Announcing the 2023 Red Carpet Menu!
Welcome to this year’s announcement of the 2023 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu!
I say it every year. Whatta list! There are 10 films vying for the Oscar® Best Picture award!
I am always freaked out when there have been TEN. That’s ten dishes which I will be serving all at once on Oscar night. And any of you playing along, same thing. IT’S A LOT! The challenge this year was that a theme was not readily evident. Usually something screams to me and it works for the rest of the dishes. I think I had an initial overwhelmed block but then it slowly emerged… HOTEL BUFFET BRUNCH! Have you experienced this? There are a bunch of stations that have a variety of choices that I wouldn’t say are brunch food. It’s like a wacky mixture of breakfast and dinner options. CARVING STATIONS next to OMELETTE STATIONS! Only in a Hotel Buffet Brunch. The more I thought about it while looking at these dishes, the more the vibe emerged as a hearty YES!
And with that, I give you the 2023 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu!
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS is a nutty movie. It does not start out the way it ends up in a very extreme way. There is a very disgusting scene that I’d been warned about so I did my best to turn away. When we get to creating the dish for this, I will not mention it again. I can’t have it “next to” any food. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. I saw that there was a high-brow/low-brow situation and how the tables quickly turned so it occurred to me to do a very “low-brow”/basic mushroom, buttons, a more elegant choice, creminis, and go ultra-high with truffles! Well, in this case it’s truffle butter (and maybe some truffle oil), but still… a chopped button mushroom filling in a cremini with a truffle finish – TRIFUNGI OF GOODNESS, emphasis on the FUN!
THE FABELMANS instantly had that Best Picture vibe. It is a Steven Spielberg film based on his teenage life. So that’s double the cinematic brilliance! It might be my pick for Best Picture… I haven’t decided yet. A prominent thread in the plot is Sammy’s mom relationship with his dad’s best friend Bennie. There’s one scene when his mom Mitzi is having a very serious discussion with Sammy while making eggs and that stuck for me. Taking that, the title, and the theme, How can it be anything but THE EGGELMANS – my version of mini eggs BENNIE-dict! Ha!
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER does not interest me. Like really doesn’t. I tried so many times to get into the first Avatar but… nuthin’. I thought it was a skit on a comedy show when I heard about the sequel but no, it is true! And there are more coming! I’m so happy this franchise delights people but not me. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have the most delicious dish!! I read all about it and went very basic with my movie connection. I knew BLUE crab would be involved (yes, my nod to the blue) and maybe it’s because I’m a crab about this movie I wanted to use crab – haha. I also knew it would be a soup – ya know, the water. Crab soup/chowder options were not making me happy so I turned it around took an earlier “Avo” suggestion from my incredible friend Andy Luke and turned it into an Avocado Soup! Then add some crab and… yum! So it’s AVOTAR: WITH CRAB IN WATER!
TOP GUN MAVERICK is the film that brought people back to the movie theater post-Covid! I have to admit, it was really fun to watch in IMAX. The story was fine but the part I liked best was how spot-on they did in making it feel like it was in the 1980’s as if this movie came out right after the first. The song choices were perfect, but the scene with Val Kilmer stole the show for me. Yay Val! Iceman Cometh! Since this is a movie based on excellence and elite forces, and the theme is Hotel Buffet Brunch, it was obvious to make it a classic Prime Rib Roast and call it PRIME GUN MAVEROAST!
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN was such a nutty movie. The acting was absolutely incredible. The accolades are well-deserved. This one stumped me, although there were initial thoughts of lady fingers. Now, if you know me, you know I have a wholesale produce company. Veggies and fruit all day all night. Yet what my amazing friend Leo Rodriguez suggested never occurred to me… FINGERling potatoes! I couldn’t get over how perfect it is! If you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to give it away but really… this is genius! Roasted with onions… yum!!! Another incredible friend, Jeannie Naughton, saw “Inispudin” which tops it off! So for this film, I’m making THE BANSHEES OF INISPUDIN!
Watching this film, I was reminded of Broadway. Oh how well this would be if it was a play, not that it wasn’t excellent as is! WOMEN TALKING packs monster performances that give the story the depth and impact it requires. My first thought for this dish was Women Stalking – the children run through those corn stalks but the idea of them actually stalking when they were clearly being stalking and attacked was not the right thing to do. Especially because the movie is based on a true story. Then I thought of how the whole movie was in making a decision about what to do regarding the men. And they wind up squashing their opportunity to hurt them again. And so we have WOMEN SQUASHING! Squash corn cakes (I didn’t forget about that corn)!
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE made me so happy. It is so quirky and unbelievable! Michelle Yeoh… Ke Huy Quan… Jamie Lee Curtis… Stephanie Hsu… YES! So excellent!!!! I saw it in the theater and then when it started streaming. I liked it even more the second time! It deserves a dish that encompasses various elements to honor the movie. Leave it to Andy Luke again! After pitching Everyspring as a spring roll, he changed it into a mesclun (or spring mix) salad and I loved it! We only didn’t know what Everywhere would be and then I thought of a lovely French salad that uses mesclun and goat cheese and it brings this dish to our salad, EVERYSPRING EVERYCHEVRE ALL IN ONE! It’s a salad of spring mix, goat cheese, dried fruit, a nut and finished with an everything bagel seasoning vinaigrette! Woo hooooo!
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT has been made and remade. You’d think there wasn’t any reason to make another but this film is spectacular. Again, it’s not my usual genre, but it is so well done. As many war movies demonstrate, war is futile. Politicians sit around and use people as their game tokens but the brutality of war takes a devastating toll on those forced to fight it and their families and friends. We see that in this movie. There were so many ways to go but I went in a sweet way with a nod to the film. The mud trenches ran with the blood of these boys, and that needed to be turned around so now it’s chocolate cake with a TRENCH of raspberry filling as NO DIET WITH THIS WESTERN BUNDT (it’s not like East Germany would have random cakes). There are joyful moments in the film and this cake is a celebration of the determination of those brave souls.
ELVIS – the name is everything! He was a tsunami who changed the face of music for the rest of time! His songs still resonate. Austin Butler was incredible!! And any film that Baz Luhrmann makes is a “go” for me! It’s always a visual smorgasbord. Tom Hanks was unrecognizable as the Colonel. Excellent! Love! I was stumped on what to create to honor this instant icon. And of course, it’s a one-word title – the think I can’t stand. I started researching Elvis’ favorite foods to see if anything struck gold. We all know the peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches but I was not making a sandwich for a dish. And then I saw he was also a fan of Monkey Bread. So I though I’d satisfy both loves and make a peanut butter, banana, and bacon monkey breat!!!! Since food was one of his vices, it only made sense to call it ELVICE!
Finally, our last dish of the menu! TAR features the incomparable Cate Blanchett. She can’t give a bad performance if she tried! My thought about this movie… a bit of a yawn. The story itself was compelling but it needed some serious editing and a bit of a pace-up. But let’s get into the character of Lydia. She has a serious and inappropriate problem with infidelity. To say she’s snobby is putting it very mildly, but being a renowned composer and conductor might have something to do with her jumbo ego. I found her personality to be tart and her behavior made me think she’s a tart, so we have TART! A BLACKberry tart (it was almost a molasses tart thanks to the lovely Leo Rodriguez) with NOTES of lemon.
It was the most challenging menu to create yet! Now the only thing left to do is to cook them! I can’t wait! The Academy Awards® are being hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC Sunday, March 12.