Governer's Ball throws a curveball

  • Email
  • Print
  • Size: A A A
Governer's Ball throws a curveball

A preview of the design ambience that will be seen at the 84th Academy Awards Governors Ball, during a press preview in Hollywood, California February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

HOLLYWOOD -- While the Oscar race is looking easier to call than most, not everything about the big night is going to be as predictable.

After the last envelope is open and all the guests head over to that granddaddy of all after-parties known as the Governors Ball, they're going to discover that the event's longtime organizers have turned the tables on them.

Quite literally.

For the first time in its half-century history, the Governors Ball won't be a formal sit-down dinner -- and that suits event producer Cheryl Cecchetto just fine.

"We were tired of seeing everyone standing around with their tables empty," explains Sudbury-born Cecchetto, whose company, Sequoia Productions has been putting together the apres-Oscar fete for the past 23 years. "This year there will be no reserved seating."

That's because there will be no dinner tables, period, and the new open format, which will maximize the shmooze-factor, is something that Cechetto and Governors Ball chair Jeffrey Kurland have been begging the Academy honchos to consider for years.

This year the top brass finally relented, allowing those 1,500 guests to move freely throughout the Kodak Theatre's Ballroom's 28,000-sq.-ft. space without having to manoeuvre their high-heels and flutes of champagne around that sea of tables.

And, more to the point, tossed out with the table service are the three-course dinners, so no longer will one have to settle for the wild greens and smoked salmon starter or the eight-ounce filet of something with whatever on the side.

"Wouldn't you prefer," offers Cecchetto, "A dozen of Wolfgang Puck's signature hors d'oeuvres, from the mini Kobe cheeseburgers with aged cheddar to the spicy tuna tartare in sesame miso cones to the smoked salmon on Oscar-shaped flatbreads with caviar?"

Then comes an antipasti platter complete with lobster tacos, prosciutto and house-made pretzel bread with beer cheddar fondue.

But wait, there's more!

How's about another dozen small plates featuring ramekins of Wolfie's decadent mac and cheese, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles or Shanghai lobsters with coconut curry?

Then come the passed trays of pastry chef Sherry Yard's delectable desserts, including almond orange-brown butter cake with blood orange and banana cream pie with candied popcorn.

Or, if that sweet tooth remains unsatisfied, you might care to mosey on over to the dessert buffet featuring strawberry shortcake push-up pops, raspberry rose eclairs and star shortbread with silver sugar.

And don't forget to check out the separate chocolate buffet with the white chocolate coconut rum truffles, the chocolate-dipped Pop Rock cakes and the always popular 24 karat gold chocolate Oscars, just to name three of the 14 cocoa-kissed items on display.

Should the assembled guests care to take a break from the congratulating of the winners and consoling of the losers there's plenty of traditional seating, including banquets and lounge furniture.

They're perfect for just chilling and grooving to the smooth jazz stylings of Dave Koz and the propulsive Latin rhythms of trumpeter Arturo Sandoval as well as a surprise "legendary performer."

"You're going to feel like you've walked into a designer's home with a Mediterranean foundation," promises Cecchetto. "But what really drove the look, was comfort. I don't want people to feel like they want to get up and go anywhere else."

Other than ducking into the restroom to adjust their Spanx or tuxedo pant waistbands to make room for that next passed tray!

Latest Headlines

» See all