21 Interesting Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Food Served At Awards Shows & Fancy Parties

Awards season is known for its glitz and glamour, but that doesn't always apply to the food. Some shows hire extremely talented chefs to cater delicious, fancy meals, but others provide not quite so impressive dining options...or literally no food at all.

Here are 21 interesting behind-the-scenes facts about the food served at awards shows and more:

1.According to the LA Times, the Dolby Theatre bans all food and drink inside the Oscars. Attendees have to leave the theater to get to the bars and "lone snack table" in the lobby. So, it's not surprising that some people sneak in their own food.

Guests at a circular bar with an arch backdrop in an elegant event setting
Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

In 2017, the snack table included cookies, Japanese rice crackers, and baggies of trail mix.

2.Following the 2024 Academy Awards, Simu Liu took to Threads to share (and rate!) the food served at the ceremony and after parties. He began, "Oscars (3/10): Jimmy [Kimmel, the host] stashed some soft pretzel and Sour Patch Kids under our seats. It wasn’t glamorous but did its job."

Simu in a stylish suit with a unique brooch smiling at a formal event
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty

You can take a peek inside the snack boxes Jimmy provided here.

Simu continued, "Gov Ball (11/10): This was insane. wood-fired pizzas, paella, wagyu, sliders, PEKING DUCK?!? I did nothing but inhale food the whole time.

Vanity Fair (7/10): Ah the infamous party with In-N-Out burgers on tap. Can’t go wrong.

Madonna (9/10): full spread of curry, rice, naan and samosas. I was simply too full lol."

3.Previously, at the 2023 Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel provided everyone with soft pretzels from Shappy Pretzel and boxes of candy because he doesn't "like it when people are hungry."

He also made a donation to the LA Regional Food Bank for each snack box.

4.At the 2024 Governor's Ball, which is the official Academy Awards afterparty, Wolfgang Puck and his team served some adorable Oscars-shaped food, like this sushi.

Plate of assorted sushi and sashimi including salmon and tuna on a dining table, with a person holding the plate
Jc Olivera / Getty Images

And these 24K gold-dusted chocolates (which they make a whopping 5,000 of!)

Oscar statue-shaped chocolates on display among various desserts at an event
Jc Olivera / Getty Images

And these little confections with trophy decorations.

Gourmet chocolate eclairs displayed on a stand with chefs in the background
Jc Olivera / Getty Images

5.Wolfgang Puck has catered the Governor's Ball for about 30 years, and apparently, Barbra Streisand really, really likes his chicken pot pie.

Assorted gourmet dishes on a wooden table, including a large round pie, and pasta in a glass bowl
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

In 2012, she reportedly personally requested that he make the dish.

It was also a big hit with the Prince of Monaco.

The chef told LA Mag, "One year we did the chicken pot pie, and everybody loved it. I remember Prince Albert from Monaco came at that time, and then I saw him in Monaco and he said, ‘Wolfgang, when are you going to open in a restaurant in Monaco that makes your chicken pot pie? It was so good, I still remember it.’ That became a favorite because we would serve it hot, the same way as in the restaurant."

6.At the 2024 Critics Choice Awards, they were served "pizza in a bag." Oprah shared an Instagram video of the cast of The Color Purple's reaction to the meal.

Fantasia Barrino at a table with text
Fantasia Barrino at a table with text
Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks enjoying pizza while seated at a table with other attendees
Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks enjoying pizza while seated at a table with other attendees
Woman at awards serves pizza in a bag to seated guests
Woman at awards serves pizza in a bag to seated guests

Oprah Daily / Via

While some cast members enjoyed the pizza, Oprah declined to eat it because she didn't want to mess up her lipstick.

In his Best Actor acceptance speech, Paul Giamatti joked, "Everybody get their pizza in a bag, by the way? I think that’d be a good endorsement. Paul Giamatti for pizza in a bag."

Paul in suit holding award at a podium with stage background
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Movie producer Jen D'Angelo also shared an Instagram story picture of the pizza, captioning it, "Absolutely revolting 3D printed ass pizza."

Person holding a slice of pizza with a Critics' Choice Award bag nearby. Text on image criticizes the pizza
Jen D-Angelo / Via Instagram: @jen_dangelo

7.Celebs going to In-N-Out after an awards show is a major tradition. After the 2024 Golden Globes, a picture of Best Actor winner Paul Giamatti enjoying a burger with his trophy went viral.

Twitter: @MichaelWarbur17

When he won Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards, he joked, "Wow, guys, I didn't think my week could get any better than going viral for eating a cheeseburger."

In an Instagram story post, stylist Michael Fisher revealed that Paul wore In-N-Out cufflinks to the Oscars.

Paulin tuxedo with a bow tie, looking at the camera, wearing In-N-Out logo cufflinks
Paulin tuxedo with a bow tie, looking at the camera, wearing In-N-Out logo cufflinks
Bow tie, In-N-Out burger cufflinks, and a napkin with text
Bow tie, In-N-Out burger cufflinks, and a napkin with text

Michael Fisher / Via Instagram: @

8.In 2016, the Golden Globes took a page out of Vanity Fair’s Oscars afterparty books book and served In-N-Out. Fiancés Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom actually met that night because he stole a burger off her table.

Orlando and Katy chatting at an event
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Weinstein Company

She told Jimmy Kimmel Live that she "was like, 'wait, who — oh, you're so hot. Fine, take it.'" Then, later in the night, at an afterparty, she asked Orlando, "How are those onions resting on your molars?" He replied, "I like you."

9.At the 2024 Golden Globes, they served a "one-of-a-kind culinary experience that redefines the traditional award show menu" — which was just sushi from Nobu.

Nobu Matsuhisa in chef jacket posing at event
Gregg Deguire / Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

When the menu was announced, the Guardian expressed concern that the sushi wouldn't be enough to soak up all the alcohol attendees tend to drink at the Globes.

10.At the Golden Globes, dinner is reportedly served before the actual broadcast so that the sounds of people using cutlery aren't picked up on camera. However, this means that a lot of celebs who walk the red carpet don't get a chance to eat, so in 2019, Melissa McCarthy played the hero and snuck in 30 ham and cheese sandwiches from Joan’s on Third to pass out.

Melissa McCarthy in a gown with star embellishments at the Golden Globes
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

She told Variety, "I’ve been handing them out to everyone. Next year, I’m bringing hot dogs."

Jessica Chastain added, "How did she get them in here? But it’s a good idea, because by the time you get into the ballroom, dinner has already been served, and you’re always so hungry."

11.During the 2021 Met Gala, Keke Palmer sneakily shared a picture of the food she was served on her Instagram story. It went viral and was widely compared to Fyre Festival.

Plate with a mix of vegetables and pasta, with overlaid text expressing humor about food presentation

In defense of his menu, Marcus Samuelsson, the Met Gala chef, told TMZ that he got "incredible" feedback on his "delicious" three-course meal.

In a since-deleted tweet, Keke apologized, writing, "I just have different taste buds! I love this Chef, sorry to this man."

12.On Instagram Live, Lizzo said that there was "a long fucking line" for the food at the 2022 Met Gala. She said, "I’m taking the glamour away from it, but it’s true. You’ve gotta wait. So you’re waiting and that’s the hardest part. I was sweating in a big-ass coat, my feet were hurting."

Lizzo in ornate  outfit holding a flute, gesturing excitedly
Ndz / GC Images / Via Getty

She continued, "I was like, ‘Bitch? Can we get some chairs or some drinks or some hors d’oeuvres?' They were being really stingy with the liquor that night. He was like, ‘Red or white wine?’ And I was like, ‘Tequila! Do you know what I’ve been through? Do you know how many hours I’ve been in this corset? How long I’ve been in these damn shoes? Tequila!’"

13.At the 2023 Met Gala, Teyana Taylor snuck in Chick-Fil-A. On his Instagram story, Pusha T joked that she was "embarrassing" him. He said, "Usher tried to stop her..."

Plate with fried chicken, waffle fries, with a fork, tagged @teyanataylor and text expressing amusement
Pusha T / Via Instagram: @kingpush

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Teyana said that, the year prior, she snuck in Popeye's.

She said, "Honestly, Anna Wintour is a real one because I thought I was going to get banned the first year I did it, and then I got invited back and I was like, ‘Yeah, Anna! That’s my girl!’ I think [Anna] said, ‘Let her sneak her food in in peace.’"

14.Discussing the 2023 Met Gala, Priyanka Chopra Jonas told Extra, "Well, there was no bread this time. I love a good bread this time, so that was a little bit of a complaint I had. Where were the bread rolls on my table?"

Priyanka Chopra in a layered gown with a bow, posing on the stairs at an event
Taylor Hill / Getty Images

15.At the 2024 Grammy Awards, celebs were served charcuterie boards by Silverlake Socialite. They included blood oranges, black grapes, radish slices, cantaloupe, strawberries, pear slices, cucumber slices, dates, strawberries, seeded crackers, cheese, and meats.

Beyoncé and Jay Z seated at a table during the show
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Lauren Delp, the founder of Silverlake Socialite, told Pop Sugar, "We worked around the clock for two straight days paying painstaking attention to every detail from hours spent cutting star-shaped kiwis to sifting though 250 pears to find 125 that met the mark. Wrapping and unwrapping the boards alone took upwards of five hours. But to see my work on the Grammys global stage was beyond my wildest dreams. I started this business three years ago solely with a desire to harness my creative energy and help people entertain, but never did I imagine I'd be given an opportunity of this magnitude."

16.In 2020, several awards shows went all (or mostly) plant-based thanks to Joaquin Phoenix, who's a longtime vegan.

Joaquin in a classic tuxedo on a red carpet
Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

Critics’ Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin, who got an email from the actor 10 days ahead of the 2020 ceremony, told the Hollywood Reporter, "We talked it over with the network and our sponsors and agreed that it would be a good thing to do. You don’t want to end up with a cold burger, but a cold plant-based burger is OK."

Joaquin reportedly brought attention to the impact that meat has on climate change.

17.At the 2020 SAG Awards, the all-vegan offerings included glazed baby carrots over greens, rice salad, and bean salad with sweet onion vinaigrette and fresh veggies. Not everyone was a fan. Sharing a picture of her meal on Instagram, Alex Borstein wrote, "In the words of John Merrick, 'I am not a rabbit!'"

After the show, she enjoyed some deep-fried quesadillas.

18.In 2020, the Oscars served a 70% plant-based menu, but it wasn't for everyone. On the red carpet, then-10-year-old Julia Butters told Variety, "I put a sandwich in my bag… Sometimes the food here is not for me...It's a turkey sandwich. I'm sorry for the vegans."

Julia in a ruffled outfit being interviewed by a reporter on the red carpet

She also said that she and her mom "collabed" on making the sandwich.

And here's the full interview clip, because it's so adorable and you need to see it:

Twitter: @Variety

19.After the 2019 Oscars, Gemma Chan showed Entertainment Tonight the cookie she had tucked into her pocket. She said, "You know, it's a long ceremony. I had some rice crackers in the other one...It's a long show, and you don't get dinner."

Gemma pulls the cookie out of the pocket of her full, pleated skirt
Gemma pulls the cookie out of the pocket of her full, pleated skirt
Gemma in a ruffled outfit laughing while being interviewed by someone in a glittery dress
Gemma in a ruffled outfit laughing while being interviewed by someone in a glittery dress

Entertainment Tonight / Via

20.While hosting the 2014 Oscars, Ellen ordered pizza from Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria. A delivery driver helped her pass slices around.

Several people at a formal event taking slices of pizza from delivery boxes held by a pizza delivery person
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

She joked, "I don't have any money, who here has money? Sandy [Bullock], you have a lot of money, you can tip him, right?"

21.And finally, for the 2016 Emmy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel got his mom to prepare PB&J sandwiches for the attendees.

ABC / Via Twitter: @GMA

Then the cast of Stranger Things passed them out.

ABC / Via

Check out the rest of our Oscars coverage here.