Vegetable, California, Unagi
Nigiri: Shrimp, Tuna, Hamachi, Salmon
Sashimi: Tuna, Salmon, Snapper, Hamachi
Soy, Wasabi, and Pickled Ginger

Poached Shrimp, Lobster Tails, Crab Legs, Oysters and Mussels
Mustard Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, Wasabi Apple Mignonette


Asian vegetable salad with Maine Lobster, Caviar and Ginger White Soy Vinagrette

Smoked Salmon Oscar, Vietnamese Vegetable Spring Rolls, Bruschettas

Pumpkin Coconut Soup with Chicken, Shrimp, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Green Onions

Slow Braised Asian Spiced Short Rib with Spring Vegetable Risotto

Vegetarian Option: Spring Vegetable Risotto with Black Winter Truffles

Dessert: Chocolate Bento Box Surprise

(Menu features sustainable seafood, natural beef, and organic produce)

The Red Carpet Fizz

1/2 oz. Pomegranite Juice
1/3 oz. orange liquer
Add fresh raspberries and top with Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

When I opened the original Spago in 1982, this quickly became its signature pizza. If you feel decadent, you can top the pizza with Sevruga, Beluga, or Osetra caviar; less expensive salmon roe or just chopped fresh chives are also elegant. To make the pizza ahead, bake it for just 5 minutes in step 2 below; then, just before serving, complete the baking and top the pizza.

6 ounces Pizza Dough (see separate recipe)
1 tablespoon Chili and Garlic Oil (see Sauces & Dressings)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons Dill Cream (see Sauces & Dressings)
2½ ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Sevruga caviar, optional

1. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to

2. 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

3. 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.

Wolfgang Puck's Braised Short Ribs

(This is the Spago recipe for passover short ribs. Puck mentioned that he used the Chinois recipe for short ribs on the Governor's Ball menu)

These meltingly tender, flavorful short ribs are one of the mainstays of the annual Passover Seder we throw at Spago. To make them even neater to present and easier to eat, ask the butcher to bone the short ribs for you. If you make them at another time of year, feel free to dredge them with all-purpose flour instead of the matzoh meal.

1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 portions beef short ribs, trimmed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
Fine matzoh meal, for dredging
10 cloves garlic, peeled
8 large shallots, peeled, trimmed, rinsed, split, and dried
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 stalks celery, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs Italian parsley
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts unsalted beef stock or chicken stock
Freshly ground white pepper

1. Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is heated, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat and bring the wine to a boil; continue boiling until the liquid reduces by half. Remove from the heat.

2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large casserole, large enough to hold the 6 portions of ribs, over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and the crushed pepper. Dust the ribs with about 2 tablespoons of matzoh meal and then when the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well browned.

4. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot; lower the heat to medium, and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Sauté the vegetable until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to blend.

5. Add the reduced wine, browned ribs, and stock. Bring to a boil; cover the pot tightly, slide it into the oven, and cook until the ribs are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork, about 21/2 hours. Every 30 minutes or so, lift the lid and skim and discard whatever fat may have bubbled up to the surface.

6. Carefully transfer the meat to a heated serving platter, cover, and keep warm. Boil the pan liquid until it thickens and reduces to approximately 1 quart. Season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids.

7. Pour the sauce over the meat.

Recipe for Red Carpet Fizz provided by Moet and Chandon. Recipe for pizza and short ribs from Wolfgang

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