An inside look at the César ceremony dinner

Géraldine Dobey, the director of the César awards is organizing with brio the mythical dinner at the Fouquet’s attended by all the beautiful people. An occasion to take us backstage and make us privy to all the juicy anecdotes we dream of knowing about the event.

Dress code

The invitation mentions: “Evening wear”. Short or long, actors play the originality card.

It’s super chic without being “Evening Gown” with long dresses like at the Oscars where everyone is really spiffed up.

The Césars, what a pretty style spectacle! There are long evening gowns, for sure, but also women wearing tuxedos—it’s very chic… and why not men in dresses?

The girls look fab, even at the end of the evening. What can we say? In France, makeup lasts a long time!

What is the temperature of the evening?

Atmosphere at the Cesar ceremony @ Fouquet's

In France, the occasion lacks discipline, but it’s chic ! Aside from the official table with the MC (Manu Payet this year), Alain Terzian and the guest of honor (Penélope Cruz) and a few others: no placed tables. There is an amazing ambiance and a buzzing agitation!

All the guests arrive from the Salle Pleyel in waves­—private limos, chic mini buses. There is a very happy go lucky protocol…

The dinner is super festive, people get up, change place, kiss, smoke, make phone calls… But there is no music…

Can you describe this dinner?

Dinner room @ Fouquet's

There are 750 guests… Dinner is served in 1h30 max. People are in party mood, they waited a long time during the ceremony—things need to be quick. There are teams everywhere, we create satellite kitchens specially for the occasion in order to serve everyone on time.

The entire Fouquet’s staff is on deck and rises to the occasion with incredible good will. There are even people from the administration office. The DRH adores to participate ! Last year, he took on the role of doorman! The staff is dressed and outfitted in the afternoon for this special event. It’s very glamourous and very funny!

This year's menu

Drum rolls! There always is a starter, main course and dessert. Since he’s our consultant chef, it’s Pierre Gagnaire who concocts the menu menu.

César 2018 lobster salad

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Filet of beef Wellington - juice with morel mushrooms

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Chocolate / praline / caramel with salty butter galette

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A glass of champagne

Price:€70  without beverages in all the participating Fouquet’s – Ouside of Paris where the menu is at 86 euros

In the 80’s, the staff tells us there were still tiered mounted cakes presented in middle of the restaurant for dessert. They featured the names of the persons who received awards during the evening at the Châtelet. At the time, a collaborator was sent to the Châtelet and called in by phone the names of the winners. Time has gone by... Now it’s dessert on a plate that is presented.

how to be prepared for an emergency situation?

Fouquet's dish-cover

Spilled red wine? There are white shirts in every size for Gents. It’s a little more tricky when it’s a couture dress­—but our dry cleaning specialists are there.

In order to be ready for any potential disaster, the hotel housekeepers are on the sidelines : true magicians! To repair a popping button on a couture dress, a quick stitch, a stain to be removed instantly… They are our golden fingers!

If one needs to go pick up a pair of shoes (a broken heel is something that can happen !) or anything else … The car service is on deck to go fetch whatever the guests might need …

Fouquet’s has organized the Césars awards dinner since 1976… We are totally used to this.

A juicy anecdote you'd like to share?

The souvenir of our chef… The unexpected visit of Benoît Poelvoorde in kitchen who stole his chef hat and played at orchestrating his kitchen during the busy service. A culinary chef larger than life! The teams still remember and particularly appreciated this incursion!

Is there an after-party?

after party following the César ceremony

Yes ! This year, it’s taking place at the Queen. Guests will just have to cross the Champs Elysées on foot to get there.

It’s literally across the street. But all the dinner guests are not invited to the party…

The evening continues late into the night at the Fouquet’s, guests chat in groups around a drink. At 4am, everything is cleaned up and the restaurant is back on track as though nothing had happened.

Night-owls can even come over for a café-croissant when they leave the Queen at 8am. Impossible to imagine what was happening here a few hours ago.

Pictures credit : Facebook Fouquet's

diner cesar fouquet s

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