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The night when stars gorge into great food.

THE PART about the Oscars night ( early morning tomorrow, our time) that I find the most delicious is the Governor's Ball that follows the drama of the awards ceremony.

This celebration of gastro porn gives me great voyeuristic pleasure because I find it reassuring to see pretty people eat well and get drunk, and it exposes me to the world of one of the finest chefs alive -- Wolfgang Puck,

61, the inventor of the gourmet pizza who counts Arnold Schwarzenegger ( both share an Austrian origin) and Robert De Niro as his friends, and has been serving the stars at the Oscars for the past 17 years.

Puck has been so much in demand -- he was also the chef presiding over the steakhousestyle parties that followed Super Bowl ( February 6) and the more Asian- flavoured celebrations post the Grammys ( February 13) -- that details of the Governor's Ball menu have only recently trickled in.

If the Puck sensations on the Grammy menu were baked macaroni and cheese with white truffles and Canadian cheddar, and Kobe beef meatloaf with caramelised brown sugar ketchup with crispy onions, the star cast of the Governor's Ball spread ( you must check out Squid Ink on LA Weekly Blogs for details of the preps and some scrumptious pictures) has smoked salmon Oscar statuettes with caviar and fresh cream, Dover sole served with a vegetable paella, black truffle pizza with ricotta and thyme, and a procession of desserts, including the most desirable dark chocolate lollipops crusted with candied ginger.

I guess after living in selfdenial for weeks to fit into their best dresses and tuxes, the stars need to succumb to good food. And according to blogger Elina Shatkin of Squid Ink, there'll be lots to whet their appetite -- 815 kilos of Dover sole; 1,200 Kumamoto oysters and 1,000 spiny lobsters ( I wonder why not 1,500, which is the number of guests expect to show up); 225 kilos of smoked salmon; 18 kilos of caviar ( assuming it's beluga, the price tag is $ 7,000-$ 10,000 a kilo, so do your mental math and figure how much the Academy is coughing up for the party); and four kilos of black truffles ( the last time someone bothered to find out about the retail price of a kilo of black truffles, it was $ 5,415). I did some calculations and figured out that just the caviar and the black truffles will cost $ 133 -- or Rs 6,118 -- per guest. That's one party I'd love to gatecrash.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 27, 2011
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