Chef Wolfgang Puck readies caviar, gold dust for Oscars feast

Master Chef Wolfgang Puck is pictured during a media preview of this year's Academy's Governors Ball in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 1, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 03 March 2018
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Chef Wolfgang Puck readies caviar, gold dust for Oscars feast

LOS ANGELES: Three-hundred pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu beef will be sliced, 1,500 quail eggs cracked and some 1,400 corks popped as Hollywood’s stars dine on chef Wolfgang Puck’s recipes after the Oscars are handed out on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Puck, the celebrity chef in his 24th year preparing the post-Academy Awards feast, on Thursday unveiled his menu for the annual Governor’s Ball that will serve up 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of edible gold dust to 1,500 guests of A-listers and Oscar winners.
“We are really all of us excited, and I really think for us it’s always very special,” the 68-year-old Austrian-born Puck said.
Diners will be treated to more than 50 dishes, including small-plate entrees such as mini pea and carrot ravioli with black truffle, a raw bar featuring caviar parfait with 24-karat gold, and cocktail-inspired macarons like negroni and mojito.
The event will require a staff of more than 1,000 to prepare food, serve 800 stone crab claws and pour more than 10,900 glasses of various beverages.
Puck, who also included vegan and gluten-free fare such as spinach campanelle and tiny taro tacos, approached the event with his trademark enthusiasm, cracking a raspberry dessert with a spoon while declaring sweets his “most important thing“
“As long as the Oscars is not tired of me, I’m not tired of Oscar,” Puck said with a grin.


Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

Updated 13 June 2018
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Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

  • A team of volunteers collect unwanted food from lavish Ramadan buffets
  • Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago

AMMAN: At the end of a lavish Ramadan buffet in the banquet hall of one of Amman’s five-star hotels, a young Jordanian charity worker rushes to gather up left-over food that his team of volunteers will package and redistribute to needy families.
Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago, angered by the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region.
“What we do is eliminate this waste, we salvage the food and provide it to people who are in desperate need of it,” said Sharif, a 33-year-old teacher.
His team of volunteers now works all year round to collect unwanted food from large wedding parties, bakeries and restaurants.
This year the initiative has focused on the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, one of the depressed areas in a country that has seen some of the biggest protests in years this month over steep price hikes, which are backed by the International Monetary Fund.
Critics say the price hikes are to blame for rising poverty in Jordan.
Family Kitchen’s initiative this year provides ‘iftar’ meals — eaten by Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan — to 500 families in the impoverished refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman.
A third of the camp’s 120,000 residents have an income below the national poverty line and around 17 percent are unemployed, the UN refugee body says.
“Our families are very poor, there is a lot of poverty in the community, so they need this support, they need these meals in order to ensure that they have food the next day,” said Kifah Khamis, who runs a charity in the sprawling camp.
One camp resident, Um Thair, a mother of four, said she could not have coped without the meals delivered to her family.
“I was able to save money. During Ramadan I didn’t have to buy a lot of food or shop a lot, we got most of our meals from the charity, we would come everyday and get our iftar meal,” she said.