This was my first year watching the Academy Awards with a group of people. We all filled out ballots, making our picks for winners in all categories and everyone brought a mandatory “Oscar nominated” themed dish. We all agreed this year's ceremony was in a word "awkward" especially the hosts. James Franco's stoned indifference (which I found pretty funny), matched with Anne Hathaway's paegant-like effort, a complete lack of chemistry and weird timing, made moments of the ceremony hard to watch.
On to the food.....
In honour of “The Social Network,” Bianca and Tim grilled up a batch of cleverly named “Zucker-burgers” These mini bison sliders with cheddar and dijon mustard were a hit…some might say everybody “Like”-d them. Terrible joke.
The Leggy Redhead brought spring rolls with an nominated twist thanks to some regal presentation. Crown shaped cucumber and the way the spring rolls were cut made this dish “King’s Speech Spring Rolls”. They were crisp and delicious with an awesome sweet chili dip...
Jobin’s dish was “Biutiful Guacamole”- a Javier Bardem inspired creamy avocado dip. Awesome texture and very lime-y flavour with a mystery ingredient I couldn't get out of him.
Ashley admitted that her dish was coming straight from the aisles of Safeway…..she brought “Winter’s Bone Pumpkin Pie and Cool Whip.” Her concept was to bring a dessert that is only available in the winter. A stretch….? Yes, but she owned it and it was tasty. I actually plan on whipping up a homemade pumpkin-pie ice cream sundae in the next couple of days with the leftovers.
The sous-chef brought over some Oscar-shaped chocolates (a few minis and one large statuette) from Charlie’s Chocolate Factory in Burnaby (famous for their novelty chocolates). These would serve as prizes for those with the most correct predictions for Oscar wins.
I made “True Grits,” an homage to the Coen Brother’s multi-award nominated re-make of the John Wayne classic western film. This dish was really easy to make and I added a southwestern vegan twist- I threw vegetable stock and cornmeal in a pot for about 15 minutes until it reaching a thick, creamy consistency, then I added some soy ground round, diced jalapenos , and chipotle peppers.
The sous-chef ended up with the most accurate predicted wins of the night and was the winner of the high stakes $2 per head cash pot and the large chocolate oscar (although he didn't make an acceptance speech, we all know he'd be thanking a certain bookie with an inside track on Oscar odds with a name like "sneaky pete.")
All in all, a delicious and extrememly filling evening despite a pretty boring and awkward awards ceremony.