Need recollections, tips and inspiration for a dinner party themed around the Oscars Nominees for Best Picture
February 14, 2011 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Foodie Cinephiles, help us pair foods with the 10 Best Picture nominees for our Academy Awards dinner. Need help especially remembering food in the films and, secondarily, thinking of other possible connections.

Continuing an Oscar party tradition at our house, this year we're hosting a small (12 person) dinner party, with dishes themed to the Best Picture nominees. We've seen them all, and we have a lot of ideas, but we could use help A) remembering the appearance of food in some of the films, and B) coming up with dishes that fit because of that or other reasons.

Here's what we most need help with:
Social Network: we can't remember if there was pizza or other food in the film—can you? If not, can you help us think of “networkish” or FB relevant foods?
True Grit: What is it they eat at that campfire in that one scene? We're thinking of doing something in a Dutch oven in the fireplace.
The Fighter: Is there food? We think we recall a lot of beer and maybe popcorn. Anything else? What (besides crack) do they eat traditionally in Lowell, Massachusetts?
Inception (spoiler alert): I'm planning a multi-layered Russian-doll effect for this, possibly a dessert or possibly a savory dish that hides a dessert within. Are there foods in the film? Any other inspirational suggestions for deceptive, layered foods? (Turducken is out).

For reference, we have a big kitchen, good equipment, access to fancy and international foodstuffs. We're not timid—for a similar event last year, for example, for a dish to go with District 9, we used enzymatic “meat glue” to bind a shrimp onto a pork filet, so that it looked like a hand, then roasted it and served with a cat-food can holding a pinotage gelée.
Some of our working plans for other nominees this year:
Hard candy “marbles” through which guests will drink either tea or scotch (The King's Speech);
Roasted goose served covered in squid ink pasta served on mirrored plates (Black Swan);
Chicken feet slow-cooked for 127 minutes served with a hot rock and Sriracha sauce (guess).
posted by Mngo to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Fighter: The movie is about "Irish" Mickey Ward. Corned beef and cabbage.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:16 AM on February 14, 2011

Well for Toy Story 3, how about riffing off of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Stuff stuck into a baked potato? (And then there's a part in the movie where Mr. Potato Head's potato part is replaced by a tortilla.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:19 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Social Network, there's a scene that has Rashida Jones eating a salad in the conference room while she's talking to Jesse Eisenberg....
posted by Lucinda at 9:21 AM on February 14, 2011

True Grit: sofkee
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:22 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Fighter

Two courses, the first being stewed in Guinness.
posted by zamboni at 9:22 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't remember what they ate around the campfire in True Grit (it may have been either lizard or rabbit), but I do clearly remember the scene inside the cabin where Rooster and the girl take lodging where Rooster was ladling some stew from an iron-cast pot hanging over some flames/charcoal/wood. That's pretty distinctive for the times.
posted by qxrt at 9:24 AM on February 14, 2011

For Inception consider a parfait
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:25 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lowell, MA has one of the highest concentrations of Cambodian residents in the country. Also, Prince spaghetti used to be made there (Spaghettiville).
posted by zix at 9:25 AM on February 14, 2011

Response by poster: BlahLaLa, that was the plan!
mcetc, very useful, thanks.
CPB and zix, thanks, there's at least some weird combo possible there.
Keep 'em comin', please!
posted by Mngo at 9:30 AM on February 14, 2011

A nice pink cake for Black Swan.
Just a little bit of water for 127 hours. That, or a single chicken wing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:37 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Winter's Bone: squirrel! Hey, it's apparently not bad:
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:37 AM on February 14, 2011

What about a little pink cake inside of a chocolate wafer trash can?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:40 AM on February 14, 2011

Inception: Ice Cream Bombe
posted by spec80 at 9:44 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Social Network had them eating sushi (I think it was sushi) and drinking appletinis during the initial dinner meeting with Sean Parker.
posted by phoenixy at 9:48 AM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, the appletini was a big part of that scene. The girl at the table wants one, so Sean Parker orders a parade of them for the whole table.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:52 AM on February 14, 2011

For Inception, I would go with a Ferran Adria (of El Bulli fame) recipe... Something classic that's been flipped on its head, to play off the entire totem thing. Something you know that isn't right.
posted by bfranklin at 9:52 AM on February 14, 2011

127 Hours: Bag o' urine, chilled
posted by jenlovesponies at 9:54 AM on February 14, 2011

127 hrs - he also had two burritos
posted by any major dude at 9:59 AM on February 14, 2011

Cook squirrel meat for Winter's Bone but set the entrails aside because you only have to eat those if things get desperate.
posted by cda at 10:01 AM on February 14, 2011

Black Swan: black and white cookies
posted by downing street memo at 10:06 AM on February 14, 2011

Black Swan--red-cooked duck feet
posted by Ideefixe at 10:14 AM on February 14, 2011

Sandwiches which may not be eaten where everyone else is for The Social Network.
posted by brujita at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2011

Oh! Chicken-fed chicken for the Social Network
posted by jenlovesponies at 12:35 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Social Network - serve whatever, but you have to feed it to the person next to you.

(Or across the table, if you can find sufficiently long spoons.)
posted by zamboni at 1:00 PM on February 14, 2011

Whatever you feed them for Black Swan, remember to remind them where the toilet is afterwards.
posted by Jubey at 1:41 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Inception (spoiler alert): I'm planning a multi-layered Russian-doll effect for this, possibly a dessert or possibly a savory dish that hides a dessert within. Are there foods in the film?

No foods that I can think of, but this seems like a perfect excuse to make a turducken
posted by nuclear_soup at 9:17 PM on February 14, 2011

For multi-layered, maybe make an outer shell to put over the dessert by spreading meringue over an appropriately shaped (i.e. as deep/narrow as possible) mixing bowl and baking it to a hard shell? To preserve the foam you wouldn't want to grease the mold but maybe you could do a couple strips parchment crossed over the top of the bowl for easy release.
posted by aimedwander at 10:47 AM on February 15, 2011

Response by poster: For the record, here's what we made. Many thanks to all!

The Social Network: wisconsin honeycrisp appletini [made with a locally-distilled apple brandy]

The Kids are Alright: roasted organic vegetables and heirloom tomato salad

Winter's Bone: p'tcha

Toy Story 3: baked potatoes [decorated with dozens of borrowed Mr. Potatohead parts]

Inception: dream parfait [an insane molecular-gastronomy thing I can't fully describe, but it featured layers of goat cheese, onion jelly, mushroom aspic, and gelatinized "suspension" of apple-ginger juice, with some large-pearl tapioca and jordan almonds floating in it]

127 Hours: rock chicken [chicken feet served under actual rocks, with sriracha]

True Grit: safkee [made with grits, hominy, and fresh sweet corn kernals, and served from a cast-iron dutch oven I pulled out of the fireplace; accompanied by sorgum-glazed bacon topping for non-vegetarians]

Black Swan: squid ink and goose risotto

The King's Speech: marbled wiskey or tea [guests put round hard candies in their mouths before drinking]

The Fighter: stout cake [chocolate, made with local microbrew and covered with a white-chocolate ganache colored blue as in the film]
posted by Mngo at 3:35 PM on March 8, 2011

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