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How do you get taste buds dancing during music’s biggest night?

Chef Manny Slomovits has a plan. He’ll have guests noshing on rich dishes like lobster mac and cheese, and, about nine courses later, send them home on a “sweet note” of Peruvian chocolate tarts.

Those are just two of the fancy bites that the Staples Center is serving to its Grammy Awards VIPs, who will spend about four hours (and at least $135 per person on just the food package) eating and enjoying performances in suites during the show.

While A-listers are in the front rows performing and waiting for the after parties to eat, the industry execs and other guests are boozing and schmoozing in expensive suites. Here’s what we learned about the suite menu during a tasting day ahead of music’s biggest night.

There’s artisanal beef jerky

Yes, fancy beef jerky is a thing, and it is divine. Our new favorite food comes in three flavors, including the unbelievable “lemongrass & ginger.” That’s a beautiful bite of protein that won’t stain your dress!

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Macaroni and cheese gets a gourmet upgrade

There’s a “dancing duet of lobster mac and cheese and bacon mac attack,” as Slomovitz calls it. Translation: Guests get a savory bite of something that feels like home, but much richer. Those with vegan and gluten-free diets can enjoy kale salads, corn salads and other healthy snacks.

Sadly, there won’t be a lot of music/food puns

Slomovits is serving a dish with toast he calls “earth, smoke and fire.” (Earth= grains and veggies; smoke= smoked shrimp ceviche; fire = fire-roasted hummus.) But aside from a vague reference to band Earth Wind & Fire, he nixed music puns for the menu. “We wanted the food to speak for itself,” he says, after ruling out ideas for “Thriller” bites and some sort of Queen tribute.

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There’s a 72-ounce porterhouse steak available

High rollers can opt in for the 72-ounce porterhouse, but a sous vide rib board comes standard with a Grammy suite food package. How much meat is that? One thousand pounds of short ribs are being made in preparation for the big night.

There are Grammy ice cubes!

One of the drinks, called the Smokin’ Sunset, combines vodka, fresh blood orange lemonade, kumquat and rosemary. It gets house-smoked on cedar board and has a unique finishing touch: Ice cubes with gramophones tattooed on them.

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Desserts are as decadent as you’d expect

Los Angeles patisserie Artelice has macaronsand a custom tart for the event. The Grammy tart might have the power to make the world a kinder place, thanks to its handmade chocolate shell, salted caramel center, chocolate ganache from Peru, chocolate glaze and candied apricot. A sweet note, indeed.

But you can have great food at your Grammys party at home, too!

Slomovits says to be a good host, think about who’s coming to your house and what their dietary needs are going to be. Potato chips and popcorn are easy snacks to include along with four to five memorable dishes. Another tip: “Search your artists’ favorite food online, and feature what they love,” he says.

And feel free to go for music/food puns he left on the table. Love Cardi B? How about Bicardi rum drinks, Cardi jelly Beans, CarDill pickles? (You can do better than that, we hope.)


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