It’s one of the flashiest nights in Hollywood and The Beverly Hilton is at the center of it all. The 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards take over the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s International Ballroom on January 11 and the whole world will be watching Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr. and more A-listers toast their artistic achievements over Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2004 and an over-the-top, three-course meal from The Beverly Hilton’s executive chef, Troy N. Thompson, and executive pastry chef, Thomas Henzi.
What will 1,300 of Hollywood’s most elite members be eating? Thompson aims to dazzle their taste buds with a dinner that includes a modern take on the classic Waldorf salad with a lemon emulsion dressing; an entrée duo of roasted onion-marinated filet mignon and slow-baked Arctic char with a potato croquette, heirloom cherries and tomato fondue, topped with a black Tuscan kale chip; followed by a dessert trio of cassis lemon cheesecake, chocolate alliance salted caramel, and hazelnut dacquoise.
This is Thompson’s first Golden Globe ceremony at The Beverly Hilton, though the property itself has hosted the event for 40 consecutive years. He joined the all-star culinary team in August — the first time in 18 years a new executive chef has been brought into the role at the luxury hotel. No pressure, right? Well, we went straight to the man at the center of the high-profile night to see for ourselves.
What was your inspiration for the Golden Globes menu?
It’s so exciting to create a dish that is delicious and enjoyed by the top stars in Hollywood. We work hard to make something that is not only delicious, but also something that everyone can enjoy. I was inspired by the fresh, local produce in California as well as the glamour of this extraordinary event. I wanted to create a menu that offers exciting yet balanced flavors and is as extraordinary as the awards ceremony itself.
Why did you choose the Waldorf salad to kick off the meal?
Not only is The Beverly Hilton’s modern Waldorf salad a new take on a fantastic classic American recipe, but it is also my way of welcoming our future neighbor just across the street — the [2017-opening] Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. I feel like this dish is a really nice way to showcase the fresh produce we always use here at The Beverly Hilton, and our great relationships with the farmers who grow it. I’m excited to use this premier product on such a special occasion. This dish is also a light way to start the evening, which is a long and food-filled one, including many after-parties at The Beverly Hilton. I lead our team of more than 40 chefs to create meals for more than 6,000 guests throughout the course of the day and evening.
How does it feel to create a dinner for 1,300 of Hollywood’s elite?
It is an honor for me to lead our team through this incredible celebration of the best of Hollywood. At The Beverly Hilton, we prepare all year to host the Golden Globes and we’re so thrilled to bring the culinary offerings at The Beverly Hilton to a global stage.
Which ingredients were you most passionate about incorporating into the dinner?
The Beverly Hilton is proud to source fresh ingredients locally, and this year we’re working with some great local partners: 40 pounds of herbs from Kenter Canyon Farms in Ventura, California; 200 pounds each of baby romaine and black Tuscan kale from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, California; 1,300 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes from Weiser Family Farms in Ventura, California.
Outside of awards season, what other dish can’t people get enough of at The Beverly Hilton?
The Beverly Hilton Burger — 100 percent certified Angus beef, brioche bun, white cheddar, arugula, tomato, bacon and chipotle aioli.