The Man Cave: An “Academy Award Night”!

Posted on Feb 16 2014 - 11:33am by Chris Meehan

Outside the Cave – 

*The Academy Awards are presented on Sunday March 2nd, at 4pm PST on ABC. For more info:*

I have to be the first to admit that what follows would never have happened had it not been for being married to Brenda for all these years and not having a fair amount of her unbelievable “creative” rub off on me.  Anyway, Brenda and I always like to watch the Academy Awards together so…

It’s Academy Award Sunday, I think about five years ago.  Brenda is out for the day and due back around 4PM or so.  I’m on my own on a Sunday, and Football is overNow what?  I’m in the kitchen and looking at the TV, thinking about dinner and the Awards when I get THE IDEA.  OFF to the Cave.


Inside the Cave –

  • Mandatory HD Big Screen TV (available for the Academy Awards), check.
  • I pull out a long rectangular table and put it about 8 feet or so in the front of the TV.  And Viola! Our own “Judge’s Table!”  Then back into the house and grab –
  • Black linen table cloth for that table
  • Black china plates (appetizer and main course) and white napkins
  • Best Cutlery and Red Napkin rings
  • Black Champagne glasses (matches the plate set)
  • Champagne bucket
  • Crystal Wine glasses and decanter

Our Judges Table is almost complete!  Time for the computer and quickly print out two Judge’s Ballots (DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN HERE)  Attach these to two clip boards, and attach one of Brenda’s special red pens to each of the boards.  DONE!  One Hour.


Outside the Cave –

I’m on a roll now, and thinking (keep with the theme) a special surprise dinner too.  Don’t want to do a lot of cooking, so let’s graze at will during the Academy Awards!  Off to the nearby Whole Foods.

  • Pate  (we love it)
  • Cheese assortment with crackers and fresh French bread
  • I spot fairly inexpensive American CAVIAR (we love it too.)  Do I have time to boil eggs, then later shred them up, plus mandatory white onion?  Go for it!  Time wise it’s going to be close, but – I’m a professional..
  • Lamb Chops (perfect!), I can prep them ahead of time and easily and quickly broil them in the oven…  (can’t miss an important award!)
  • 2 Whole Food prepped side dishes, some grapes and I’m back to the Cave!

Prep time about 90 minutes.


Inside the Cave –

  • Boil eggs and chop up onions, grab a special serving dish from the house kitchen.
  • Get the pate and cheeses (with grapes) on a serving dish (looks great!)  Wrap up in Saran Wrap and into the fridge.
  • We have a special small caviar dish, and in the caviar goes.  Saran Wrap and into the fridge as well.
  • Season the Lamb Chops, wrap and into the fridge.
  • Eggs out and into the fridge to cool off.
  • 2 side dishes into serving bowls, wrap and into the fridge.

We need a “Grazing Table!”  I find a folding table, throw a red linen table cloth on it and it’s working (black, red, and white theme going here…)  Place it right next the Judge’s Table for easy grazing. We already had a bottle of our favorite Champagne in the garage fridge, so out it comes and into our Champagne bucket, with ice.  I pick out a special bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from our stash, and put it on the table next to the decanter.

Food’s now all set in the fridge, time to shred the eggs into yellow and white mounds and delicately placed onto our special caviar plate, then the onions go on next.  Wrap it all and back into fridge. I’m feelin’ GOOD…. (!) Back into the house and have a small glass of champagne ready for Brenda as she arrives, and escort her to the Cave.  She’s totally blown away!  We have a great and very memorable evening and totally fun experience.



IN FACT, we had so much fun that we made this into an annual affair with 2-3 other couples. GREAT FUN.

Now Brenda adds a little more of her creative magic to the event each year, and it’s a total winner, BUT we both know (it’s a guy thing) THIS great idea was ALL MINE! 

DON’T FORGET! Download your very own Academy Award Ballot from Moviefone HERE!

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tania Atack February 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm -

    why don’t you fly in your private jet, pick us up and we would love to join you in your Academy Awards Party!!!! I never walked on a red carpet before, maybe our wedding???
    What a great job and you work well under pressure my friend.
    Have a great time and we miss you lots.
    Champagne Please!!!
    Hugs. Tania and Brian

    • Chris Meehan February 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm -

      Hahaha! Sounds like a plan…but all we need is A JET! Thanks Tania and Brian! We miss you guys too.

  2. BJ February 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm -

    If l only had half the creativity that you two have l would be almost the practically perfect friend.

    • Chris Meehan February 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm -

      Thank you, BJ! …and as luck would have it, we do call you our “Practically Perfect Friend”!