As the Academy has expanded its list of Oscar nominees to a whopping 10 films, it's become harder for even interested movie fans to see every movie on the Best Picture roster. So City of Ate today presents an edible shortcut: The 83rd Annual Academy Award nominees in dinner party form.
The entire menu, after the jump.[jump]
Cocktail: Skinny Cosmo, Black Swan
If Black Swan can be trusted, the stereotype holds true: Cutthroat ballerinas like pink and hate eating. Your guests might not thrill to a vodka drink made with extra club soda, but the cocktail could incite a corps member to do a pirouette.
Wine: Gamble Family Vineyards 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 127 Hours
According to medical authorities, it's not wise to drink your own urine. But it's perfectly fine to sip on warm Sauvignon Blanc, the beverage 127 Hour's pinned hiker tries to summon as he downs a water bottle he's filled himself. When the San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonne named Gamble Family Vineyards' 2008 Sauvignon Blanc to his top 100 list in 2009, he praised its buoyancy and "racy energy," two descriptors that fit James Franco's character (and hopefully will sum up the Oscars ceremony he's co-hosting.)
First course: Bruschetta with fontina and greens, The Social Network
College and computers call for pizza, which surely helped fuel the Facebook revolution. Since it's déclassé to serve anything from Domino's at a hoity-toity meal, savvy party hosts will instead melt their cheese on ciabatta bread.
Second course: Clams oreganata, True Grit
It's impossible for cooks to hear the word "grit" and not think of clams. Plus, serving beef jerky might spoil the glamorous mood.
Third course: Grilled ginger chicken wings, Toy Story 3
It's probably a stretch to link any food to a film about toys that can't eat, but since Toy Story 3 is really about loss, longing and a boy bound for college, it's a decent excuse to serve a dish beloved by teenage boys. That means garlic ginger chicken wings, according to a recent survey by college dining hall operator Sodexho.
Soup course: Leek and potato soup, The Fighter
Potato soup might not strengthen you for a junior welterweight title fight -- or a beating by a bigger, better-trained competitor -- but the economical dish is a fair edible approximation of boxer Micky Ward's experience growing up in a 10-person, Irish-American household in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Salad course: Heirloom tomato salad, The Kids Are All Right
The foodie movement backlash was crystallized this year in Annette Bening's monologue assailing heirloom tomatoes and the fawning eaters who adore them. "If I hear one more person say how much they love heirloom tomatoes, I'm going to punch them right in the face," her character warns. What better vegetable to put on the Oscar table? (Note: Tomatoes are not in season, which means any dedicated locavores at your party might take the opportunity to punch you in the face -- especially after a serving of The Fighter's potato soup.)
Entrée: Pan-fried venison with blackberry sauce, Winter's Bone
The teenage girl at the center of Winter's Bone has troubles: Her father's a meth addict, her mother's mentally ill, and her siblings are hungry. She responds by going hunting for squirrel, a meat that's hard to find at most supermarkets. But this dish of game and blackberries evokes the Ozark Mountains without all the poverty and sorrow.
Dessert course: Twelve-layer mocha cake, Inception
Viewers have debated how many dream layers are depicted in Christiopher Nolan's Inception: Four? Five? This impressively tall cake has 12, and -- with an active cooking time of just two hours -- can be prepared in less time than it takes to watch the movie.
Cheese course: Isle of Arran Dunlop, The King's Speech
When King George VI wasn't busy prancing around with his speech tutor in hopes of curing his stutter, he tended to ceremonial duties -- including the opening of Torrylinn Creamery in 1947. The island dairy is still handcrafting the slightly sweet cheddar that's considered Scotland's national cheese.