Announcing the 2021 Red Carpet Menu!
Oh it’s been so long since we’ve gotten together. To say it’s been a crazy year is an understatement. I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe and healthy.
There hasn’t been much to entertain us over the last year except movies. I wasn’t even aware of what movies were out, coming out, getting chatted around… But I certainly knew what all the streaming services wanted me to watch! Not the same thing by far. And then… the awards buzz started… and the “serious” watching began until the nominations arrived!
I usually watch the Oscar announcement with bated breath but not this year… I didn’t realize they arrived until over 12 hours after they had. Nooooooooooooo! Having had COVID in February (darn plague), my brain was still having some fog so when I saw the list, I drew a blank and immediately went to my people on Facebook to get the ball rolling. And one friend made one suggestion that did exactly that… accolades for all the brave souls who helped me to come when the recipes are unveiled.
Due to the Oscars being held on the late date of April 25, this year’s cuisine will celebrate Spring – Spring Garden Party! Without further ado, here is the 2021 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu!!
Promising Young Woman is such a dark, devious, defiant ride. The premise seems very straight-forward, but when you think it’s going in one direction, it does a u-turn. The whole cast is wonderful but Carey Mulligan is outstanding in this role. Creating a dish to honor this film was pretty easy, once the theme was in place. Boozy, sweet, and bringing the heat – chicken tenders! I couldn’t be more excited to get into the kitchen and make Promising Drunk Chicken great!
The Father is a heavy film. Incredible acting. The story is all too familiar for too many people – between dementia and Alzheimer’s, beautiful memories and people become lost at an agonizing pace. And everyone wants to do right by their loved ones. Very compelling and brilliantly presented here. Hard to make light of it BUT I was glancing at a page I’d started to use for brainstorming, and like a slow animation, my eyes saw the title pop forward as The Fava, and I started laughing at how perfect that was! Sir Anthony Hopkins plays the title character and we all know one of his most iconic roles as Hannibal Lechter… COMEDY! In a nod to the film’s locale, the dish will be a fava bean purée finger sandwich as if for high tea. Jolly delish.
Mank started popping up in a “coming soon” way on my Netflix feed and I felt it was going to be wonderful – the preview was drawing me in so on “my list” it went. There were so many good moments in it, that I couldn’t pick just one! As far as creating Flank, I can take no credit but I will be making this flank steak in a boozy marinade! And yes, that’s two meat courses with boozy marinades this year.
Nomadland is a powerful film despite it being seemingly soft-spoken and slow-paced. This could be Frances McDormand’s finest performance – and that is saying a LOT! She is beyond awesome in everything. It almost has the vibe of a European film, in that we are not in a “typical American” beginning-middle-end style story. We are eased into the world of Fern… one that we don’t fully understand at first. How she made her choices, why she made them, what is happening with her, and how she’ll do. She’s sweet but sturdy and she likes a peanut butter sandwich, although her focus is never on food except for survival. NomadYam not only works when I think of her dishes and the name of the collection, or that she enjoys a lovely Thanksgiving along the way, but sweet potatoes are similarly sweet and sturdy. They are the perfect vehicle (yessssssss… haaaaaaa) for being loaded with all the flavor you need and topped with a dreamy peanut tahini sauce.
Sound of Metal did not inspire me to see it initially. I’m not exactly sure why but when it became a nominee, I knew I’d “have” to see it anyway. Well not only did I see it, but I’ve seen it twice so far. It is absolutely wonderful! Riz Ahmed is triumphant! It’s on Amazon Prime Videos – definitely watch. This story of a 4 years-recovered heroin addict heavy metal drummer suddenly losing most of his hearing has so much depth. I wanted a dish to do it justice. I love Ears in Metal for this movie because…. well it is a good twist of title. Also, Corn Spoon Bread baked and served in a cast-iron pan, looks dense but is actually light and so delightful. And the character of Ruben at the start and end is not who you expect him to be.
Minari is the story of a Korean farming family pursuing the American dream in Reagan’s America… specifically Reagan’s Arkansas. Another truly meaningful, gorgeous, well done film that moves you in so many ways – tears, laughter, heart… yes. I wondered what Minari meant and discovered it is Japanese parsley! Although I’m not going to use that, I thought… a refreshing salad with flat sweet parsley and mint as the anchoring components will be a wonderful taste of Spring to complement the theme. And then a friend mentioned tabouli and that blew it all into full perspective. So this will be my take on that as Mintari.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is based on a real trial that happened as a result of a riot that took place at the 1968 Democratic National convention in Chicago. Another Netflix selection that was being teased towards me early on, I was excited to see it. It was soooo good! They not only tell the story in flashback, flash forward, and trial-present, but they intersperse actual footage from the times. The people on trial, the lawyers, the judge, the Yippies, the cops… so many layers that bring us to this point. The “let ’em eat cake” lack of regard by the establishment for the concerns of the “people” made this 7-layer cake a perfect choice. Using blood oranges to underscore the blood shed in the riot only occurred to me as I was creating the menu and enjoying one – excellent! A chiffon cake is airier, taller, and makes more of a “statement” so making this The Trial of the Chiffon 7 couldn’t be more perfect.
Judas and the Black Messiah was much richer than I thought it would be. The previews didn’t allude to the nuance in it. It’s another movie based on a true story that happened in the same era as The Trial of the Chicago 7. The actual footage at the end of the film is impactful. Man – the things people do. I didn’t plan on the ’60’s serious films informing the desserts but that’s how it worked out. The deeper element of this film is the FBI’s focus on getting Fred Hampton out of the way due to his influence on the people of Illinois (yeah… another thing in common w/”Trial”) and beyond. They planted a mole, in the person of William O’Neal, a would-be car thief, in Hampton’s operation, which is the ultimate betrayal and undoing of him. Judas and the Black Mousse-iah will be a black cherry chocolate mousse with a hidden layer of chocolate cookie crumbles (ya know… the betrayer) and dolloped by whipped cream (the lily-white and fearful FBI dolloping not only these men, but the rights of people who deserved them). It’s going to be an amazing dessert!
And there ya have the 2021 KitchAnnette Red Carpet Menu! I hope you’re as excited about this year’s menu as I am! The posters gave me a special joy, especially that for Promising Young Woman! The recipes will arrive in the next couple of weeks.
I’m so glad to be back! I’m still waiting for the category – BEST MENU – to be added to the official Academy Awards! I think it’s been enough time that I deserve an honorary Oscar, right? Right???? Ha!