Announcing the 2020 Red Carpet Menu!


Hello Food Fans! It’s been a while since we’ve been together. I’m thrilled to be back with you just in time to announce the 2020 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu! 

This year, award season has begun about 3 weeks earlier than we’re accustomed to. Nooooo! We’re just two weeks into this spectacular new year and BAM! Oscar® nominations have been announced! And the awards will be here in a flash so let’s get to this year’s menu! 

I am giving credit where credit is DUE for getting to the dishes that made the cut. Andy Luke, Suzanne Sumien, Barbara DeBisschop, Peggy Dufresne, Rose Napolitano, Diane Chudley, Joe Becwar, and Stefanie Sanabria were my stand-out stars! As for the nominees, I was prepared for certain movies to make the cut, but a couple totally surprised me. 

Here’s a little quick review of the Red Carpet Menu history. I’ve been doing this every year since David Letterman hosted the Oscars in 1995. I didn’t think it would go further than that one year but it has become my signature event. The dishes are created featuring each of the Best Picture nominations. The criteria for the menu is to create dishes that reflect the movie they are representing and be named for said movie. There must be at least one appetizer, main course, side dish, salad, and dessert. Finally the meal must work as a stand-alone without the movies. And I’m strict about these rules! Ha! My cookbook, Red Carpet Menus: Delicious Dishes Inspired by 20 Years of Oscar® Best Picture Nominations, features the first 20 years of recipes, Oscar memories, and more! Get yours today so it will arrive by Oscar night! 

This year the cuisine is Irish/British/Scottish/Welsh, aka UK Cuisine. And so… drumroll… here is the 2020 Red Carpet Menu!


JoJo Rabbit is my favorite of the bunch. I didn’t expect how wonderful and multi-faceted this film would be. The previews showed a more silly film. And it does have it’s goofy, funny moments. But the poignant ones took me by surprise. The performances by everyone… the kids… were fabulous. In creating a dish for this film, I was never going to make actual rabbit. But the “imaginary” rabbit, Welsh Rarebit, is a perfect choice. It’s a seasoned and flavorful cheese sauce ladled onto toast (we’ll be using rye bread, a nod to the Jewish and German elements) and broiled to crusty delight. Upon seeing the film and me bemoaning not ever using rabbit, Suzanne Sumien didn’t hesitate to say it should be what it is: JoJo Rarebit.

Joker is an astounding film. Not a “superhero” anti-hero film. It’s dark and fleshed out beautifully, containing twists that make it soooo compelling! The incredible performance by Joaquin Phoenix will likely get Oscar gold to follow up his Golden Globe win. Speaking of globe, as in Globe Artichokes, we’re making Choker, Angry Artichoke Dip (thanks to Barbara DeBisschop for turning me from steamed arti’s to a dip). It will have a kick to it, like our dear Arthur… or Artie… or Arti as in umm… yeah.. Artichoke! This is going to be delish! 


Little Women has been filmed several times. I admit my favorite version is the 1933 one with Katharine Hepburn but this one was quite good. The girls are more independent-minded and strong-willed than in the others. Throughout the film, there’s a lot of talk of women’s need to be married to survive because her prospects for independence were quite limited at that time. Men ran the show. And to that point, it’s fitting that these “little hens” will create a version of a Scottish soup inexplicably called Cock-a-Leekie. The history of it isn’t that old roosters were used, hence the name. No, it’s just the men allegedly “running” the soup with the hens being the actual reason for it’s success. Tee Hee! Yeah, it’s Little WomHen. And in full disclosure, my friend Andy first suggested doing a soup as “Ladle Warm-hen”! Men! Haha! 

Main Course:

The Irishman was so anticipated. Scorcese… DeNiro… Pacino… Pesci… and many more! The first thing I heard about it was “it is so long”. And boy, is it ever. It was good but I wasn’t wowwed. It felt like a “part two” of Goodfellas, only more dragged out. Can you tell I was disappointed? I just wish the editing was tighter to make for a stronger film. Now… calling this The IrishHam was easy – with that level of acting chops, you’ve got a lot of “hams”! And those schemes in the movie were pretty half-baked. A delicious Guinness-glazed ham is perfect! 

Side Dishes:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was so much fun! This is also a long film but it is riveting and engaging. Leo and Brad were fabulous! Margot Robbie turned in yet another great performance. And Quentin does it again! Suzanne tossed “Cauliwood” into the conversation a couple of weeks ago and I knew it would use cauliflower! The inspiration for our Once Upon a Thyme in Cauliwood goes straight to the “cheesy” Rick Dalton looking to make some “cheddar”. Add some cauliflower, breadcrumbs, and bake that baby… yes! Baked Cheddar Cauliflower Cheese! 

Parasite is the underdog I didn’t expect to transcend the “Best Foreign Film” category. Who would think this film could get this far? Anyone who saw it, that’s who. It’s amazing! There are twists and turns and some “spearing”, which brings us to Asparasite. The reference to a “parasite” is a little off but think about it… you know what happens when you eat asaparagus… it “lives” in you for a bit. Haaaaa! But this Garlic Asparagus with Sesame Seeds is the perfect complement to the meal. 


Ford v Ferrari shocked the heck out of me. No, not the film, but the nomination! I didn’t expect this to be here at ALL! I was instantly stymied. Should it be “gourd” for “ford”? What category? And then Andy suggested a salad of “fruit” v “fior de latte” cheese, “…a fruit and cheese battle in a salad bowl”. YES!!!! And then I thought of Ferrar-brie and the dish was born! We’ve got healthy refreshing apple v rich decadent brie coming together in a bowl with soft lettuces and a silky honey v spicy mustard dressing (nod to Joe Becwar for the dressing suggestion) to create Fruit v Ferrabrie.


Marriage Story is a sad film. Well done. Harkens to the bittersweet split we’ve all gone through. Something so pure and sweet gets chopped up and macerated. Afterwards, it’s altered but still sweet and rich. Much the same as strawberries being readied for Strawberry Shortcake or Marriage Shorty. Full credit for this one goes to Stefanie Sanabria. 

1917 – Time is the Enemy. Upon seeing the preview, I had two thoughts – “I have to see this” and “please don’t be an Oscar nominee”. A DATE? Only a date as a title? How could it even be on the menu??? I’ve been on the case for weeks. It’s been the hardest one ever. I’m grateful for the tagline, “Time is the Enemy” – I can use it. When it won big at the Golden Globes, I knew it would be nominated here and immediately sought suggestions on Facebook. Peggy Dufresne suggested that a title that is a date deserves to be a dish using dates! Genius! Diane Chudley unknowingly suggested the same – two great minds thinking alike! Woo hoo! Then Rose Napolitano, going savory, mentioned “amandine”… almonds… hmmmm…. that led me to date and almond scones – British – excellent! But how I was going to present didn’t sit right. I couldn’t release the menu until I gave it another try. Too much of a stretch. Andy turned it around when he suggested a tagline of “Diet is the Enemy” and it clicked. We’ve got 19-17 lbs – Cake is the Enemy! Hahaha! Eat enough cake and you will certainly add some pounds to yourself! Is it a stretch? YES. But a date… as the title… come ON! As for the cake, we’re making a date and almond War Cake (yes, it was a real thing in the time) which is pretty dense. In continuing my texting brainstorm with Andy, it was apparent this cake would need a lovely English custard, which is a nod to the only food in the film, a bucket of milk. I’m most excited about this dish now!  

And with that, the 2020 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu has fully arrived! I’m proud of the menu, proud of the posters, and as you can see in the announcement video, I’m already working on the recipes without a moment to spare!

I don’t know… but I think I’m a shoe-in to receive BEST MENU!!! Wait… still not a category? Boooo! 





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