Oscar best picture nominees inspire N.Y. dishes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - “Juno” is a tart, and “Michael Clayton” a Dover sole -- at least in the mind of a top chef who has created five dishes inspired by the best-picture nominees for New York’s official Oscar night party.

Actress Ellen Page, star of Oscar-nominated film "Juno", arrives at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Santa Barbara, California, January 30, 2008. REUTERS/Phil Klein

James Sakatos, executive chef at the Carlyle Hotel, will cook the five-course feast for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unable to attend the February 24 Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

“I watched all the movies in one weekend,” Sakatos said. “I took notes in each movie, and there were just so many different things to play with from each one.”

The dinner will begin with roasted parsnip tart, fresh shaved black truffle and perigourdine sauce. It is a creation stemming from what Sakatos described as “Ellen Page’s fun and somewhat tarty portrayal of Juno.”

Black ink risotto, mushrooms, cuttlefish and blood orange foam make up the “There Will Be Blood” second course.

“The black ink brings to mind the film’s oil gushers, with blood orange foam to remind diners of the struggle and, of course, the title,” Sakatos explained.

He chose Dover sole for “Michael Clayton” after “George Clooney’s morally conflicted lawyer found his ‘sole’ and ultimately did the right thing,” while “No Country for Old Men” is “plenty of manly beef -- and true grits to boot.”

A passion fruit creme brulee ends the meal, reflecting the great passions of “Atonement,” from “the young lovers’ embrace to the little girl’s jealously that caused her false accusation and ultimately the final passionate moment of atonement.”

Sakatos diplomatically said he enjoyed all five movies, but if he had to choose a winner based on his dishes -- his favorite dish is “There Will Be Blood.”