Canadian chefs share Oscar-themed menus

(QMI Agency files)

(QMI Agency files)

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

Roll out the red carpet and get into your most comfortable jammies — Oscar's coming over to party.

Yes, the 85th (can you believe it!) annual Academy Awards is on this Sunday and the nominees' list reads like a smorgasbord for all the senses, covering everything from danger to intrigue, heartache, romance, with touches that will certainly make us smile — and all good stuff to build an appetite around!

And, let's face it, we've a real hunger for cinema.

I'm personally looking forward to what host Seth MacFarlane has in store for us at this year's awards ceremony. And, I love playing that eternal game of matching up dishes to fit the films up for Best Picture.

This year we have a collection of films that cross all cinematic boundaries, touching on all emotions — Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

This is a tough list to match foods with! So, we asked a selection of famed Canadian chefs to give us their take on what foods they'd create to reflect these worthy films being celebrated at this year's 2013 Oscar celebration.

Here's what they had to say:

CHRISTINE CUSHING: Chef, cookbook author, TV personality: I was most surprised by Argo and what a thrill ride it was. Since the real heroes of the movie are the Canadians and it takes place in Iran, I think it’s fitting to serve a dish that features both ethnicities. I can’t even stand to go back to Canadian food in the seventies, so I’ll have to make my favourite tender fluffy saffron-infused Persian rice, with a crispy charred bottom. Serve it with a sustainable (because Canadians always want to do the right thing), Canadian west coast black cod, that’s simply pan roasted with wild mushrooms and white wine. (Christinecushing.com.)

MASSIMO CAPRA: Chef, restauranteur, cookbook author and TV personality: When I think of this year's movies, Les Miserables immediately comes to mind and, even though the film is about the brutality of poverty, I can't help but think of the beautiful French cuisine of baguettes, cheese and wine and Rosette de Lyon French pork sausages. The movie Argo reminds me of the delicate, aromatic Persian dishes we used to prepare years ago in Italy as a nod to the Shah of Iran. (Massimocapra.com)

JOHN HIGGINS: Chef, director of George Brown Chef School, whose CV includes having cooked for the Queen: I immediately think of the movie Lincoln — and apple pie comes to mind. That and grits. Life of Pi definitely calls for a celebration of south Asian foods and a bracing curry dish. (Georgebrown.ca).

TOP CHEF CANADA:

Both these chefs are competitors in Season Three which premieres March 18 on Food Network Canada (Foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada).

CHEF MATT STOWE: Competitor and Cactus Club Cafe’s product development chef (Vancouver):

For Les Miserables, I would serve a traditional Pot au Feau. A tough, cheaper cut of beef like oxtail or shank is perfect for this French peasant dish with lots of cabbage, potatoes, leeks and carrots. Start this in the morning and let it slowly simmer all day. Once the sun goes down and it's time to watch the movie it will be ready to go.

For Silver Linings Playbook, I would serve a classic Philly cheesesteak. Lots of nice, shaved ribeye, caramelized onions and American cheese. With its obvious tie to the city and classic American stadium food; where parts of the movie take place, I believe it would be a perfect match.

CHEF JONATHAN GOODYEAR: Competitor and executive chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Toronto):

For Amour: For sure my guest will be getting my warm Chocolate Pot du Crème with Canadian Birch Syrup Sponge Toffee and Toasted Hazelnuts

For Life of Pi: As the waves crash down, my friends are chowing down on the freshest Seared Albacore Tuna, Black Mustard and Cilantro Chutney served on Pommes Gaufrette.

As for me? Definitely butter chicken with basmati rice, a buttery wedge of brie on crusty loaf — and a butter tart to celebrate again Canada's influences on cinema today.


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