The Academy Awards are right around the corner! But as Feb. 22 grows closer, you might start to get nervous about what food to serve up to your awards show party.
Worry not, because PEOPLE caught up with chef Carla Hall of The Chew and Top Chef to get her genius dish ideas for everything Oscars and food.
“I think watching the Oscars is about decadence, but also lightness,” Hall, 50, told PEOPLE at the 14th Annual AARP Movies for Grownups Awards on Monday in Los Angeles. “I would do an amazing pasta dish. Mussels would be nice. It seems fancy, but it’s easy. You can do it in a flash. All the prep is done and you just put it together.”
But if you want to get a little more fun and crazy, Hall has some outside the box ideas for that as well. When the film Memento came out, the Nashville raised chef says she catered a party where the entire menu was served backwards in the spirit of the film! So what themes could be incorporated to celebrate this year’s batch of movies?
“(For) Boyhood, you start with SpaghettiOs. Then Hamburger Helper. Then Ramen Noodles when he goes off to college on his own,” laughed Hall. “For The Theory of Everything, I would take tomatoes and show it many different ways. It’s the theory of the one thing, you know?”
Hall added that you have to go with warm Indian spices for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
But for her favorite film of the year, Whiplash, the chef had two ideas: “You could either play to the whiplash and say noodles because they look like whips,” said Hall. “Or do something like tough beef that you’re trying to tenderize. You’re trying to whip it into submission.”
—Matthew Cole Weiss, @MattColeWeiss