Oscars Governors Ball Preview: Inside the Post-Show Party

Governors Ball Preview Wolfgang Puck - H 2013
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Governors Ball Preview Wolfgang Puck - H 2013

The fete following the Academy Awards telecast will feature a 120-foot, six-tiered chandelier that was designed specifically for the occasion.

After the Oscars telecast wraps up on the night of Feb. 24, the new winners will get to celebrate at a dazzling party featuring the biggest chandelier in the world.

The Hollywood Reporter attended a press preview of the Governors Ball to find out what the Academy members, presenters, nominees and winners would be enjoying at the post-Oscar fete.

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The 1,500 guests of the Governors Ball -- which takes place at The Ray Dolby Ballroom -- will feast on more than 50 food items created by master chef Wolfgang Puck. They’ll do so under a stunning, six-tiered chandelier that hovers over an 18-foot golden Oscar that has been embedded into the floor of the ballroom.

Here are five features of this year’s awards party:

1. Sparkle, Sparkle
The big addition to this year’s decor is a sparkling 120-foot chandelier that was built specifically for this occasion. The elliptical six-tiered chandelier has 18,000 LED points of light and is bigger than the largest chandelier in the book of Guinness World Records. It will change colors throughout the night. "We wanted a design that really enhanced the service and the flow and the movement of the guests. So one mirrors the other," says event producer Cheryl Cecchetto.

2. Traditional and Nontraditional
Cecchetto says this year’s event blends the “traditional and “nontraditional.” She says the event is shedding the traditional protocol of assigned seating. Last year, it was a lounge with small cocktail tables, but this year, there will be traditional tables, allowing people to sit if they choose. “We think this is the comfort zone that the guests really need,” she tells THR.

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3. A Feast
Wolfgang Puck returns for the 19th year to create the menu for the annual party. The menu of 50 food items -- comprised mostly of hand-passed appetizers and small bites -- features the signature smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles and mini Kobe burgers. Austrian celebrity chef Puck says he has even added some Austrian-inspired dishes in celebration of the best picture nomination of Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's film Amour. Vegans have plenty of options, too, including kale salad and farro with apple, beet and spiced walnut. The massive feast features plenty of luxury ingredients, including five kilos of American farm-raised caviar; 10 pounds of white truffles from Alba, Italy; 10 pounds of winter-black truffles from Burgundy, France; and 30 pounds of edible gold dust.

4. Sweet Desserts
Party-goers must leave room for desserts, designed by executive pastry chef Sherry Yard. There will be a 24-foot chocolate buffet, and plenty of Oscar-themed desserts that match the decor of the room. And, of course, the famous chocolate Oscar statuettes covered in 24K gold dust will be making another appearance.

5. Going Green
This year’s menu focuses on local, organic and sustainable food. More than 80 local farmers were contacted for local fruits and vegetables, and all fish and seafood are SeafoodWatch compliant. Additionally, all unused, prepared food will be donated to LA Specialty Chefs to End Hunger, an organization established to create awareness, educate and offer ways to contribute to ending hunger.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford