Like any typical calendar event, the Oscars arrive every year with a ton of excitement and anticipation in tow. While celebrities are planning their schedules and sneaking in play time, there are some stars that take the opportunity to raise awareness for a good cause. Rock icon Sir Elton John hosts an annual Academy Awards viewing party that benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
But in order to make the magic happen, you need an expert team that can pull off an artisanal menu to impress your A-list guests. That is where chef Wayne and his partner Chris Diamond of Crumble Catering come in. For the past 10 years, Crumble has been catering to stars like Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Simon Cowell while also working on major motion picture events like Harry Potter, Happy Feet, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and Man on a Ledge. This year, the duo worked with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to curate an exciting, award-winning menu for Sir Elton’s big bash.
We chatted with chef Wayne to get a behind-the-scenes view on what it takes to feed a star-studded party and how you can do it at home!
How do you theme your menu for an event like this?
When we create a menu for the EJAF Oscar Party, we think of what is happening in the world of food that is new, fresh and exciting. So there is no real set theme. We do all kinds of foods that are using organic and fresh ingredients and think of the current popular food trends without repeating anything that is overdone.
What is your biggest challenge when working with high profile clients?
My biggest challenge with the high profile clients is making sure we serve everything on time, the hot food is hot, the cold food is cold, and it is well-presented. The guests are all in a great mood, excited to be there, and are very low maintenance.
Are there any must have cocktails at these events?
This year we have Patron [Spirits Company] and [their] Ultimat [Vodka] as one of the alcohol sponsors. They will be creating cocktails using Fresh juices and some Nero Infused water along with fresh herbs.
What has been the most fun menu you’ve ever curated?
The most fun menu I have curated is every year. They are always interesting, creative, and different than the average catered party food.
Do you have any favorite stars to work with? Why?
Elton John is my favorite. As well as helping to raise all the money for the Elton John Aids Foundation, he is so appreciative of all the hard work and effort we do to make this event a success.
What are the best ways to make a viewing party successful?
The best ways to make a viewing party successful is to plan and think of all the logistics necessary for service. I have three-and-a-half hours to serve a five-course meal to 1000 guests. That takes a lot of timing, planning and making sure things are on point. In addition to that, we have a cocktail hour with passed hors d' oeuvres, employee food, green rooms, and a post-party with savory and sweet stations for 400 more guests!