Stanley Tucci's 'Last Meal' Is As Chic As It Gets

We all know Stanley Tucci as a Hollywood veteran; he's graced our screens for decades, acting in a wide array of films from "Spotlight" to "The Hunger Games." But the Academy Award nominee is just as passionate about food as he is about acting — and he can cook too (via YouTube). For years Tucci has forayed into the world of food writing and travel documentaries, with two published cookbooks, a memoir titled "Taste: My Life Through Food," and the CNN docu-series "Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy."

In his latest work, Tucci brings the culture and cuisine of Italy into our homes as he travels throughout different regions in every foodie's dream country to seek out some of his favorite dishes and discover entirely new ones (via CNN). He tasted fried artichoke in Rome, feasted on veal cutlets and risotto in Milan, sipped Vin Santo in Tuscany, and enjoyed the viral-worthy spaghetti alla nerano in Naples — all the while enlightening viewers about the history, heritage, and diversity of Italy.

But surprisingly, none of the meals he's found on his search through Italy make the cut when it comes to Stanley Tucci's chosen "last meal." It's simple, chic, and probably not what you'd expect.

Stanley Tucci's last meal, Hunger Games style

When Yahoo! Life asked Tucci what his "last meal" would be if he were about to go off to compete in the real-life Hunger Games, his answer wasn't the best Italian meal he's ever had or even some hearty final sustenance to fill and fortify him. Tucci's simple-and-chic last meal: "Oysters and a martini." Wondering if he's a vodka or gin guy? Apparently, he prefers both. Guess a little liquid courage can't hurt if you're heading into the Hunger Games.

But for Tucci, it's not about the booze; he likens a good martini to a sort of ceremony. "You watch somebody make a martini properly, and it's really beautiful," he tells Vogue. "It's ceremonial and elegant—it elevates a moment." Tucci gives Vogue his go-to martini recipe along with some tips on how to make and serve it; one of which is to pair it with an ideal food, like — you guessed it – oysters.

Why oysters?

So why would Tucci spring for oysters as a last meal, instead of a perfectly cooked steak or a giant plate of pasta? Perhaps it's because oysters offer a unique, briny flavor profile and, like a martini, eating them is an almost ceremonial experience. Slurping or digging an oyster out of its beautifully presented shell alongside fancy and flavorful fixings is one of the finer ways to enjoy a meal. And as Tucci knows, a martini is the oyster's perfect classy companion. That's because the flavors complement each other so well. The stiff, clean, dry nature of a martini, often garnished with an element of brine, allows that quintessential umami flavor of the oyster to shine without being overpowering. The pair is such a match made in heaven that you can even combine them into one entity for an oyster martini.

One of the best things about oysters is that you can prepare and serve them in many ways. Fresh, grilled, fried, poached, broiled — the list goes on. Enjoy them raw on the half shell with a vinegary mignonette, try them deep fried with fresh or zesty slaw, or eat them as Oysters Rockefeller (baked in a rich, buttery sauce), as Stanley Tucci recommends (per Vogue).