Chef Wolfgang Puck

Chef Wolfgang Puck is known for his extraordinarily executed and extravagantly catered Academy Award® parties, but he says throwing your own Oscar party can be easy—and elegant!

In order to make your party a roaring success—and a good time for yourself—you should keep a few things in mind. Step one is deciding how many people you want to invite. "First of all, you have to see what kind of television you have," Wolfgang says. "It has to be comfortable. Also, you have to see how many people you want to feed. I know when I do a party for 20 people at home just for the cleanup itself you need a cleaning lady!"
Get organized

Wolfgang says when it comes to cooking, you need to get organized. "Prep things in advance so that you don't have to cook everything at the last moment." And when it comes to picking recipes, you should think about what's easy to do. One suggestion is to make soup—which can be frozen, then thawed for the big night.

Another suggestion is to serve something that can be easily assembled. "You could do a Chinese chicken salad for example. Make a nice platter with it. You can actually go and buy a roasted chicken or you can cook it yourself. You can shred or slice the cabbage and everything the night before and keep it in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Make the dressing ahead." Wolfgang says. "Then just toss it together."
Serve a buffet

Another thing to keep in mind is where your guests will be eating. Whether you're propped up on the arm of a couch or leaning against a wall, Oscar® parties tend to have people eating on the go. Wolfgang says it is imperative to serve food that can be eaten with a fork only so they don't have to try and balance multiple pieces of silverware. If you're serving soup, try serving it in little espresso cups!

He also says how you present your food is important. "I would just set it up like a homey buffet, but have it really nicely presented," Wolfgang says. "Make a table and put some things underneath the table cloth so certain [dishes] are higher up and certain things are lower down."

As for dessert? "Instead of making one cake, I think I prefer to have smaller things," Wolfgang says. "Little cookies or lemon bars or chocolate bars and things like that."
Have champagne for your guests

What is Oscar® night without champagne? Wolfgang says it is a must-have, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. If you don't want to shell out big bucks for a bottle of bubbly, Wolfgang suggests offering your guests a variety of flavor enhancers. "You can have some raspberries, you can buy some peach puree for a Bellini. A little orange juice for people who like it with that...a little Cassis to add to it. That way you can actually change it a little bit," Wolfgang says. "When people arrive at your house it gives it, right away, a festive environment."

And don't skimp out and buy plastic champagne flutes, Wolfgang says those are perfectly fine for a pool party, but not for Academy Awards night! He does suggest buying paper plates to help with the cleanup—but be sure to look for high quality. And if you're lucky, you might be able to find them in Oscar gold!