Academy governor Jeffrey Kurland, event producer Cheryl Cecchetto and master chef Wolfgang Puck will return to create this year's Governors Ball, the Academy's official post-Oscar celebration, which will immediately follow the 86th Oscars ceremony March 2. The ball's 1,500 invited guests include Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants.
As the chair of the Governors Ball, Kurland will oversee the décor, menu and entertainment planning, as well as design the attire to be worn by the evening's staff. Kurland is an acclaimed costume designer whose feature credits include "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Radio Days," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Erin Brockovich," "Ocean's Eleven," "Collateral," "Inception," "The Dictator," "Beautiful Creatures" and the upcoming film "Tomorrowland," starring George Clooney. He received an Oscar nomination for Costume Design for "Bullets over Broadway." This will be Kurland's fifth year serving as the chair of the Governors Ball.
Cecchetto, along with her Sequoia Productions team, will work with Kurland to manage every detail pertaining to the event, including décor, entertainment, food and personnel. With the transcendent wonder of nature as a theme, this year's ball will feature lush vertical gardens designed with classic, elegant lines, inviting guests to meet, mingle and celebrate under the stars. Sequoia Productions' clients include The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, G'Day USA, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Westfield and the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. This will be Cecchetto's 25th consecutive year producing the Governors Ball.
Puck, along with chef Matt Bencivenga, will create the menu featuring more than 50 imaginative dishes, from one-bite hors d'oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. The menu, which includes such signature favorites as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American wagyu burgers with aged cheddar and remoulade, will incorporate local produce and sustainable seafood. Modern presentations such as crispy lobster shrimp dumplings with five spice and bites of fried chicken with white grits will add excitement, while an expanded selection of vegan dishes, including shots of carrot orange gazpacho, taro root tacos with avocado, and butternut squash with farro and wild rice will have a more prominent focus.
This year's pastry team includes Della Gossett, Spago's executive pastry chef; Kamel Guechida, corporate director of pastry for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group; Romain Lenoir, executive pastry chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering; and Jason Lemonnier, pastry chef for Hollywood & Highland. Together, these chefs will create elegant seasonal desserts, such as chocolate-dipped strawberry cheesecake pops, citrus panna cotta with funky chunky chocolate popcorn, and a celebratory cake to honor Puck's 20th consecutive year creating the menu for the Governors Ball.
The Governors Ball will take place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood Highland Center immediately following the Oscar telecast.
Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented "Oscar Sunday," March 2, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood Highland Center, and televised live on ABC.