A night at the Oscars | AspenTimes.com

A night at the Oscars

Patrick Janelle and Zander Higbie walk the red carpet to The Ritz-Carlton Oscar party.

Complete with a red carpet entry, The Ritz-Carlton Club at Aspen Highlands was the place to be for the 78th annual Academy Awards on March 5.Celebrating in style, Aspen Peak magazine and Aspen Filmfest partnered with The Ritz to host the elegant reception at Willow Creek Bistro.Dinner tables were cleared to make way for a screening section of several flat screen TVs, speakers and ample seating for a full house. A heated tent was erected over the patio and filled with buffets and even more screening space.

Friends and fellow movie lovers dressed the part for the glamorous affair – most of the women were clad in gowns, while many of the men wore tuxedos.Members and guests of The Ritz jumped at the chance to watch the live telecast from the convenience of Willow Creek. Ritz-Carlton Club member Cynthia Russell of Chicago and her friends happened upon the party during their vacation.”This is wonderful,” said another Ritz-Carlton Club member, Virginia Carson.

“This is also one of the best Oscars show I’ve seen in years,” she added. “We met Truman Capote years ago in Philadelphia – Phillip Seymour Hoffman blew me away – he really hit it [in that part].”Many of the nominees this year made their first Aspen appearance at Filmfest screenings, including “Capote,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Transamerica,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “March of the Penguins,” and “The Squid and the Whale.”During commercial breaks, hostess Jamie Lynn Miller of KSPN posed Academy Award trivia questions.”Jon Stewart had somewhere to be, so I was happy to fill in as the host tonight,” she joked.Executive Chef Matthew Zubrod’s multicourse feast was created expressly for the elaborate event. Passed hors d’oeuvres included grilled brie and truffle sandwiches, deviled eggs and tuna tartare cones. In the tent were buffets of braised veal short ribs with root vegetable ratatouille, Maine lobster pot pie and Buffalo ribeye sandwiches carved to order. Another station featured seafood on ice and antipasto. And, for dessert, Bananas Foster and chocolate truffles were among the decadent choices.Proceeds from the Oscars screening event support Aspen Filmfest’s year-round education programs for youths and adults. For more information on Aspen Filmfest and its programs, call 925-6882 or visit http://www.aspenfilm.org.

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