The Oscars (Feb. 29, ABC, 8:30 p.m.) are all about the fashion, the glitz, the glamour, the parties… pretty much what your typical ”Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” episode entails. So EW.com caught up with Ted Allen, the food and wine guru of Bravo’s hit show, while he was antiques shopping in L.A. and asked him to offer his expert advice on how to throw an elegant Oscar-viewing party. Gold stars to be awarded to overachievers.
Set the mood
? ”The Oscars are all about drama — so you should have dimmers on every light switch. It’s such a dirt-cheap way to be able to immediately set the tone. It’s also great for when you haven’t cleaned in a while.”
? ”The TV is the main event and you don’t want people to stay in the same seats throughout the whole broadcast. Maybe someone will hog the good chair, so one solution is to have some nibbly things near the TV, but also to have a food station removed from that area, maybe near the kitchen, so people talk to different people and not camp out the whole night in the same place.”
? ”It’s kind of an old college party trick, but put the drinks at one end of the room and food on the other to keep people circulating.”
Prepare a menu
(Be creative with dramatic appetizers and drinks named after Oscar nominees)
? ”You don’t have to go all Martha Stewart-crazy to do a themed party like this. [It can be as simple as] serving a ‘Mystic’ Martini, a.k.a. a dirty martini, which is just a martini made to look like a muddy river by splashing some olive juice in it.”
? In honor of ”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ”use tortellini as a finger food. You can cook it al dente, put it on a skewer, and then serve it with a dipping sauce. I like the Barilla Tortellini that comes in the bag because you don’t have to refrigerate it.”
? ”For those who are tragically lazy, do ‘Lost in Translation’ short-cut sushi. The short-cut aspect of it is obviously you just go out to a Japanese restaurant and bring it home.”
? ”To put a little effort into cheese and crackers try triple cremé cheese garnished with grapes on cracked oat biscuits” in honor of the famous racehorse, Seabiscuit.
? Pay homage to ”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” by serving oysters.
? ”Just as the Academy holds the most important awards till the very end of the show, you can do the same thing with the menu. Save some sort of whiz-bang dessert for the end and do something crazy like Baked Alaska paying homage to ‘The Cooler’ or just as they have in casinos, do a lavish dessert buffet.”
What, Ted, no ”21 Grams” heart-of-palm salad?