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DINING BEAT PUCK UP FOR OSCAR BASH.

Byline: Larry Lipson

Why not veal oscar for the big Oscar dinner party?

That's what celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and staff decided to cook as the entree for some 1,650 attendees of the 2001 Governors Ball dinner following the 73rd Academy Awards on March 25.

Puck's version will consist of veal medallions, Maine lobster and asparagus over an artichoke puree with choron sauce.

For his seventh post-Oscar dinner, Puck said that elegance is the theme this year, pointing to the gold-rimmed glassware at the preview tables at his West Hollywood Spago (due to close March 31), the scene of the annual Governors Ball dinner press preview, held mid-morning Wednesday.

Puck noted that this would be the final Oscar fare preview at the original Spago (it moves to the Beverly Hills Spago next year) and the actual dinner would be the final one held at the Shrine Auditorium. (The awards will move to a new Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue facility in 2002).

Academy directors sample the preview meal as a lunch following the press conference and vote on what wines will be served.

It begins with 10 international appetizers that include Spago's signature pizzas, spanakopita, tempura shrimp, lamb skewers, spicy tuna tartare in a cone, lobster and shrimp spring rolls and canapes of smoked sturgeon mousse.

A trio of salads precedes the veal Oscar main course, which is accompanied by a handsome baked yellow Finnish potato served with osetra caviar and creme fraiche.

As usual, an edible Oscar statuette will be the dessert feature. Puck's pastry chef Sherry Yard fashions a platter of three Valrhona chocolate elements, first the pedestal, second the 24-carat gold dusted chocolate Oscar mounted on the pedestal, and third, a chocolate placque wrapped in foil that has inscribed on it, ``And the winner is...''

NOTES: Moving into the ex-Chasen's/Bistro building at 246 N. Canon Drive in Beverly Hills is Mastro's Steakhouse out of Scottsdale, Ariz ... Interesting owners-investors of Mr. Cecil's California Ribs, 12244 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles, are film-biz execs Jonathan Burrows (founder) and Larry Jackson, Burrows' brother and sister-in-law Kenneth Burrows and wife Erica Jong and Burrows' cousin, television producer/director James Burrows (``Cheers''). Information: (310) 442-1550.

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Photo:

This edible Oscar statuette will be part of the Academy Awards party planned by Chef Wolfgang Puck.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 2, 2001
Words:387
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