A Dish for Every Best Picture Nominee
The Oscars are this Sunday, and I’m awaiting the ceremony with bated breath. This movie-going season has been a particularly fervent one for me (thank you, MoviePass!). In preparation for the awards, I have my ballot printed and filled and my bets hedged. Who will steal for Best Director? I have my guesses, and, no, I’m not telling.
An Oscars watch party doesn’t have to stop at the movie talk. You can also consume the movies. No, like, literally eat them. This year was a potent one for food in film. Whether a peach or a parboiled egg, food, in many of the Best Picture nominees, was more than a prop—it propelled plots and allowed a peek into character’s psyches. Breakfast became more than just the first meal of the day, a cup of tea was rendered suddenly diabolical. So whether you want to eat your way through all the noms, or just a few of them, we’ve compiled the recipes that correspond to all the 2018 Best Picture nominees.
Peaches would be the obvious way to go here, but it isn’t peach season, so go ahead and skip. The imagery is overwrought, anyways. Instead, evoke the flavors of a northern Italian summer with a sumptuous feast. Think family-style pastas and deep red wine—food that makes you want to fall in love.
Don’t be fooled: What appears to be a movie about fashion is actually one about food. Reynolds Woodcock, the idiosyncratic British designer at the heart of the film, organizes his time, and his moods, around what he consumes. Whether it’s his breakfast (nothing sludgy) or his asparagus (cooked in oil, only) he manipulates his tiny universe through matters of the plate. This masterpiece of a film charts a relationship and the way food can be used as a conduit of love, however obsessive or controlling it may be. Serve yourself a verified English breakfast spread including, if you dare, a mushroom omelet.
This tender tale of interspecial love is first ignited by a hard-boiled egg, so if it’s this film you wish to pay homage to, make yourself the perfect one and call it a day. If you’re serving a crowd, why not devil the eggs? The Shape of Water unfolds across a dreary and often rain-dappled Baltimore, so you could also bring the city to life with an inspired oyster pie.
This complex, genre-bending tour de force features food in two chilling forms. The first is a cup of tea that, when stirred ever so softly and methodically with a spoon, produces ghastly effects. The second, a deconstructed bowl of Froot Loops that Allison Williams eats with mechanical ghoulishness. Both are instantly iconic. We don’t have any Froot Loop recipes on the site, but you can make do with this one for homemade cereal, instead. Please, don’t hypnotize and abduct any of your houseguests.
Greta Gerwig’s beautifully attentive coming-of-age story is situated in Sacramento, and the movie reads like a love letter (however wrought) to the city. In one pivotal scene, Lady Bird’s family celebrates her graduation over Mexican food, when her father lets slip a particularly loaded secret. Pile your Oscars party table with Mexican dishes and pretend you’re a dysfunctional family.
This historical drama is all about power lunches. Think suited execs in smoky dining rooms eating steak...at lunch. Hey, it was the 70s! Evoke the glamour of the era with some fancy fare. Just no government secrets.
Food isn’t really anything central to this film. It’s a lot more about...well, billboards. And racism, police, bureaucratic negligence, and revenge (lots of it). There’s also a lot of beer. So you could definitely serve beer and channel Sam Rockwell’s character, who seems to be a big fan of the drink. Also, Ebbing is not actually a place. Like at all. But Missouri is! So, in honor of this great state, and this movie, why not try a little BBQ?
I’ll admit, I didn’t see this one. But work with me here. From what I know, it’s a war movie, so I assume there’s not that much eating going on. Also, it takes place in... Dunkirk, right? Which is in northern France. So the cuisine of northern France it is! Go with local produce and seafood that channels the salty, windswept vibe of what many are calling Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus.
We get it, we get it: Gary Oldman gives the performance of a lifetime as Winston Churchill. If it’s 1940s-era England vibes you seek, then let these recipes for British classics guide you. Think savory pies or tea and biscuits. You know, all that good stuff.
Who do you hope takes home the big prize? Cast your ballot in the comments below.
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