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NerdsandBeyond.com recently got to talk with Chef Wayne Elias about his assignments, including the EJAF’s upcoming Academy Awards Viewing Party. . .

Nerds and Beyond: Working with Sir Elton John: are you a fan of his music? If so, do you have any favourite songs?

Chef Wayne Elias: I am a big fan and went to the Yellow Brick Road tour in 1974 and then the Yellow Brick Road Farewell tour in 2019. “Bennie and The Jets,” “Your Song,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Can you Feel The Love” are some favourites.

Nerds and Beyond: Does Sir Elton have any certain dishes/staples that are a “must have” or a favourite?

Chef Wayne: He does love dark and milk chocolate that we keep in his dressing room, and he does tend to order the meat entree on the menu. He loves rice pudding as well, which we have in his dressing room.

Nerds and Beyond: Were you at all intimidated with planning an event of this nature (EJAF Viewing Party) and because of who it was for?

Chef Wayne: It is an honour and I am happy to be part of the EJAF Oscar Party to help people around the world. I am not intimidated but I am nervous excited!

Nerds and Beyond: For ingredients, where do you primarily source them from? Do you try to stay with local stores/farms or do you import items/more exotic items?

Chef Wayne: We buy from local California produce farms. It is winter now, so some items have to be brought in from Chile and other warmer regions.

Nerds and Beyond: What is your process for planning a menu? Do you go with a certain theme?

Chef Wayne: I imagine that I am going to the event as a guest, and I think of what I might want to dine on. Also, with guests all dressed up in their finest, I do not want anyone to be intimidated, and we make sure nothing is too messy, dripping, or too large that nobody would taste the food.

Nerds and Beyond: What dish are you most excited about serving this year?

Chef Wayne: The beetroot appetizer with a black Olive tuile and Boursin cheese.

Nerds and Beyond: Besides regular prep, do you do anything to get ready for planning and preparing for an event this size?

Chef Wayne: Work out, massage, meditate, cry, laugh, look up at the sky.