Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles, California, USA, on September 15, 2012
|Born||Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig
July 8, 1949
Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
|Spouse(s)||Marie France Trouillot (1975 - 80, divorced)
Barbara Lazaroff (1983 - 2003, divorced)
Gelila Assefa (2007 - present)
|Cooking style||California, French, and Fusion|
Wolfgang Johannes Puck (born Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig; July 8, 1949) is an Austrian-born American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and occasional actor. Wolfgang Puck restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and licensed products are run by Wolfgang Puck Companies, with three divisions.
Life and career
Puck was born to Maria Topfschnig and a butcher. Wolfgang's father left before their child's birth. In 1956, Maria married Josef Puck, who adopted Puck. The marriage produced another son and two daughters.
Puck learned cooking from his mother, who sometimes worked as a pastry chef. He trained as an apprentice under Raymond Thuilier at L'Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence, at Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and at Maxim's Paris before moving to the United States in 1973 at age 24. After two years at La Tour in Indianapolis, Puck moved to Los Angeles to become chef and part owner at Ma Maison restaurant.
Following the 1981 publication of his first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen based on his Ma Maison recipes, Puck and Barbara Lazaroff opened the restaurant Spago on the Sunset Strip in 1982. Fifteen years later, in 1997, Puck and Lazaroff opened the award-winning Spago in Beverly Hills, which has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2004. His success enabled him to launch the Wolfgang Puck Companies which includes the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. and Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Wolfgang Puck Companies encompasses over 20 fine dining restaurants, Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. premium catering services, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks and canned foods. He is the official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors Ball, and has Parlay his celebrity into acting; his credits include Frasier, a recurring role as himself on Las Vegas and a cameo appearance on The Weather Man. He also appeared as himself on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters, as well as Cooking Class with Wolfgang Puck on The Food Network, and in an American Idol season finale episode where he introduced unusual foods to Kellie Pickler in comic relief segments. He also made a cameo appearance as himself on an episode of Tales from the Crypt, and appeared in a TV commercial advertising California (along with famous people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson).
Puck is active in philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations, co-founding the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation in 1982. The foundation supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival which benefits Meals on Wheels and has raised more than United States $15 million since its inception.
Puck is The Honorary Chair Chef for the "Five Star Sensation" Benefit in Cleveland, Ohio every two years helping to bring $10 million to support The Ireland Cancer Foundation of University Hospitals.
Puck's signature dish is House Smoked Salmon Pizza.
Puck married designer Gelila Assefa in 2007. He has three children, two from his second marriage and one with Assefa.
Awards and honors
CUT Beverly Hills was awarded a Michelin star in 2007.
In 1993, Spago Hollywood was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. The next year it received the James Beard Restaurant of the Year Award.
In 2002, Puck received the 2001–2002 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show, Wolfgang Puck.
- Spago, Puck's first restaurant opened on the Sunset Strip (1982) serving California cuisine.
- Chinois on Main, Santa Monica, California (1983), Asian fusion.
- Postrio, San Francisco (1989), Mediterranean and Asian fusion.
- Spago, Beverly Hills (1997), known for serving California cuisine. Spago Beverly Hills, Spago Las Vegas, Spago Maui, and Spago Beaver Creek.
- Postrio, Las Vegas.
- Trattoria del Lupo, Las Vegas.
- CUT in London, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort.
- CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Address Downtown Dubai
- Five-Sixty is located in Dallas, Texas and features Asian-inspired New American cuisine.
- The Source, Washington, DC, modern interpretation of Asian cuisine located at the Newseum.
- Wolfgang Puck B&G (2009) in Los Angeles.
- Wolfgang Puck in Walt Disney World. It is located in Downtown Disney.
- Museum of Science in Boston.
- Wolfgang Puck Grille, a signature restaurant of MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit. Closed permanently on Mother's Day 2012.
- Wolfgang Puck Steak, a signature restaurant of MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit, replacing Wolfgang Puck Grille.
- Wolfgang Puck American Grille, a signature restaurant located in the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
- Springs Preserve Café, Las Vegas.
- WP24 by Wolfgang Puck located in The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles, modern Chinese cuisine.
- Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria in Cucina, Las Vegas.
- Jai by Wolfgang Puck in La Jolla, California.
- Wolfgang Puck Bistro located in the JC Penney Flagship store in the Manhattan Mall in New York City.
- Wolfgang Puck Express:
- Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen (1980)
- The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook (1986)
- Adventures in the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck (1991)
- Pizza, Pasta, and More (2000)
- Live, Love, Eat (2002)
- Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy (2004)
Television and movie credits
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: "Last Supper" as himself as the judge for the fictional Elite Chef reality T.V. competition.
- Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series) (Guest Judge) 2011-2012 TV Show Series
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Chef to Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries' Wedding)
- The Next Food Network Star (Guest Judge) 2011 TV Show Series
- The Smurfs (Chef Smurf) 2011 Movie
- Top Chef: New York (Guest Judge) 2011 TV Show Series
- Top Chef: Las Vegas (Guest Judge) 2009 TV Show Series
- Celebrity Cooking Showdown (Reality Cast Member) 2006 TV Show Series
- Las Vegas (four episodes) 2006: As Himself
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes (Remarks by) 2005 TV Show Series
- The Weather Man (Actor - Himself) 2005 Movie
- The Simpsons: "The Bart Wants What It Wants" (Guest Star) - 2002 TV Show Series
- Wolfgang Puck series 2001 S
- The Muse (Actor - Himself) 1999 Movie
- Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters
- Frasier: "The Proposal" (Actor - Himself) TV Show Series
- The Jay Leno Show: "Jaywalking" (Himself) October 13, 2009
- Tales from the Crypt: "Werewolf Concerto" (Himself) September 9, 1992
Mentioned by the character Richard Thornburg in Die Hard (1988), played by William Atherton, when on the phone to someone he wishes to take to a restaurant. He says, "Of course we can get a table. I know Wolfgang personally. I interviewed him."
- Culinary Hall of Fame
- Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang Puck answers 10 questions published by thefoodpaper.com
- Hallock, Betty (June 25, 2009). "Michelin won't be publishing 2010 guides for L.A. or Las Vegas". Daily Dish (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame
- YourSingapore.com - CUT
- "The Source Washington DC :: Wolfgang Puck Asian Fusion Restaurant". Wolfgangpuck.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
-  and Wolfgang Puck Pizzaria and Cucina 
- TV guide http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/wolfgang-puck/216655
- IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0716908/
- Official Website
- Wolfgang Puck at the Internet Movie Database
- "Wolfgang Puck: Biography"; WolfgangPuck.com (2005); retrieved January 30, 2006
- "Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group-Spago" retrieved September 26, 2008
- "Wolfgang Puck Answers 10 Questions"
- "2001-2002 Daytime Emmy Awards"