LOS ANGELES — Rocket lettuce for the Rocketman.

“Arugula is rocket lettuce also,” said Chef Wayne Elias.

This Rocketman salad will be served at The Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars Viewing Party as one of the five courses crafted by Chef Wayne Elias. He has been serving Hollywood’s biggest night for 16 years, but this one will be quite different. Elton John is nominated for an Oscar.


“It will be as quiet as can be when they announce that specific award,” said Elias.

As he begins preparing the third course, Chef Elias says the party will be bigger than ever and has some wishful thinking that Elton John will take home the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

“And when he wins, the room is going to explode with joy and tears and laughter and clapping and that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the night for being the biggest party of the evening,” said Elias.

While the brightest stars are watching the three-hour awards show, Chef Elias’s team will be hard at work making sure everything goes smoothly. He tries not to think about who his diners are until after the last course goes out.

“But my main goal is to make sure everything is served on time, delicious, beautifully presented, and that we have as minimal hiccups as possible,” said Elias.

He tries to mix it up each year, keeping the meal light and healthy as well.

“We know the California climate. We know the clientele that’s coming. We know how they eat. We know dietary restrictions, so we design the menu wrapped around that. Every year there’s always something that’s trendy for that year,” said Elias.

If you are hosting for your own Oscars viewing party, Chef Elias says his biggest tip is prepping everything the day before or morning of if you can, so you don’t have to cook while watching.

And if you want to eat like the stars, serve the signature appetizer seen at Elton John’s party year after year: the grilled raisin bran sandwiches with mascarpone, blue cheese, and Asian pears.

“It’s so easy to make. It’s like an adult grilled cheese. You can make them morning of or day before, heat them, leave them out room temperature and everyone will love them,” said Elias.

It will be a hit as you sit and watch the Academy Awards just like stars.