Academy governor Jeffrey Kurland, event producer Cheryl Cecchetto and master chef Wolfgang Puck will return to create this year’s Governors Ball, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ official post-Oscar® celebration, which will immediately follow the 88th Oscars® ceremony on Sunday, February 28. The Ball’s 1,500 invited guests include Oscar winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants.
Inspired by the caricature-filled walls of the iconic Sardi’s and Brown Derby restaurants, the Ball’s décor will feature more than 170 newly commissioned drawings spotlighting filmmaking luminaries past and present, including many who appear in this year’s Oscar-nominated films.
“The theme of this year’s Governors Ball is art – the art of making film, and the individuals who create the art,” said Kurland. “You will see drawings created by contemporary illustrators that are reminiscent of Hirschfeld’s wonderful portraits. They truly capture the energy and sheer joy of the evening’s celebration.”
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,” “Inception,” “Beautiful Creatures” and “Tomorrowland.” He received an Oscar nomination for Costume Design for “Bullets over Broadway.” This will be Kurland’s seventh year serving as the Governors Ball chair.
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. Sequoia Productions’ clients include the Television Academy, G’Day USA, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Westfield and the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. This will be Cecchetto’s 27th consecutive year producing the Governors Ball.
Master chef Wolfgang Puck will set the culinary stage with a Governors Ball menu drawing upon vintage and contemporary Hollywood glamour. The menu will feature more than 50 imaginative dishes, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. They include Sriracha-candied macadamia nuts; braised short rib with cauliflower puree and golden raisin puffed Thai rice; tortellini with artichoke fromage; white grape almond gazpacho; rye berry risotto with peas and asparagus; poke, stone crab, made-to-order sushi and other raw bar treats floating atop illuminated ice blocks; and a selection of Puck’s signature favorites, such as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged cheddar. This year’s dynamic pastry team includes Della Gossett, Spago’s executive pastry chef; Kamel Guechida, corporate director of pastry for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group; and Tyler Atwell, executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering. They will offer innovative and elegant desserts such as pistachio crêpes with strawberry-Champagne foam and crumbled pistachio; caramelia shot with maple cream, muscovado couscous and coffee sorbet; chocolate passion layer cake with chocolate biscuit speculoos and banana ice cream; plus a chocolate dessert bar featuring Puck’s sought-after 24-karat-gold chocolate Oscars. Wolfgang Puck Catering CEO Carl Schuster will direct more than 900 event staff through the evening’s detailed logistics and hospitality experience. This is Puck’s 22nd consecutive year creating the menu for the Governors Ball.
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. 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.
The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.