Hollywood's most famous icons--the gold Oscar trophy and the red carpet--will set the design motif for the 80th annual Academy Awards Governors Ball, slated for Feb. 24 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. At press time, event-industry watchers are still waiting to see if the ongoing writers' strike will trip up the planned Oscar festivities.
At a press preview last week, longtime Oscar Ball designer/producer Sequoia Productions, based in Los Angeles, unveiled the look of the gala event. The ballroom will feature a raised orchestra stage surrounded by a multi-tier floor plan featuring nine dining areas with variations on the decor theme.
Linen--supplied by Los Angeles-based Resource One--includes soft golds with soutache braid scrolls, gold pailettes or braid diamonds embellished with cardinal red applique medallions.
Rectangular tables seating 14 feature a mix of mirror tops and linen, accompanied by either clear acrylic chairs or golden metal spindle-back chairs with a basket-weave motif. Suede seat covers in gold or cardinal red complement suede-covered railings. Lounge areas feature gold suede banquettes and red chandeliers. Los Angeles-based Classic Party Rentals will handle rentals.
Floral--from longtime supplier Mark's Garden of Sherman Oaks, Calif.--will feature spheres of red roses, some topped with sprays of golden jamestory orchids. A mix of tall and short centerpieces will be dressed with mirror accents and white pillar candles.
Continuing the trend set with last year's Oscar ball, Wolfgang Puck and Matt Bencivenga, executive chef and partner in Los Angeles-based Wolfgang Puck Catering, will serve an organic menu featuring a dual entree of Wagyu beef and Maine lobster. Reception stations will offer sushi, Asian noodles, ceviche and shellfish. Favorites such as the smoked salmon "Oscars" with caviar and creme fraiche and chocolate "Oscars" will again appear. [See the full menu, below.]
2008 Governors Ball Menu
Sushi Station Maki Rolls, Nigiri, Sashimi, Cucumber Salad, Edamame, Wasabi, Soy and Pickled Ginger
Noodle Station Pad Thai Noodles with Tofu, Egg, Bean Sprouts, Thai Basil, Mint and Peanuts; Short Lo Mein Noodles with Pork, Scallions, Sweet Peppers and Plum Ginger Sauce
Ceviche Station Shrimp with Mango, Basil, Golden Tomatoes and Habanero; Sea Bass with Avocado, Tomatillo, Cilantro and Jalapeno; Scallops with Tomato, Orange and Chile
Shellfish Station Shrimp, Oysters and Crab with Cocktail Sauce, Mustard Sauce and Mignonette
Tray-passed Hors d'oeuvre Spicy Tuna in Sesame Miso Cones; Mini Kobe Cheeseburgers with Remoulade; Tomato Goat Cheese Tarts; Miso-glazed Black Cod on Rice Crackers; Cucumbers and Smoked Salmon; Steak Tartare Crostini; Spicy Chicken Mango Rice Paper Rolls; Vegetable Spring Rolls; Assorted Pizzas
Smoked Salmon "Oscars" with Caviar and Creme Fraiche
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus Chile Dressing
Thai Spiced Shrimp with Holy Basil and Candied Garlic
Bruschetta of Figs, Goat Cheese and Organic Prosciutto
Smoked Eggplant with Toasted Flatbread
Asparagus and Chickpea Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Risotto with Black Winter Truffles from Burgundy
Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef with Chinese Broccoli Shiitake Stir-fry and Peppercorn Sauce
Shanghai-style Maine Lobster with Steamed Jasmine Rice and Coconut Curry Sauce
Oscar "Tributes" by Pastry Chef Sherry Yard
Photos by Special Events Magazine