VIDEO: Oscars Governors Ball Sneak Peek – In The Kitchen With Wolfgang Puck

Link to video

With all the The Oscars buzz going on, I must admit something. As much as I admire all the actors’ talents for their craft, what really gets me excited is knowing what the stars will be eating after Hollywood’s biggest night.

That’s why when Wolfgang Puck invited me in for a very special behind-the-scenes look at his incredible catering operation from the prep kitchens at Hollywood & Highland, I was over the moon.

Upon getting our exclusive credentials, we got our very own Press Guide to take us through The 88th Oscars construction and setup to get to Wolfgang Puck Catering’s massive prep kitchen. As soon as the doors opened and I peeked in, I saw a virtually endless array of edible art, in the form of brightly colored hors-d’oeuvres, dishes and desserts. Check out the video for some colorful glimpses!

When I arrived, Chef Wolfgang’s all-star team was working away diligently on filling thousands of fresh artichoke-truffle agnolotti pasta, spraying 24-karat gold onto intricate, mini chocolate replicas of the Oscar statuette, and so much more. It really was a well-oiled machine, with meticulous care put into every detail.

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Gold Chocolate

After wandering around and chatting with the chefs, we gathered around the one and only Chef Wolfgang Puck for a very warm, intimate cooking demonstration from the legend himself. Despite his renowned stature, he spoke with us as if he knew us personally, like he was cooking for us out of his own kitchen.

As he told stories of how his children help him in the kitchen, and which famous friends of his like which types of his dishes, he cooked up a shrimp, crab and scallop dish with a flavorful Chinese sauce. Check out the video for a shot of him flambée-ing!

Some of the cool tidbits I learned through conversation with him include the fact that although Wolfgang enjoys food with bold flavors, he understands that there are many guests at these large-scale events who still enjoy his truffle chicken pot pie, baked mac and cheese, and other comfort classics. Thus, he makes sure to include something for every palate in the 50+ items he creates for the Governors Ball, which he’s catered for the past 22 years!

Wolfgang also mentioned that not as many celebrities have gone vegan or gluten-free as one might think (although he does have options of each on the vast menu). He explained that after weeks of not eating too much in order to prepare for the awards show, “They tell me, ‘Wolfgang, give me all the food!'”

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Caviar

Included among “all the food” will be mini crispy bibimbap, a poke bar, stone crab claws and oysters at the seafood bar, baked potatoes with caviar (pictured), white grape and almond gazpacho, and wagyu short rib. Talk about edible opulence!

Now, if you know me, you know my sweet tooth jumped for joy when I saw the mini setup of the Chocolate Buffet they’ll have at the Governors Ball. Among the 30+ types of desserts to be served, a few include: Caramel-filled Oscars statuette lollipops, a macaron tower, sweet tacos with pistachio lady fingers and market cherries, mini yuzu tarts, chocolate peanut butter ring dings, raspberry panna cotta with champagne caviar, and lemon meringue tart lollipops. There really will be something for everyone, from celebs who prefer familiar classics, to those who enjoy a little extra elegance and flair!

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Desserts

I also learned that Wolfgang Puck also caters international awards shows all over the world! I love that when we asked how he chooses the menu for each prestigious event, he said he chooses based on what’s seasonal, local, and what his carefully curated suppliers have available for him.

Even for The Oscars, the team has been going on multiple trips to the local farmer’s market, and has sourced ingredients from local farms, orchards, dairies and ranches.

To give you an idea of the scale of the operation (of which you can start to get an idea through the video), The Oscars Governors Ball will have 1500 guests, with a whopping 950 staff to cater to their wants and needs. The culinary staff consists of 350 talented people. To name a few ingredients, they will be working with 10 kilos of American farm-raised caviar and 350 pounds of Atlantic Bigeye tuna.

Heck, there will even be 15 pounds of winter black truffles straight from Burgundy, France and 300 pounds of Snake River Wagyu short rib. There will also be 6,500 wood-fired, Oscar-shaped  flatbread!

As for dessert, 3o pounds of edible real gold dust will be used, as well as 100,000 pieces of dark chocolate Couverture pistoles and 2400 bottles of Piper Heidsieck champagne. The coolest part is that there are 3,000 custom Oscar boxes to house the infamous gold-covered chocolates, and Wolfgang Puck personally handed me one as a parting gift! Guess there’s only 2,999 of them left now!

Tanaya's Table Wolfgang Puck Oscars Me

Thanks to Chef Wolfgang Puck and his catering team for a special behind-the-scenes experience I’ll never forget… and for handing me this 24-karat gold covered, solid chocolate Oscar statuette!

If you’re hosting an Oscars watch party, check out some of the recipes you can make, straight from Wolfgang Puck… that way, you’ll be dining like the stars during Hollywood’s biggest night! Check out the recipes on the Wolfgang Puck Catering official page.

This year more than ever, I will be immersed in all things Oscars… especially because I’m grateful to have gotten a taste of what the stars will be gorging on after the show ends. 😉 Cheers!

 

Behind The Scenes At The GRAMMYs Gift Lounge

When you think of the perks of stardom, you really have no idea just how many mindblowing treats they get… especially when they’re performing or presenting at the GRAMMY Awards®.

Having been invited to get an insider tour of the 58th Annual GRAMMY® Gift Lounge, I’m happy to give you a little taste of what it’s like to be pampered for your musical talents (or journalistic talents, in my case… ha ha).

Over the course of GRAMMY weekend, presenters and performers such as Adele, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Sam Hunt, Carrie Underwood, The Weeknd, Lionel Richie, Johnny Depp and Little Big Town experienced the interactive lounge in which they received thank you gifts in acknowledgment of their participation in “Music’s Biggest Night.”

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY LL Cool J WireImage

Rapper LL Cool J eyeing those chocolates (WireImage)

The day I visited the cushy lounge set up next to Staples Center (where the GRAMMYs would be held) a couple days before the awards show, tons of talent like 5-time host LL Cool J, Diplo and Bow Wow also dropped by to check out the goods curated by Lash Fary and Distinctive Assets.

The LA-based entertainment marketing company is known for starting the celebrity swag bag craze 16 years ago, so I guess we have them to thank in part for the ironic concept that the more rich and famous you get, the more free stuff you get. I mean, each gift bag was apparently worth a whopping $22,000 with all the curated goodies inside!

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY Bow Wow Diplo WireImage

Musical artists Bow Wow and Diplo (WireImage)

So without further ado, I present you with the scoop on some of the coolest toys, tools and treats I found inside the exclusive star-studded GRAMMYs gift lounge:

Tools By Gina – Pure infrared professional blow dryers and flat irons from hair expert Gina Rivera. The infrared technology is the first of its kind, steaming the hair instead of applying direct heat, thus restoring natural shine.

Phillip Ashley Chocolates’ Luxe Collection – Chocolate covered caramels infused with Louis XIII cognac, with each piece weighing 30 grams and hand-gilded with 23k gold leaf. It costs $3,000 for one seven-piece box, making it one of the top ten most expensive chocolates in the world. Insane, right?

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Chocolate Gold Louis XIII

Louis XIII Cognac-infused, 23k gold leaf $3,000 chocolates

FitClubTV: Live in Fitness retreat + Fit Culture Threads designer workout apparel + Fit Culture Fuel health & performance supplements – Loved the passion behind all of these lines geared towards fitness, and especially loved that they’re giving back with a ton of free workout videos and more with the launch of FitClubTV.

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Hat

Loved this Flos Floris snapback hat

Flos Floris snapback hats from Milan, Italy – Universal appeal, cool design, comfy to wear. What more can you ask for?

Tanayas Table GRAMMY Drink

The Price of Love cocktail

Custom cocktails & mixology from The Natural Mixologist – I really liked The Price of Love cocktail made with Penthouse The Scarlet Sparkling Shiraz, organic orange elixir, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and orange liqueur. I especially loved that it was garnished with tiny heart-shaped rose petals.

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY LL Cool J Drink WireImage

LL Cool J sipping the cocktails I just tried! (WireImage)

NOON VR headsets – Loved the realistic smooth-panning, 360-degree visuals!

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2016

Trying out NOON Virtual Reality

SCUF Gaming Infinity 1 professional customized controllers and accessories – Gamers will geek out over how insanely customizable and comfortable these controllers are. I personally loved the red and black one! Check out all the specs if you’re into gaming.

SIS by Simone I. Smith jewelry – Created by LL Cool J’s wife after she won the battle with cancer, she started this line in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Find out more on these adorable candy-esque trinkets for a good cause here.

Tanaya's Table GRAMMY Candy Jewelry

Candy SIS by Simone I. Smith jewelry to help fight cancer (WireImage)

truth x Vans by Kevin Lyons one-of-a-kind sneakers that encourage everyone to use their voices and creativity to end smoking for good – I absolutely LOVED the concept of their newest #CATmageddon campaign, with the main message being that you are harming your pets and increasing their risk of cancer if you smoke.

Tanayas Table GRAMMY truth Vans

Secondhand smoke harms your pets, too. So PLEASE STOP!

They even had truth Treats for pets so that celebs’ furry friends waiting for them at home wouldn’t feel left out while their owners were out performing or presenting GRAMMYs! Find out how you can snag the statement shoes for a great cause, and see what they actually look like right here.

“It is a true honor to be even a very small part of (The GRAMMYs),” said Distinctive Assets’ founder Lash Fary. “The GRAMMY Gift Lounge has become one of the most lauded gift events in the world, which seems fitting based on the incomparable stature of the show itself.” Lash Fary was joined by longtime event producer Pam Morrison, who oversaw all elements of the lounge design.

I’m definitely very grateful for the opportunity to get a taste of what kind of star treatment the GRAMMYs talent gets in the Gift Lounge, and to experience a lot of it for myself… especially since the GRAMMYs are one of my favorite awards shows every year! Until next time, cheers! 🙂

 

Inside Thrillist’s Culinary Road Trip

Ever wished you could try top places in each foodie destination across America in one epic foodie road trip, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t) actually go through the hassle?  Thanks to Thrillist, the Culinary Road Trip made a stop at Siren Studios at Orange in Hollywood to give us Angelenos a taste of notable bites around America by top purveyors.

Portland's Lardo served a Griddled Mortadella sandwich with provolone and peppers.

Portland’s Lardo served a meaty, well-balanced Griddled Mortadella sandwich with provolone and peppers.

Here’s a rundown of what was served at the media preview… check out the video above for all the tasty action!

  • Chicago’s Gino’s East served their ‘Meaty Legend’ with Canadian bacon, Italian sausage and pepperoni; the ‘Chicago Fire’ with hot & spicy Italian sausage, fire roasted red peppers and red onions; and the ‘Spinach Margherita’ with spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil. – All pies were perfectly succulent, had great bite, and were hearty but not overly stuffed to the point of sogginess. The best deep dish I’ve tried, including when I went to Chicago!
  • DC’s Georgetown Cupcake served their Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Fudge, Lava Fudge, Cookies & Creme, Vanilla Birthday and PB Banana Fudge – Moist cupcakes with either a cream cheese or buttercream frosting. My personal favorite is a cream cheese frosting, and I love how they fill some of their cupcakes as well!
  • DC’s Sweetgreen served their ‘Rad Thai’ with organic arugula and mesclun, sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil and spicy cashew dressing – Great flavors and textures, and best of all, this salad added a pop of light, freshness at this indulgent event.
  • New England’s Luke’s Lobster served their Maine Lobster Roll with Maine lobster in a split-top New England style bun with mayonnaise, butter, lemon and secret seasoning – Another crowd favorite for those lobster lovers out there.
  • NYC’s Black Seed Bagel served their Lox & Dill Cream Cheese and their Cucumber and Caper Salad bagels – Great crisp and chew to the bagel, and since they wood-fire their bagels, it adds great depth of flavor. Very fresh tasting!
  • Philly’s Tony Luke’s served their Cheesesteak with rib-eye steak, American cheese and Italian bread and their Roast Pork Italian with slow roasted pork, au jus, sauteed broccoli rabe, sharp provolone and Italian bread – Great layers of flavor packed into these bad boys.
  • Philly’s Insomnia Cookies served their Chocolate Chunk, M&M, Snickerdoodle and Double Chocolate Chunk cookies – Loved that they were wrapped, so I totally enjoyed this cookie later in the night… and it was just as tasty!
  • Portland’s Lardo served their Griddled Mortadella Sandwich with thinly sliced mortadella, provolone, Mama Lil’s peppers and mustard aioli – My personal favorite, with a lot of my blogger friends in agreement. Love mortadella, and the griddling just brings out the flavors. The provolone and peppers added more texture and heat, and really made the entire thing a well-balanced, hearty sandwich.
  • Nekter Juice Bar’s cold pressed juice (classic greens, advanced greens, skinny lemonade, ginger lemonade and raspberry slimmer) – Sadly, I didn’t get to try this one but I love a good cold pressed green juice. Gotta stay balanced, right? 😉
  • Stumptown Coffee of Portland served their cold brew coffee on nitro and their chocolate cold brew coffee with milk – I’m not a coffee person, but I always hear good things about the quality of their coffee.
  • Spindrift Seltzer & Soda served sparking raspberry lime seltzer, fresh pressed cucumber seltzer, fresh ginger beer, sparkling orange mango soda and sparkling grapefruit soda – Tried the cucumber seltzer and it was super refreshing… just what I needed to wash down the other bites!

———

Quick Tanaya’s Table update: It’s been a bit crazy on this end lately with a lot of great opportunities coming my way (very grateful for that!), so posts had slowed down for a while… but I’ve kept my social media and content creation game going strong!

As I get back to posting more regularly and prepare for my trip to Hong Kong and India and officially launching Tanaya’s Travels, you can follow all the latest culinary adventures and get more tips on new openings, chef interviews and behind-the-scenes action over at @TanayaG on Twitter, and also on the Tanaya’s Table Instagram page.

I’m also on Periscope by the same handle, so let’s connect! Thanks for all the love and support as Tanaya’s Table continues to grow and bring you more amazing insight and scoop on the best bites, products and events around LA and beyond.

More foodie fun to come in the next few days! Cheers 🙂