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For This Tuckahoe Resident, Celebrating The Oscars Is All About The Food

Annette Zito, author of "Red Carpet Menus" has devised a menu specific to this year's Best Picture nominees.
Annette Zito, author of "Red Carpet Menus" has devised a menu specific to this year's Best Picture nominees. Photo Credit: Submitted

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. -- The Academy Awards are Hollywood’s biggest celebration of the year and so, to celebrate, avid movie fan, food blogger and Tuckahoe resident Annette Zito has segued from the traditional Oscar party she usually throws at home to an extravaganza complete with a red carpet.

Her first annual "Red Carpet Celebration of the Oscars," to be held at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. features a menu that's a combination of recipes form her book, "Red Carpet Menus," to interpretations of said menu by area restaurants, such as Avitabile Deli, Da Giorgio, Spadaro’s, Angelina’s and Gino’s Pastry Shop.

Expect "Grand BudaPesto Mozzarell" (crostini topped with fresh mozzarella and aromatic pesto) in honor of Best Picture nominee "Grand Budapest Hotel," "BirdHam" or what she calls "the unexpected combo of deliciousness," aka chicken with prosciutto and fontina cheese for "Birdman," and "WhipMash," truffled roasted garlic cauliflower mash for, you guessed it, "Whiplash." See the menu here .

The event also will feature wines and beers from Yonkers Brewing Co., live entertainment, a screening of clips, a silent auction, raffle, swag bags and more.

Admission is $45 with proceeds going to the center's children's programs. Contact them directly for information: (914) 771-8700 or www.wiccny.org/ .

Zito, who's not formally trained, grew up in a large extended Italian-American family where someone -- especially on weekends for Sunday gravy -- was always at the stove, with her not far behind. She started blogging at KitchAnnette in 2009, eventually blending her love of food with her love of movies.

Her knowledge of the food business includes years working at her family's Bronx-based fruit and produce business, which has led to another KitchAnnete venture: A pre-packaged juicing product she sells via her site.

Though she loves the film industry, she says it's now putting together a thoughtful meal that excites her more than watching the show.

"I'm not pulling for anyone in particular to win," she says. "I'm just happy when the meal works with the movie."

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