Oscar-worthy dishes: Yearly awards ritual makes for worthy menu ideas
Time to make reservations for a night out with Oscar! The 89th Academy Awards is coming up this Sunday, Feb. 26, at the famed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and the stress is on to see whose wearing what, whose going to trip on the red carpet, what's Jimmy Kimmel have planned for this year's soiree - and whose going home with the little golden statue.
Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) - the national voice of food service in Canada - will also be hosting its own annual trade soiree in Toronto this weekend, and this not-for-profit association will be bringing together the giants from every segment of the food industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, food institutions, suppliers and some of Canada's top chefs, for what promises to be a most mouth-watering spectacle.
Named Canada Unleashed, this special trade show is considered - much like the Oscars - the biggest event of the year for Canada's hospitality industry.
So we asked organizers to suggest Oscar-worthy dishes to pay tribute to Hollywood cinema.
"Like film, cooking is an art. It requires creativity, disciple, technique, a vision and of course a discerning palette," said organizers.
There are nine films up for Best Picture. Here's what the chefs had to say for a few of those films:
DISH: Chicken Mole with Moros & Cristianos – Cuban Black Beans & Rice
Courtesy of Chef Rossy Earle Chef and hot sauce maker at SupiCucu
Chef Rossy selected the dish that was served in Moonlight towards the end of the movie. Two friends are reunited in a Miami restaurant, where one is a cook, who makes his friend a Cuban-inspired meal. "So you Cuban now?" is spoken before the Chef's Special - Then he hands him the food. The dish he made, the Chef's Special, is a traditional Cuba dish called Moros & Cristianos, a beautiful rich and spicy dish infused with dark chocolate, spices and fiery heat.
La La Land
DISH: Wine poached beets with berries and micro-greens
Courtesy of Chef Jagger S Gordon, Jaggergordon.com
Much like La La Land, this dish is bold and colourful and marries beets with brown sugar, honey and blackberries infused with dry red wine, yogurt, unsweetened mangoes on a bed of micro-greens. You just want to get up and dance.
DISH: Flexible Caramel with Liquid nitrogen ice cream pearls*
Courtesy of Chef John Placko of Modern Culinary Academy and Bar 120
This dish is spectacular and amazing - a recipe for "flexible" caramel ribbon made with sugar, water and whipping cream plus a special sweet setting gel that produces ribbons of delicious caramel served with delicate ice cream pearls - or just your favourite ice cream. Truly out of this world.
DISH: Cavatelli with Venison Ragu
Courtesy of Chef Michael Hunter, owner of Antler Kitchen Bar
This is a real meat and potatoes type of movie, and you need a rib-sticking dish to truly pay homage to this film. Chef Hunter (yes, that's his real name) relies on a rich venison ragu made with a medley of vegetables, deboned venison meat(from the neck, shoulder or leg - you can use beef if you can't get any venison), dried wild mushrooms, red wine and traditional herbs like thyme, parsley and bay leaves served on cavatelli pasta (or any small pasta shells) to sop up the glorious sauce. Give you enough energy to face your daily battle.
Manchester by the Sea
DISH: Matty's Seafood Brands Lobster Bisque Poutine
Courtesy of Chef Matt Dean Pettit
This sad, powerful, brooding movie was filmed in New England, home to such worthy dishes as clam chowders and lobster bisques, not to mention brain-buzzing lobster rolls. This dish is a wonderful marriage of thick lobster bisque, chunks of fresh lobster meat and cheese curds piled high on some luscious, crispy Yukon Gold fries and sprinkled with fresh shopped chives. This is serious eating for a most serious film.
This film runs a riot of colour and passion and beauty as seen through the eyes of the pint-sized protagonist, Saroo. Based on a true story - his story - it follows a proverbial needle in a haystack story that covers two continents and a journey like non other. South Asian cuisine figures prominently and one dish in particular - Jalebi - plays a pivotol role in the story, of a man finding his way back home. Jalebi is a popular Indian treat, bright orange in colour, made with flour, deep fried into pretty circular-shaped pretzels and then soaked in a dense sugar syrup.
For a complete list of movies nominated, as well as other Oscar information, check out Oscars.org