Oscar-themed menu

With the Academy Awards being presented this Sunday, February 24, here is a movie-themed menu in honour of the best picture nominees to help you celebrate. This menu is fork and finger-friendly, allowing you and your guests to be in front of the television for the show and perhaps even for some red carpet fashions.

Argo is based on the true story of a joint CIA-Canadian operation to extract a group of fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran. Although there was not a great deal of food featured throughout the film, there appeared to be plentiful amounts of wine supplied by the Canadian ambassador. Serve Canadian wine from across the country with your menu, such as a Niagara Region Gewürztraminer/Riesling, an Okanagan, B.C. Chardonnay and a dessert wine from Wolfville, N.S.

Life of Pi is the story of a young man who survived a disaster at sea only to share a life raft with a Bengal tiger. Pi manages to dine on seaweed, dorado and flying fish throughout his journey. This definitely calls for sushi. Pick up or have some sashimi and maki rolls delivered to start off your menu – or try making them yourself!

Zero Dark Thirty chronicles a decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Investigators use food as a reward incentive to extract additional information from a detainee. The flatbread and hummus drizzled with olive oil looked so creamy, I had a craving for some myself.

The characters in Les Misérables were miserable partly because they were starving. Jean Valjean, the main character, was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. To represent 19th century France, serve a fresh baguette with cheeses such as a Gruyère, creamy Brie de Meaux and my all-time favourite, Mimolette.

Beasts of the Southern Wild follows the story of a strong-willed six-year-old named Hushpuppy and her difficult ailing father as they cope with the flooding of their Bayou village. Feasts of fresh-caught shrimp, crab and crawfish are held to honour those lives lost to the flood. Since alligator is not easily found in Canada, try making the Shrimp Cakes With Remoulade recipe below.

Lincoln showed no sign or mention of food. The American president who was responsible for bringing an end to the Civil War by creating the 13th amendment to abolish slavery was known to have a few favourite foods, however. Among them are apple pie, oysters and chicken fricassee. Serve up some Chicken Fricot in small bowls as a main course.

Amour is a story of love and loss between a husband and wife in their eighties. A pivotal scene involves the wife, Anne, over-pouring her tea. Make your own blend to serve with desserts.

Silver Linings Playbook depicts a bi-polar man recently released from a mental institution trying to make amends with his estranged wife. A bowl of Raisin Bran sparks a dinner debate with a potential friend and love interest. Perhaps an oatmeal raisin cookie is a more portable nod to the well-known breakfast cereal?

Django Unchained is a classic Quentin Tarantino film in the sense that a wronged man gets his revenge. Django, a freed slave, teams up with a German bounty hunter to free his wife from a notorious plantation owner. There is much talk of the highly anticipated white cake for dessert, that can’t help but be tainted red when a gunfight breaks out.

Shrimp Cakes With Remoulade (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
Pinch each salt, pepper and smoked paprika
1 lb (450 g) frozen peeled raw shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp vegetable oil


1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
1 green onion, minced
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp capers, chopped
1/2 tsp grainy mustard
Hot sauce, such as tabasco, to taste

In bowl of food processor, pulse bread crumbs, egg, green onions, garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and paprika until fine. Add shrimp; pulse until finely chopped. Form into 16 patties (about 2 tbsp per patty). Heat vegetable oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat; cook cakes, turning once, until golden and firm, about 5 minutes.

REMOULADE: Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, green onion, lime juice, capers, mustard and hot sauce until smooth. Serve with shrimp cakes.

Which film are you rooting for? What are you cooking up for Oscar night?

For more Oscars inspiration, and how to join us for our online Twitter party which includes a chance to win a $550 prize, read on!