Professional Chef Spotlight - Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck: Cutting Edge Culinary Entrepreneur

May 19th, 2011

The culinary community has credited Wolfgang Puck with revamping California cuisine by blending fresh ingredients with his classical French training.

How Did Wolfgang Puck's Culinary Career Begin?

At 14, Wolfgang was already an apprentice in a Provencal restaurant, polishing his culinary arts skills. He moved on to the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and then to Maxim's in Paris. Emigrating to the U.S. in 1973, his culinary career really took off in 1975 when he became part owner and chef of the popular Ma Maison in Los Angeles.

Why is Wolfgang Puck Famous?

Wolfgang Puck really burst onto the culinary arts scene when his first restaurant, Spago Hollywood, opened on Sunset Strip, serving his trademark gourmet pizzas. Spago was such a hit that Wolfgang and his wife, Barbara, launched clones in Chicago, Las Vegas, Maui, and Palo Alto.

To say that Wolfgang's culinary arts career has been successful is an understatement. He has national and international restaurants--two Asian fusion, two Asian/Mediterranean fusion, a trattoria, a brasserie, and a bar and grill. He has cafe's in Evanston, Orlando, and Ontario, a restaurant in the Minneapolis Walker Art Center, Puck's in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Wolfgang Puck Express franchises in a dozen or more states. He has restaurant franchises in Japan, owns a catering company with facilities in ten U.S. cities, has written six cookbooks, and promotes his own line of cookware, culinary accessories, and gourmet foods.

What's Next in Wolfgang's Culinary Career?

Additional restaurants by Wolfgang are scheduled to debut in the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City and The Beverly Wilshire Hotel during 2006 and catering locations are currently scheduled to launch in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Denver. Wolfgang is a favorite guest on a variety of TV shows, hosting the well-known Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class, currently airing on the Food Network.

In addition to his considerable contribution to the culinary arts, Wolfgang also gives back to the community through dozens of charitable and philanthropic organizations including Meals-on-Wheels, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Name: Wolfgang Johann Puck
Born: January 8, 1949
Hometown: St. Viet, Austria
Training: Served apprenticeships in Provence, Monaco, and Paris
First Job: Apprentice at 14 years old in Provencal restaurant


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