By Veronika Ruff Taylor
In an effort to put a new spin on the usual Oscars party—you know, glam finger foods, sparkling sips, and a winner’s pool—my friends and I started an Oscars Pot Luck tradition, where each guest brings a dish inspired by one of the Best Picture nominees. Last year we feasted on “True Shrimp & Grits,” and in 2010, we munched fancy mixed nuts inspired by Up in the Air. Since many of my friends refuse to set foot in their kitchens, ordering from our favorite Clean Plates-approved restaurants is always allowed. Here are ideas we’re considering for Sunday…
Bring the tropical flavors of Hawaii to the party with some pineapple-and-mango “Tropical Freeze” smoothies from the Candle Cafe on the Upper East Side. (You could also make your own version at home by blending a selection of tropical fruits with coconut water and ice, to taste.)
The Tree of Life
Celebrate that ever-enticing forbidden fruit by ordering a moist, agave-sweetened Macintosh Apple Crumb Cake from vegan bakery, Babycakes.
To celebrate Paris, we’ll order a house-made charcuterie plate from Café Cluny, a French-American restaurant in the West Village that sources organic, antibiotic-free meats.
Midnight In Paris
We’ll complete the Parisian spread by heading to our local Whole Foods to choose from their large selection of organic, hormone-free cheeses in order to curate our French fromage plate.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
This New York City-based film inspires tons of fun local food ideas, but we plan to honor Barney Greengrass, the NYC institution featured in the film. We’ll top whole-wheat toasts with a schmear of Greek yogurt, smoked salmon, cucumber, and fresh dill.
Pick up hot dogs made with organic meat from Better Burger in honor of this baseball flick.
Order a homemade chocolate pie from Bubby’s Pie Co. (locations in TriBeCa and DUMBO), and be assured that the only secret ingredient in your version is peanut butter!
Though UK-based chain Pret à Manger certainly wasn’t around at the time of this epic WWI-drama, it’s our favorite English import of late. Serve some of their addictive organic popcorn or cut up the healthy sandwiches, tea time-style.
If you’re less kitchen-averse than my friends, celebrate this film’s black-and-white theme with a combination of healthy, easy black and white bean dips:
- Rinse and soak white beans and black beans, separately, and cook until soft
- Blend each batch with peeled garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste (if your dips are too thick, add a bit of the warm cooking water)
- Play around with the flavors of each dip with herbs and spices—just keep those colors consistent!
- Serve in two bowls, with whole-wheat pita bread and veggies
What are some other thematic food ideas tied to this year’s nominees?