In line with this fabulously plant-based award season, the Governor’s Ball—the Oscar’s official after-party—is making plant-based food the star. While not exclusively vegan, the Michelin star-worthy menu curated by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck features over 40 plant-based options—which is about a 20-percent increase from years prior. Here are just a few of the mouthwatering amuse bouches, passed apps, and small-plate meals that deserve an Oscar on their own.
1. Roasted Cauliflower Toast
Avocado toast is for the fans—the stars know cauli-toast is where it’s at. This trendy bite is adorned with agrodolce shallots, golden raisins, and sumac.
2. Compressed Salad
Made with watermelon, housemade cashew ricotta, and mint-infused agave, this sweet-yet-savory amuse reminds us of a bite-sized burrata salad.
3. Eggplant Caponata Crostini
What’s a party without a perfectly composed crostini? We’re stealing this idea and serving this simple eggplant-topped toast at our own Oscars watch party.
Tray-Passed Hors d’Oeuvre
4. Bell Pepper Caviar
This spicy delicacy is served upon delicate aquafaba mousse nestled on light, puffed-air bread.
5. Root Vegetable Potstickers
While we’ll be warming up vegan potstickers in the microwave, celebrities get the star chef treatment with these addictive, doughy vegetable bites served with carrot ponzu sauce for dipping.
6. Wild Mushroom Cigar
Also known as an umami bomb, this tiny appetizer packs a ton of flavor. A medley of mushrooms are complemented with truffle aioli and truffle ash for a truly convincing edible cigar.
7. Sweet Potato Tempura
We can guarantee this tempura will be light and crispy without being too oily—because no one needs oil stains on their tux. Each morsel is accompanied by a creamy, minty-fresh cilantro aioli.
Passed Small Plates
8. Maitake Mushroom Salad
This Mediterranean dish is composed of meaty maitakes, cool baba ghanoush, sumac-spiced pita crumbs, and garnished with a nutty tahini dressing and a sweet but savory burnt onion syrup. We wish Whole Foods served this at the salad bar.
9. Fruit and Avocado Salad
Made from frozen tangerine segments, gooseberries, avocado chunks, cucumber, and mint tossed in an aji amarilla vinaigrette, there’s no doubt guests will be helping themselves to seconds.
10. Wild Mushroom Bolognese
Puck clearly has an affinity for the mighty mushroom. This hearty small plate features al dente rigatoncini pasta smothered in a meaty mushroom and tomato sauce.
11. Vegetable Tagine
For those who like it spicy, this Moroccan stew offers a bit of heat alongside cauliflower couscous and dried fruit harissa.
12. Housemade Tofu
There’s store-bought tofu, and then there’s homemade tofu. The two could be different products. Served warm, this scratch-made tofu is accompanied by hijiki seaweed-infused rice, delicate carrot greens, edamame, and ginger ponzu sauce.
13. Warm Vegetable Plate
Highlighting the best of winter produce, this vegetable-forward dish includes braised leeks, fennel sunchoke purée, cipollini onions, and green beans drizzled with a tomato herb pistou.
Chef Action Station
14. Vegan Cheese
Wheels upon glorious wheels of gourmet vegan cheese! If we could attend, this is where you’d find us all night.
15. Parfait of Boba
While boba can be divisive, everyone will want a petit jar of this elegant dessert made with compressed honeydew, green tea almond milk mousse, and coffee gelée.
16. Kumquat Eton Mess
A traditional British dessert, this veganized version features light-as-air pavlova, kumquat jam, sweet tangerine cream, luscious meringue, and a precious kumquat tuile.
17. Salted Caramel Brownie Cookie
Every single word of this sweet creation has us drooling. Please, share with the loyal movie-going fans!
18. Margarita Push Pop
The stars can’t have popsicle juice running down the sleeves of their designer gowns. This thoughtfully engineered alcoholic sweet treat puts that risk to rest.
19. Dark Chocolate and Yuzu Ravioli
This flavor combination is something we’ve never tried—and truthfully never considered—ever before. However, we’ll happily taste-test this new fruity chocolate creation.
20. Ube and Coconut Cream Tart
Can we order this in advance for all of our spring and summer parties? Our go-to coconut cream pies and lemon tarts simply won’t cut it after learning about this treat.
21. Boozy Milkshakes
Those who didn’t win an award can drown their disappointment in one of two vegan alcoholic milkshakes—a bourbon-spiked banana, oat, and salted caramel version or an old fashioned-infused orange sorbet with bitters granita. Cheers to next year!
22. Housemade Valrhona Chocolate Bars
With four vegan flavors such as dark chocolate horchata, dark chocolate cookies and cream, and vegan white chocolate lavender, there’s no doubt guests will be stuffing their clutches and pockets with these handcrafted bars. Same some for the “little people” who supported you along the way!
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Puck Catering