Oscars Feast Round Up – The Morning After the Night Before

It’s done. The Apple Pie Bourbon is finished, the crabby snacks are gone.

Another Oscars Feast for the year is done and dusted.

This year, civility was the theme. Last year things may have got a little loose with the ‘not-so-silent’ The Artist inspired martinis. It might have been the novelty of the popping candy rims on the glasses which kept us all going back for me, but three martinis on a Monday night doesn’t do many of us much good.

The party itself was a full day and a half prep, with shopping lists pre loaded online for delivery on Sunday, so come Monday morning, I could start with a bang.

Sunday afternoon  (when we weren’t down at the local pub having a quick lunch, sheltering from the cold with a mug of tea, Welsh Rarebit and a quick match of Scrabble) was all about baklava.

The hot syrup benefits from spending at least six hours soaking into the layers of pastry, nuts and apple, so it was a good one to tick off the day before.  The Hungry One and I pottered around in the kitchen, listening to The Eagles and generally taking it easy.


Then at 11.39 pm on Sunday night I sat bolt upright in bed. ‘The chickpeas’. There was one more job that needed to be ticked off the day before. The chickpeas for the Zero Dark Thirty black sesame falafel. They have to be soaked in water overnight. Good thing that’s a job that can be done with one eye open.


Monday was all about prep and hard decisions. There are no fish markets open on Mondays in London, so a tough choice was made to leave the Life of Pi spiced ceviche boats off the menu.

Yet, there was no shortage of food.

Favourites among the crowd seemed to be;

1) The crabby snacks. Fried balls of crab, bound together with cream cheese and a kick of spice. These things go down better than Seth MacFarlane’s jokes.

2) The Lincoln cocktails. Maybe it’s the novelty of having a cinnamon swirl as a swizzle stick. Maybe it’s the murky sweetness of using cloudy apple juice. Maybe it’s just the festive smells of having apple pie spices infused in bourbon.

Some of the Lincoln cocktails garnishes

Whatever it was, they seemed a hit.

3) The Les Mis French Onion Soup.

We served half portions out of glasses, with floating castles of croutons. Yet some of the performance art of the piece was lost on the night. I forgot to make people shout out ‘I’m Gruyere’ instead of ‘I’m Javert’ when we served it. And those eating it missed out on the full tear-jerking experience of finely slicing 1 kg of onions ( best done while humming ‘I dreamed a dream’ – though if the tears get too much, I can highly recommend putting a piece of stale bread on your tongue to stem some of the flow).

4) The Django Unchained white cake. I did have some help in the afternoon with that one. A very crafty, artistic friend was kind enough to come over early to help ice the full beast. I had semi frozen the cake layers, to help prevent some crumbage while icing.

There was an obscene amount of sweetened cream cheese filling in the centre. And there was just as much white chocolate butter cream gilding it all together. But I think everyone’s favourite bit was spraying their own slice with an artful splatter of cherry juice.

So, how did it all go?

On the night it was fairly seamless. There was a colour coded running order in the kitchen to ensure that everything came out on time.

We always make sure that people’s ballot predictions are sent in well ahead of time. Oscars day itself involves a tricky media blackout for most of us. No facebook, no twitter, no news so we get a bit of surprise. One of the more committed members of the group had a client re send an email to him, redacted of Oscars gossip and news.

And despite some potential snaffaus of actually GETTING HOLD of a version of the Oscars to watch (thanks British television), some technically minded friends with excellent access to cable came to the rescue.

Once it all kicked off there were bonus points awarded for costumes. This year we had no Black Swans, or one armed hikers. There was really only one- The Hungry One – though I’m not sure if donning a garbage bag over a track set (ala Silver Linings Playbook)  really counts for a great deal of effort. But we gave him the point, because in the tipping, he only picked four others (the perils of voting with your heart, not your head).

As for the winners? It was the boys, in a tie. The trophy will stay in London. And the Alice Tynan Trophy for most films seen also went to one of them- and some special applause for the enormous commitment of Mr Oliver Warren for the sheer amount of films seen (though we seem to have misplaced that trophy. A replacement must be sought).

At the end of the night Argo may have come up trumps, but everyone could barely fit in a slice of the petit four it inspired.

Which brings us to today. For the first time in many years I’ve woken without a hangover (being knocked up and drinking tonic water all night will do that to you). There’s plenty of baklava and white cake left and only a few dishes left to wash.

But it was once again, a very good night.

Hoping your Oscars was just as magical.


  1. It was an odd show this year – could have done without all of the Chicago blasts from the pasts, and Seth, well, worst host. Ever. But happy there were a few surprises (Ang Lee!) and a few pretty frocks – Jessica Chastain was my favourite. Good for you for the media blackout – that must have been difficult! And what a spread – your baklava looks insane – I would have eaten dessert first 🙂

  2. Sounds absolutely lovely 🙂 I love all your creative dishes!

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