January 10, 2013
Early this morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for this year's Academy Awards and in our annual Oscars tradition we created a menu for each of the Best Picture nominees. Our Oscar movie menus are often a bit of a challenge. Some films make it easy. Silver Linings Playbook has multiple culinary references, including crabby snacks, homemades, and fire-and-ice cake. Sure we had to do a bit of research to figure out what any of that means, but in the end, David O. Russell's heavily-nominated film starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver easily lends itself to a Philly-centric, football-friendly buffet, followed by our interpretation of the fire-and-ice cake mentioned by Julia Stile's Veronica. Other movies are less obvious. Argo, for instance, doesn't include a lot of specific food scenes. Our solution was to create a menu that combines the different cultures that come together in the film, American, Canadian, and Iranian, with fried chicken as a nod to a passing shot of a local woman enjoying KFC, and a peanut-studded dessert for some Jimmy Carter nostalgia. If you're curious about the thinking behind each of our culinary tributes, read on for the rest of the movie menus and a brief explanation of each. Lincoln: Our menu, like the film, celebrates our 16th President. We built the meal around some of Lincoln's favorite foods, including apples, root vegetables, and oysters. And because we so enjoyed James Spader's surprise cameo and his attempt to secure votes by quail hunting, we included a quail main course. Django Unchained: White cake is obviously part of our menu for Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked Western epic. For the rest of the meal, we leaned on Calvin Candie's francophilia, combined with the meal served at Candyland, and opted for French takes on steak, asparagus, and potatoes, plus biscuits, which are briefly mentioned by Samuel L. Jackson's Stephen. Amour: For Michael Haneke's French-language drama, we wanted to celebrate one of the last meals the aging couple enjoys before Anne's healthy begins to deteriorate. Our breakfast menu includes a poached egg atop mushrooms and frisee with a side of toast, and coffee or tea. Life of Pi: Thinking that there's little appeal in a meal of random raw fish and dry rice crackers, our Life of Pi menu features Indian-spiced (and cooked) fish, with a vegetarian South Indian side dish to honor Pi's roots. For dessert, we included Ginger Cardamom Oeufs à la Niege. Oeufs à la Neige may mean "eggs in the snow," but looking at this elegant custard, we can't help but be reminded of a raft floating in the ocean. Les Misérables: Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter's "Master of the House" scene is one of the liveliest moments in Tom Hooper's perhaps equally loved and maligned musical drama. For a more palatable version of their mystery-meat sausage, we turned to Pot au Feu, a traditional French stew, with all kinds of meat-y surprises. The...
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