Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with passion and innovation in the culinary world. The Austrian-born Puck began his formal training at age 14 inspired by his mother, and left Europe in 1973 having already learned his craft as a classically trained French chef in the three-star kitchens of France. His first stop in the United States was Indianapolis, but Puck made the move to Los Angeles two years later, becoming both chef and starring attraction at Ma Maison, a magnet for the rich and famous.
Wolfgang has changed the way Americans cook and eat by mixing formal French techniques and Asian- and California-influenced esthetics with the highest quality ingredients. He has changed the face of dining in cities throughout the nation, both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he was the first renowned chef to create a contemporary fine dining restaurant, leading the way for other celebrated chefs and the city’s metamorphosis into a food haven.
Spago, originally on the Sunset Strip, was an instant success and culinary phenomenon from its opening day in 1982. Puck’s first signature dishes – such as "gourmet" pizzas topped with smoked salmon and caviar – put him and Spago on the Los Angeles foodie map. Chinois on Main opened in 1983 in Santa Monica, inspired by Puck’s interest in Southern California’s multi-cultural population.
Over a span of twenty years, an empire of dining establishments has opened. Fine-dining restaurants developed in partnership with Barbara Lazaroff, Tom Kaplan, Lee Hefter, David Robins and Joe Essa are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Palo Alto and Maui. Flagship Spago Beverly Hills maintains a cutting-edge role as a creative culinary force, with a combination of updated Spago classics and Austrian-inspired recipes from Wolfgang’s childhood, executed by the award-winning talents of executive chef Lee Hefter and executive pastry chef Sherry Yard.
Under the leadership of Carl Schuster, Wolfgang Puck Catering (WPC) has grown rapidly over its eight year history to become a national leader. Headquartered in the Hollywood & Highland® entertainment complex, home to the Kodak Theatre and annual Academy Awards, WPC provides exclusive premium dining and catering services to such renowned venues as Museum of Science Boston, Georgia Aquarium, Walker Art Center, Indianapolis Museum of Art, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, St. Louis Art Museum, Nokia Theatre Dallas, Seattle Design Center, and Kidspace Children’s Museum, as well as off-premise event catering. Upcoming venues include the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Freedom Forum Newseum in Washington DC, and Union Station/Reunion Tower in Dallas.
Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. represents the brand in quick casual Express franchises, over 51 units located in nationwide urban centers, airports and supermarkets with an emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients; consumer products and cookware; packaged foods; publishing; media programming, including Puck’s emmy-winning Food Network show; licensing; and merchandising.
Wolfgang is actively involved in many philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations, including his own Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation which benefits Meals-on-Wheels.
Wolfgang lives in Beverly Hills and has three sons, Cameron, Byron and Oliver.