This weekend, awards season will come to a close with the Cadillac of awards shows — the Academy Awards. Now, while it's fun to prep and see all nine Best Picture nominees (shame on you if you didn’t!), the real entertainment is watching the big show: Placing bets on winners, dining on movie-themed bites, sipping on champagne, and all that jazz.
To host a truly fabulous Oscars viewing party, take a cue from the expert event planners at The Plaza Hotel. Think luxury, think ambience, think everyone's favorite party foods made with top-notch ingredients — now that’s a party. Chef Robb Garceau is the man behind the magic at the beloved New York City landmark and he is serving up some Oscar viewing party hosting advice.
To begin, Garceau suggests sticking with a classic menu filled with crowd-pleasers. There's no need to create a feast as over-the-top as Wolfgang Puck's at the Governors Ball, but splurging on one or two ingredients will make the meal feel special. Sharable, passable finger foods are easy to serve and even easier for viewers to munch on while fixed on more important things, like Ryan Gosling in a tux. And just as the Oscars save the best for last with Best Picture, so should you — with dessert. Sweet treats don't have to be complicated to leave a lasting impression.
Keep reading for Garceau's party plate tips.
Great Bite-Sized Eats:
-Mini Piggy’s: Make piggy’s in a blanket, and serve them with a few homemade dipping sauces like roasted red pepper ketchup or honey mustard.
-Meatball Sliders: Try mini meatball sliders topped with off-the-beaten-path cheeses like an aged comté or fontina.
-Oven-Roasted Shrimp: Roasting shrimp brings out their natural sweetness — roast just until cooked through and serve with a dipping sauce made with a roasted tomato pesto sauce.
-Cheese Twists: Cut puff pastry into thin strips and roll in any hard cheese (Parmesan or pecorino) and a bit of dried oregano or thyme. Twist three to four times and lay on a cooking sheet. Bake at 350 until golden brown and puffed.
Easy, Pleasing Desserts:
-Chocolate Fondue: People love playing with their food! Melt some really delicious chocolate, and add your personal spin with the addition of cinnamon or even cayenne. Set out fresh fruit and cookies for dipping and let your guests have fun.
-Bananas Foster: Slice a few bananas and sauté until caramelized with brown sugar and a bit of butter. Impress your guests when you deglaze with a quarter-cup or so of dark rum (and stand back). Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
As the speeches get longer, the show will likely run late, and so will your night — and your party! Plan to serve a rotation of snacks out throughout the night to keep everyone satisfied and excited for what is coming next.