The Oscars After-Party Moment Wolfgang Puck Loves Most

The list begins with Whoopi Goldberg and ends with Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes. In total, 17 stars have hosted the Oscars between 1994 and today, with a few, like Billy Crystal and Jimmy Kimmel, who is this year's host, taking multiple turns. But while hosts come and go, there has just been one chef for the after-Oscars Governors Ball dinner: Wolfgang Puck.

The celebrity chef took on the role in 1994 after the Board of Governors realized the stars were essentially skipping their party to head to Puck's legendary Spago Restaurant to grab a post-ceremony meal. "Nobody really went to the Governors Ball. People would go for two minutes — they wouldn't even sit down — and then they would come right to Spago," Puck told Variety in 2019. 

But everything changed when Puck signed on as the official caterer for the Oscars. "All of the customers we had at Spago knew from the press that I'm gonna cook," he added. "They said, 'If you're cooking, we're coming.' So everybody went to the party," and the rest is the stuff of Hollywood history. Puck's involvement as the caterer was such that when the Kodak Theatre was purpose-built for the Academy Awards, Variety says he was involved in designing the ballroom and its adjoining kitchens.

Wolfgang Puck enjoys this part of Oscars night the most

Puck says he's always been a procrastinator, so all the thought that goes into figuring out the menu for 1,500 luminaries doesn't start until a month and a half before the main event. Because he's been doing this for 29 years times, some things are already set in stone, like the gold-covered chocolate Oscars and the Oscar-shaped crackers topped with smoked salmon — which also makes an appearance this year. "Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, and risotto all go down well," he says, per Hello, adding that savories are a bigger hit with the starving attendees than the sweets. 

Puck has said once that he has to use an army of 300 cooks to get everything ready. This year will be no different, and the chef is depending on the same number of staff to turn out Beef Wellington, fish and chips, as well as cod bouillabaisse. There are also five kinds of pasta, pizzas, and a selection of vegan dishes.

While we are certain Puck enjoys socializing with the Hollywood elite, who are both clients and friends, he admits he looks forward to one magic moment every year on Oscars night. "The end," Puck says. "We sit down, we cheer everybody and thank everyone in the kitchen. If you win the marathon, it's so great but you're so tired." But make no mistake: "'s a good tired," per Variety.