Wolfgang Johannes Puck (born Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig; July 8, 1949) is an Austrian celebrity chef, restaurateur, businessman and occasional actor. Wolfgang Puck restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and licensed products are run by Wolfgang Puck Companies, with three divisions.
Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, which owns the Wolfgang Puck brand, has tried to create a mass-market brand by reinforcing brand elements. They use the "Live, Love, Eat" slogan everywhere. Wolfgang chants "Live, Love, Eat" relentlessly on his TV show.
Wolfgang's cookbooks include Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin, 1981), The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook (Random House, 1986), Adventures in the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck (Random House, 1991), Pizza, Pasta and More! (Random House, 2000), and Live, Love, Eat (Random House, 2002).
In 1994, Wolfgang and Barbara were recipients of the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award. In 1998, Wolfgang received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef. Wolfgang lives in Los Angeles and has two sons, Cameron and Byron.
Chef Puck also oversees Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. which was established to manage global brand strategy across his business activites in his fast-casual Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express restaurants, as well as consumer packaged goods, kitchen appliances and utensils, book publishing, media content and licensing.
The Express restaurants emphasize quality and freshness and offer Wolfgang's authentic recipes and menu innovation at affordable prices. Launched in 1991, Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express has since expanded to more than 80 locations in major urban and suburban retail centers, airports and supermarkets throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.
His other restaurant CUT was the steakhouse that he opened and it was an instant success. There are those that will travel for hours to get to this steakhouse because he has done an amazing job of blending American, French and Asian cuisine into something that is truly unique. In addition to the restaurant that he has opened, he also has his television show "Wolfgang Puck" in 2000 that debuted on the Food Network and was a huge success with the viewing world.
Today, Spago's culinary success has been repeated in various locales, with Wolfgang Puck fine dining restaurants from Maui to Las Vegas to Atlantic City. Together with senior managing partner Tom Kaplan and managing partners Lee Hefter, David Robins, Joe Essa and Barbara Lazaroff, Puck has taken the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group brand to a level by which many other celebrity chefs are measured. The Wolfgang Puck name stands for innovative tastes, the most healthful food, the humane treatment of animals and genuine hospitality, providing guests with the very best in eating and dining WELL.
With a menu that fused California ingredients with classic French cuisine, Wolfgang Puck opened his first restaurant, Spago—Italian slang for spaghetti—in 1982. In the ensuing years, he would capitalize on the success of Spago by opening other places across the U.S. Puck has also opened casual eateries, written cookbooks and starred on Wolfgang Puck, a TV series on the Food Network.
As a teenager, Puck initially studied the culinary arts in Austria, before moving to France, where he apprenticed at L'Ousteau de Baumaniere in Les Baux-de-Provence and the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. After immigrating to the United States in 1973, he briefly lived in New York and Indianapolis before becoming executive chef at the esteemed Ma Maison in Los Angeles.
Wolfgang Puck, beginning in the early 1980's, was the leader in expansion and product development - nine fine-dining restaurants and scores of high-end fast-food joints (called "fast casuals"), a line of pans, pizzas, soups.
One of an influential breed of chef-restaurateurs in America, Wolfgang Puck is credited with reviving California's culinary heritage. Blending fresh California ingredients and classical French training, his innovations in cooking have been enjoyed and praised by world leaders, Hollywood stars and fellow chefs alike.
Wolfgang Puck is probably one of those names that those who are into the fine dining world are going to immediately recognize. The man has built an empire that is comprised of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. However, the distinguished chef first cooked at the side of his mother, who was always a chef. With her help and encouragement, he started to train formally at the age of fourteen. During his time of training he worked in some of the best restaurants that are in France. However, when he was 24 he decided to leave the area and head to the United States in order to see what he could accomplish here. And boy did he accomplish many feats.