February 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Chef Creates Oscar Party Menu

Felix’s Evan Funke joins the ranks of Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck and more in honor

By Dolores Quintana

Chef Evan Funke of Felix’s and Mother Wolf created the menu for the annual Vanity Fair Oscar parties as official chef last Sunday as reported by Eater Los Angeles and People Magazine

The Vanity Fair after party is the apex party among après Oscar ceremony parties and takes place in Beverly Hills at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Vanity Fair also hosts an Oscar viewing party that is very popular. 

For quite some time, Vanity Fair has chosen famous chefs who are not from Los Angeles like Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Wolfgang Puck of Spago so the choice of Funke brings the honor of designing this menu back to Los Angeles in more than one way. Funke said, as quoted by People Magazine, “I was pleasantly surprised and excited [to be asked]. The Vanity Fair Oscar party is the show after the show. It’s a huge honor and I’m grateful for the opportunity.” and the chef has history with the Academy Awards ceremony itself, since he attended the ceremony with his father who is an Academy Award winning visual effects artist as well as being a cinematographer. Funke said on the subject, as quoted by People Magazine,  “I love movies, and I grew up in the movie business. My father, Alex Funke, is a three-time Oscar winner so movies have been a big part of my life.” The elder Funke won those Oscars for his work on the Lord of The Rings trilogy of films. Chef Funke also cooked at six previous Governor’s Balls as a chef working for Wolfgang Puck.

The Vanity Fair menu that Funke designed was filled with lavish Italian dishes, according to People Magazine. It started with a panzanella or Italian bread salad made with burrata, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes and spring onions with a lambrusco vinegar dressing. The pasta course was next on the menu and it was Funke’s lasagna bolognese which was made of alternating layers of bechamel sauce, a house made ragu bolognese with fresh pasta sheets. It was served with an orecchiette with brassicas, a broccoli rabe pesto sauce and an Italian breadcrumb mixture called pangrattato. The main course had options like branzino with mint, shaved fennel, salsa verde andSorrento lemons or rib eye steak with crisp potatoes, wild arugula and a risotto with kuri squash, roasted, and sage. For dessert, Funke served the traditional maritozzo alla Romano which is strawberries and chantilly creme stuffed into sweet Brioche buns. 

Funke stated that the menu was meant to feature “the culinary heritage of Rome.” and that  “We’ll be leaning heavy into that with a few hits from other regions of Italy.” as quoted by People Magazine.

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