Even with an annual party that’s been chugging along for close to 20 years now, it’s impossible to have the same party twice. Veteran guests drop out, new friends join in… looking back at my annual Oscar Party, though, I do see trends.
The gist of the fiesta is to bring an Oscar-themed dish to share, which we then vote on as a group, awarding mediocre prizes in five categories. It’s basically a puffed-up potluck. But guests take the challenge seriously, either cooking a signature dish and attaching an Academy-worthy name a la this year’s Best Tasting Winner La La Lamb, or using a film title, actor, or other nominee as inspiration for a spread, as in the case of 2017’s Best in Show, Fantastic Meats and Where to Find Them.
Sometimes, I notice friends using the occasion to spread their culinary wings — Ben’s Best Name-winning entry this year, Natalie Port Wine Pudding Cake, was just such an endeavor and smelled amazing while cooking.
And the Manchester by the Sea-salted Fluff Sandwiches by Kaitlyn? She wasn’t sure how they’d come out, but put her faith in the power of Fluff. It was not a fool’s gamble…these things are amazing.
The Art Direction Winner this year was an amazing cake from Chocolate Springs, made to order for my friend Kat’s specific instructions. Decorated with the words Hidden Figures, this dessert also included actual hidden figurines revealed upon slicing.