Oscar Nom Noms: A Themed Menu for the 2018 Academy Awards

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Another year; another Academy Awards ceremony on the horizon; another pun-filled menu for your Oscars party, courtesy of the guy who's contractually obligated to produce one fun Oscar-pun menu post per annum. So gather 'round, friends, pull up a chair, pop a squat right here on a spare scrap of rug; it's party-planning time! We've got a bread, a few apps, and several ideas for the main event that accommodate a range of dietary preferences—and all of these options lend themselves to witty plays on some of this year's most promising nominees. If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making a whole custom Oscars menu—frankly, if I were planning a viewing party and unrestrained by the tyranny of the pun, I'd probably whip up a vat of pressure cooker chile verde, set it out next to a cube or two of Bud Heavies, and be done with it—you can always concentrate your efforts on just one or two of the dishes here. It'll free you up to relax and enjoy watching as Get Out sweeps the ceremony, as we all know in our hearts it will, and should.

Word to the wise: If you haven't seen Get Out and you're afraid of spoilers, don't read on (but, for what it's worth, it's really too good for spoilers to ruin, so don't worry about it). And to those who feel the urge to complain about the quality of these puns, just be thankful I nipped "Morel Streep" in the bud.

To Start

The Bread: Timothée Challah-met

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

GQ has hailed him as a "once-in-a-generation talent," Cosmo says he's "basically the greatest human ever," and Serious Eats wants you to understand that his last name reminds us of a bread—golden, fluffy-inside, glossy-brown-outside bread. While Timothée deserves all the plaudits he can get after his terrible treatment in the time-bendingly boring Interstellar, the only accolade he's walking away from this year's Oscars ceremony with is "nominee." Because there can be only one Best Actor, and that title belongs to Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya.

Get the recipe for Timothée Challah-met »

The Cheese: Three Cheese Boards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Initially, we thought we'd promote "Three Cheese Balls Outside Ebbing, Missouri," in part because cheese balls are delicious, and in part because the word balls is funny in any and every context. But, admittedly, "cheese boards" better matched the original title, so we went with it instead. You don't need a recipe for this one—just consult our handy guide below to learn how to put out a fine cheese board for your fine party guests, without breaking the bank.

You know what else is funny, though? Get Out! Get Out was really funny, even as it was also super creepy and scary and deadly serious. That's the kind of range a Best Picture winner needs to have, right? Balls to anyone who says otherwise!

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A Dip: Guaca-Molly's Game

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I include this recipe for several reasons. Reason the first: Guacamole is always good to eat. Reason B: Our guacamole recipe is really good (especially when made the old-fashioned way, with a mortar and pestle!). Penultimate reason: The pun is strong. Reason the fourth: as a shout-out to Michael Albert, the Serious Eats reader who single-handedly reminded me and the rest of the staff of my contractual obligation to pen this post. Thanks, Michael! I stole your pun! Get Out is the best movie of the year!

Get the recipe for Guaca-Molly's Game »

A Plated Appetizer: Willem Da-Foie Gras

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This is for all you fancy-pants people holding fancy-pants Oscars dinner parties. While foie gras is like Willem Dafoe in that it's best enjoyed in large portions, even a supporting-role-sized serving is good (as the Oscar nom attests) if that's all you can provide. With Kenji's recipe, there's no need to worry about messing up your pricey foie—just be as confident as our guy Willem, who's sure to win since Bradley Whitford, inexplicably, didn't make it onto the nominee list.

Get the recipe for Willem Da-Foie Gras »

The Main Attractions

For Pescatarians: Calamari by Your Name

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If you're aiming for a pescatarian-friendly menu, this elegant braised-squid dish solves a bunch of problems at once: It's quick and easy to make, it's perfectly scalable, it's cheap, and it takes on a delicious complexity from the harissa and lemon juice stirred in at the last moment. Speaking of complexity, one overlooked element of Get Out's success is the casting. Is there a better representative of progressive smug than Bradley Whitford, the guy who played a glorified Rahm Emanuel on The West Wing?

Get the recipe for Calamari by Your Name »

For Vegetarians: Guillermo del Tortas

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Catering to vegetarians and vegans doesn't have to be difficult, nor does it mean you have to skimp on flavor. These vegan sandwiches will work just as well for omnivores, since they get a lot of heft from refried beans and mushrooms, plus variety and depth of flavor from the plethora of peppers. Speaking of solid ingredient choices, another example of the genius casting in Get Out is Allison Williams. Even in the face of mounting evidence, you trust her character almost all the way through to the end!

Get the recipe for Guillermo del Tortas »

For Meat-Eaters: Lady Bird (It's Just a Dang Chicken)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I suppose we could get dinged for lack of inspiration on this pun. Okay, fine, there is no pun. But the choice itself is above reproach, since roast chicken is always welcome on my plate, particularly if it's spatchcocked and not overcooked. The key to properly cooking a chicken, as with most meats, is using a good instant-read thermometer, which allows you to exercise the kind of control Jordan Peele displayed in Get Out, which is, if you can believe it, his directorial debut.

Get the recipe for Lady Bird »

Sweet Things

Snacky Candy: The Barkest Hour

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

If you're having an informal Oscars get-together, you could do far worse than setting out a few bowls of this potato chip– and smoked salt–infused chocolate bark for your guests as a casual dessert. It's super simple, and you can make it far in advance, too. If you wanted to make a different tasty dessert that's a bit more labor-intensive and also references a heavy war movie that received an inevitable Oscar nod this year, you could always try your hand at Hot Cross Bunkirks. What can we say? We've truly got a winning recipe for every need, much as Get Out's success builds on a winning formula of horror, comedy, and thoughtful social commentary that can satisfy any viewer.

Get the recipe for The Barkest Hour »

A Plated Dessert: Daniel Kaluuya-Chocolate Pie

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Daniel Kaluuya was the best male actor in a leading role of 2017, so make this simple no-bake pie in his honor. Or don't make it: Daniel Kaluuya was still the best male actor in a leading role of 2017. If Daniel Kaluuya does not win the Best Actor Oscar, it doesn't matter; Daniel Kaluuya was the best actor in a leading role of 2017. (Also, Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Get the recipe for Daniel Kaluuya-Chocolate Pie »