Wolfgang Puck, the famous LA chef who has catered the Oscars' Governor's Ball for almost 30 years, knows there is one food item that he can never not serve - and it's a chicken pot pie.
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After wearing a formal dress and tight-fitting suit for hours, sitting in hair and make-up, and then a four-hour long ceremony, it's not surprising that celebrities gravitate towards comfort food, and that's why Wolfgang - who this year celebrates 28 years of catering the exclusive event - will always stick to what works best.
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"Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, and risotto all go down well," he tells HELLO! "The savory goes down much better than dessert!"
Barbara Streisand and Prince Albert of Monaco are two of the biggest names that are fans of the pot pie in particular; Albert loves it so much that he once tried to get Wolfgang to open a branch of his popular LA restaurant Spago in the principality so the royal could access the meal more regularly.
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Wolfgang, now 72, previously helped to cater the post-Oscars bash at Spago and he shared that the one thing that has kept him going all these years is that he does what he wants to do - and not what the Academy asks.
When he was first approached about working with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) he recalls how someone entered his kitchen to ask what they would be serving for the tasting only for him to kick them out when they demanded there be a variety of dishes available.
Wolfgang has been catering the part for almost 30 years
"I told the board, 'I do what I want to do, not what you want to do,'" the chef, who also heads up Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, laughs.
"You make great movies, I make great food, so let me do the food and you do the movies and we'll be friends. And they were happy because I didn't give them a choice."
It's a partnership that works but this year he will collaborate with Bronx-based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro who blend influences from the African diaspora, global South ingredients and hip-hop.
Bronx-based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro will be collaborating with Wolfgang this year
Wolfgang is keen to work with them, sharing his excitement to become more inclusive and welcome younger people into the world of Michelin-star cooking.
He says he can't wait to be part of the opportunity to give them a platform and "to show the people in their community how they can become chefs in restaurants like Spago, or work at the Oscars."
Although he does admit he is not sure what he can learn from them after decades in the industry himself, "but maybe they will surprise me with what they cook!"
The famous pot pie
After almost three decades, Wolfgang is serving what he knows the guests love while also offering fresh ideas and takes. He admits he still doesn't know where he finds his inspiration but compares it to his guests' own work: "It's like how people come up with new films or music - you find new words and things to play with. It's a take on an idea but we make it ours."
And as for what the future holds for him and the Oscars?
Wolfgang is hoping to make it to AMPAS' 100th birthday bash in 2027, where we're sure there will be new ideas, indulging - and pot pie.
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