Chef Evan Funke Hosts a Pizza Party at This Year’s Vanity Fair Oscar Party

For chef Evan Funke, food and entertainment are theater.

“I think more and more people want to be away from their daily lives, and what better way than Funke Beverly Hills to do that?” He asked.

When it comes to his restaurants, his mind is constantly thinking about the many different facets of making it a success.

“I do not sleep. It doesn’t stop,” he said, pointing to his head. “I never turn the volume off, I just turn it down.”

It makes sense, since he was the brain behind Vanity Fair’s Oscar party and is returning this year for the third time in a row.

The Oscars have played a big role in the Funke family as his father, Alex, has won three Academy Awards himself.

It won Best Visual Effects in 2003 and 2004 and a Special Achievement Academy Award in 1991.

“He was a photographer for Charles Eames for many years, then moved into advertising and television, “Battlestar Galactica,” and eventually made his way to film and mostly stuck in the field of science fiction and special effects,” Funke explained.

He has worked on films like “The Abyss”, “Total Recall” and “Lord of the Rings”.

Although the master pasta maker isn’t actually in show business, he noted that his schedules are similar to his father’s when he worked on films.

He believes he inherited his father’s “fierce work ethic.”

“I took that away from him instead of getting into this business,” he revealed. “I like working in this peripheral sector.”

Funke’s glamor is at the heart of Beverly Hills.

He gained fans as co-owner of Felix Trattoria on Abbot Kinney in Venice.

When it opened, big celebrities clamored for a table and to meet the chef. However, he thinks they just wanted the pizza.

All joking aside, Funke enjoys his clientele and attributes many of his skills to working under celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck for six years.

“He (Wolfgang) was a master of it. For me, it’s about treating them (celebrities) normally.

Funke is preparing for the big party on Sunday, which is the party of the year in Tinseltown. He doesn’t forget how special it is to be a part of it, because his family has a history tied to the party.

“It was a great honor to work with Vanity Fair. When my father won his first Oscar, they didn’t let him in,” he said.

It takes about two consecutive 24-hour days to prepare for the event, but Funke says it’s worth it.

“It’s all about the details and making sure every want and need is met and with a smile,” he exclaimed.

Funke’s job at the party is imperative because many A-list celebrities are starving after a busy day preparing for and attending the Oscars.

To add to the fun, this year’s party will be a pizza party.

“After a few glasses of champagne and a golden Oscar in hand, what’s better than a slice of Margherita?” he reasoned.

Funke has had a busy year.

He opened two restaurants in six months and another will open in Miami at the end of the year.

Pizza is one of Funke’s favorite foods to eat and prepare.

He showed Jessica how to make one of her favorite pies so you can follow along and host your own pizza party.

This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes, episode 168.

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