The Oscars is a time to celebrate in style, whether with fancy fare and party supplies or with creative Hollywood-themed hacks that will help you channel your inner celebrity. To help you plan for this year’s event, we’ve compiled ideas, recipes, and kitchenware recommendations that are sure to lead to the most glamorous Oscars party your guests have ever seen.
Tips for Hosting the Best Oscars Party
Throwing a themed party means a chance to get extra creative when planning everything from the food to the decorations to the activities. We asked our Oscar-loving coworkers for their ideas on how to go all out this year. Here's what they suggested.
1. Name Your Dishes After Nominees
Think up clever menu items using the nominated films, filmmakers, or any other Oscars vocabulary as inspiration. Last year, one America's Test Kitchen employee ate “Guillermo del Tortilla” and “Oscar Mayer Weiners” at an Oscars party she attended. (Not pictured: “Jimmy Kimmelon Salad;” “Three Cheeseboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri;” and “Coco-Covered Pretzels.”)
2. Plan a Governors Ball-Inspired Menu
Every year after the awards ceremony, the stars make their way to the Oscars official after-party, the Governors Ball, which is catered by none other than Wolfgang Puck himself. One idea is to use his menu (this year’s hasn’t been released, but last year’s menu is easily searchable) as a jumping off point for yours. We even gave you a headstart on this one—below are our recipe recommendations directly inspired by Puck’s 2018 menu.
3. Provide Oscars Party Favors
Send your guests home with a gift bag full of red, black, and gold candies or make-believe movie tickets (you can get crafty here so that your party favors don’t have to include $100,000 worth of gifts like the real ones do).
4. Encourage Some Friendly Competition
Have everyone fill out a ballot when they arrive, and at the end of the night, give the winner their very own Oscars trophy.
5. Make Your Own Edible Oscars Trophies
Instead of buying one, you can also make your own tasty Oscars trophies! Our Easy Holiday Sugar Cookies are simple to roll out and mold into your shape of choice (and hey, the Oscars is a holiday in its own right). If you don’t want to freehand the statue, buy yourself an award statue cookie cutter.
Recipe Ideas for Your Oscars Menu
What better way to celebrate the actors, actresses, producers, and directors winning the awards than to eat like they do for the night? Inspired by Wolfgang Puck’s 2018 Governors Ball menu, we gathered some of our favorite party-worthy dishes.
Warm-Spiced Pecans with Rum GlazeIf you want to serve a version of the Candied Spiced Mixed Nuts with Pineapple that were served at last year’s ball, our recipe tosses raw pecans with warm spices and a brown sugar rum glaze. Place in ramekins around the party for the ultimate Oscars snack.
Shrimp PotstickersInspired by Puck’s Edamame and Truffle Potstickers, we suggest our Shrimp Potstickers recipe that yields soft, savory pillows of tender shrimp and crunchy cabbage. Although they don’t include truffles—Puck orders 30 lbs of black truffles for this party every year!—the browning and steaming method produces crispy potstickers that will dazzle any guest.
CevicheWhether a crudo, tartare, or other raw bar dish, every Oscars menu is better with a refreshing seafood addition. We recommend our Peruvian Fish Ceviche, in which we “cook” fresh fish in an intensely-flavored and silky lime emulsion.
Chicken Pot PieThis comfort food favorite might seem out of place on an elegant party menu, but in order to please hungry celebrities after a lengthy awards show, Puck serves the stars chicken pot pie. Apparently, Barbra Streisand loves it. (It’s also a popular menu item at the Vanity Fair Oscars After Party.)
Strawberry Cream CakeEvery elegant occasion needs to conclude with a just-as-elegant sweet treat. Our Strawberry and Cream Cake is just the recipe. For a firm filling with great strawberry flavor, we created both a "mash" and a reduction with the berries.
Kitchen Tools to Pull Off the Best Oscars Party
Hosting a party can be daunting, especially for a fancy affair like the Oscars, but we think there are certain items that can help you plan and alleviate any party-planning stress. Here are our recommendations for essential party equipment that will up your hosting game (and of course, last long after the final statue has been awarded).
2. Cilio Champagne Bottle Sealer: We tested seven champagne sealers, and this is the only one we highly recommend. That’s because it keeps wine and champagne just as fresh as a newly opened bottle for two full days.
3. Metrokane Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe: The only device able to chill a room-temperature bottle in 15 minutes, and the only one we recommend at all, the Metrokane Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe is a must-have at any gathering.
5. Tovolo Stainless Steel 4-in-1 Cocktail Shaker: If you’re looking to shake up some cocktails for the occasion, we recommend this cobbler-style shaker, our favorite of its kind due to its leakproof and easy-to-use qualities. (If you’re more into a Boston-style shaker, we recommend The Boston Shaker Professional Boston Shaker, Weighted.)