EXCLUSIVE: Inside Jimmy Kimmel's Celebrity Chef-Studded Oscars Afterparty
The Oscars host gathered his best chef friends to throw an epic party full of his favorite cocktails and comfort food
Jimmy Kimmel may have surprised a movie theater crowd with candy and concessions and the celebrity audience at the Dolby theater with lunch boxes full of snacks during the Oscars telecast on Sunday night. But, when the night’s host was deciding what food and drinks to serve at his own post-Oscar bash, Kimmel set his culinary sights a lot higher.
Following the Academy Awards ceremony, Kimmel gathered nine of his closest chef friends to cook at his exclusive afterparty at The Lot in West Hollywood. Among the lineup were celebrated chefs from all over the country, including Chris Bianco, Adam Perry Lang, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, Marc Vetri, Suzanne Goin, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, and Chad Robertson.
To make each dish sparkle even more, Kimmel recruited a team of mixologists to create complimentary cocktail pairings for guests and celebrity friends like Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth and Rita Ora, who performed during the star-packed event along with Snoop Dogg, Bebe Rexha, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band—a 14-piece jazz orchestra band.
The night’s menu featured several of Kimmel’s favorite drinks and dishes, including burgers, eggplant marinara with Pecorino-Romano—and his very own Ciroc signature cocktail called the “Jimlet,” which was named by his wife Molly (who also celebrated her 40th birthday at the bash). The vodka-based twist on the classic gin gimlet is made with Ciroc vodka, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and mint leaves for garnish (see full recipe below).
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“We do whatever Jimmy wants,” Castronovo of N.Y.C. Italian spot Frankies Spuntinos tells PEOPLE. “It’s a combination of all of his favorite things. It’s fun comfort food.”
Vetri—who whipped up fresh ricotta gnocchi with crispy artichokes and Parmigiano Reggiano for the 600 guests—says Kimmel is a big pasta fan so his offering that night was a no-brainer. “My restaurant is known for pasta so when he asked me to do this event, I couldn’t make a salad,” says Vetri of Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia. “I wasn’t going to show up with lettuce. He’s a foodie.”
A night of comfort food would also not be complete without pizza. Bianco, who has previously opened up to PEOPLE about his close friendship with Kimmel, made his famous margherita and biancoverde (a white pizza of fresh mozzarella, ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano and topped with peppery arugula) pies for the big night.
“What’s not to love?” Bianco, who owns legendary Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, says. “Jimmy is pretty simple when it comes to his pizza preference. He’s easy-going. He likes the ones that aren’t too complicated—kind of like his friends.”
Bianco—who asked Kimmel to be the best man at his wedding in 2013—added: “[Kimmel] is a very meticulous cook; he’s got a good palette. He knows what he likes and it’s always light and fun. We’re here because we love him.”
Barbecue chef Lang tells PEOPLE that Kimmel is “really just a great person”—and hinted about a possible joint cookbook in the works. “He’s got barbecuing chicken wings down,” the grill master says. “He also makes these really thin hamburgers and puts them on the grill. He started a book in his house and whenever I would come over or Chris would come over, we’d write up whatever recipes we would do.
“We definitely learn from each other,” Lang says of Kimmel, who received a bedazzled Don Julio 1942 magnum covered in crystals at the party. “He could probably do a cookbook with all of his chef friends.”
See the night’s full menu below:
Adam Perry Lang: Texas Toast Tacos
Chris Bianco: Margherita Pizza and Biancoverde Pizza
Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli: Foie Gras Hot Dog and Eggplant Marinara with Pecorino Romano
Marc Vetri: Ricotta Gnocchi with Crispy Artichokes and Parmigiano Reggiano
Suzanne Goin: Spanish Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Biscuit, Spiced Carrot Slaw
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo: “Little Boner Burger” — a blend of short rib, chuck, bone marrow with caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers, jack cheese, 420 sauce and rye
Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt:
‘Nduja Tartine Jam, Rene’s Rye, Wild Mushrooms on Rye Bread
Whipped Ricotta, Rene’s Rye on Rye Bread
Millionaire’s Shortbread Tart
Soft Serve, Fior di Latte, Citrus Infused Cream or Blood Orange Lambrusco Sorbet
Pantella de Plata (pictured above): Zacapa Rum daiquiri with lemongrass, fresh lime and coconut water
The After Party: Tanqueray No. TEN shaken with fresh lime, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño
Ketel Academy: Ketel and soda with a splash of green apple, lemon and honey
Fade to Black: Johnnie Walker Black shaken with spiced pear, fresh lemon and a dash of bitter
…That’s a Knife: Bulleit Bourbon stirred with Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Gentiane liqueur
The Speech: The Paloma upgraded with Don Julio Blanco, pink port, tarragon, fresh grapefruit and lime
Jimlet: Ciroc, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and mint garnish
The “Jimlet” Cocktail Recipe
Created by Andy Seymour
1 3/4 oz. vodka
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
Lime wedge and mint leaves, for garnish
Combine vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves.