Wolfgang Puck

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Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck 2012.jpg
Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig

(1949-07-08) July 8, 1949 (age 71)
Marie France Trouillot
(m. 1975; div. 1980)

Barbara Lazaroff
(m. 1983; div. 2003)

Gelila Assefa
(m. 2007)
Culinary career
Cooking styleCalifornia, French, and Fusion

Wolfgang Johannes Puck ( Topfschnig; born July 8, 1949) is an Austrian-American chef, restaurateur, and actor. Born in Austria, Puck moved to the United States at the age of 24. In 1973, Puck moved to Los Angeles, opening his first restaurant, Spago, in 1982.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Puck was born in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia, Austria.[2] He learned cooking from his mother, who was a pastry chef.[3][4] He took the surname of his stepfather, Josef Puck, after his mother's remarriage.[5] The marriage produced two younger sisters and a younger brother for Wolfgang.[citation needed] He trained as an apprentice under Raymond Thuilier at L'Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence, at Hôtel 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 of Ma Maison restaurant.

Following the 1981 publication of his first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen, which was based on his Ma Maison recipes, Puck opened the restaurant Spago on the Sunset Strip in 1982. Fifteen years later, in 1997, Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, his ex-wife and business partner, moved the award-winning Spago to Beverly Hills. It has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2004. The Infatuation wrote that "Spago made Wolfgang Puck the first (and maybe only) chef you and your grandma know by name."[6]

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 encompass over 20 fine dining restaurants, among the top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., premium catering services, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks, canned foods, and coffee products. He is the official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors Ball, and has parlayed his celebrity into acting; his credits include Frasier, a recurring role as himself on Las Vegas and a cameo appearance in 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 was featured as a guest judge on Season 7 of MasterChef. He also made a cameo appearance as himself on an episode of Tales from the Crypt, and appeared in a TV commercial advertising the state of California (along with famous people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson).

In 1991, Puck opened his fourth restaurant, Granita, a seafood restaurant in Malibu, California.[7] The restaurant closed in 2005.[8]

Since 2003, Puck's recipes have been syndicated worldwide to newspapers and websites by Tribune Content Agency.[9]

Wolfgang Puck is active in philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations. He co-founded the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation in 1982. The foundation supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival which benefits Meals on Wheels; it has raised more than $15 million since its inception.[10]

Puck is The Honorary Chair Chef of the "Five Star Sensation" benefit in Cleveland, Ohio, which, every two years, helps to bring $10 million to support The Ireland Cancer Foundation of University Hospitals.

One of Wolfgang Puck's signature dishes at his original restaurant, Spago, is House Smoked Salmon Pizza.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Wolfgang Puck married Marie France Trouillot in 1975. They were divorced in 1980.

He married Barbara Lazaroff in 1983, with whom he has two sons, Cameron and Byron.[12] They were divorced in 2003. Barbara Lazaroff continues to play a key role in his restaurants and has been instrumental in their interior design. She is listed by the company as co-founder.[13]

In 2007 he married designer Gelila Assefa in Capri, Italy. They currently live in Los Angeles and have two sons: Oliver and Alexander. His favorite food is macarons.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1993, Spago Hollywood was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame.[15] 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.[16]

Spago Beverly Hills received a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Service Award in 2005. It was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2008 and 2009 Los Angeles Michelin Guide.[17]

CUT Beverly Hills was awarded a Michelin star in 2007. In 2013, Puck was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.[1] In July 2016, CUT at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore was awarded a Michelin Star.[18]

On April 26, 2017, Puck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his work in the TV industry, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.[19][20]

On May 20, 2017, Puck was named the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) 2017 Gold Plate Winner.[21]


A matchbook from Postrio, circa 1995


Wolfgang Puck at the February 2009 Academy Awards
  • 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[edit]


Wolfgang Puck restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and licensed products are handled by Wolfgang Puck Companies, with three divisions: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About Wolfgang Puck". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. ^ Sissons, Jemima (26 August 2011). "Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen Adventures". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  3. ^ Chang, Andrea (7 March 2010). "Strong-willed top chef". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  4. ^ Peck, Tom (1 November 2011). "Obama's favourite chef to open new restaurant in UK". The Independent. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Wolfgang Puck Inducted". culinaryhalloffame.com. Archived from the original on 2018-08-29.
  6. ^ "Spago - Beverly Hills - Los Angeles". The Infatuation. 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  7. ^ Ochoa, Laurie (August 18, 1991). "Granita--Spago by the Sea". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "Granita Malibu restaurant to close". Malibu Times. September 21, 2005.
  9. ^ "Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen articles". Tribune Content Agency.
  10. ^ TheHollywoodTimes.today. "Wolfgang Puck Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame | The Hollywood Times". Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  11. ^ "My Signature Dish: Wolfgang Puck's Smoked Salmon Pizza". MICHELIN Guide. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  12. ^ Myers, Mark (12 April 2019). "He Fled Family Home to Work in Kitchens". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  13. ^ "About interior designer, restaurant designer, restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff of Beverly Hills / Los Angeles". Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  14. ^ Wolfgang Puck on the Inaugural Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Led Zeppelin, and Retirement [1]
  15. ^ Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame
  16. ^ "2001–2002 Daytime Emmy Awards". Infoplease.
  17. ^ Hallock, Betty (25 June 2009). "Michelin won't be publishing 2010 guides for L.A. or Las Vegas". Daily Dish. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Singapore's Michelin-starred restaurants: A listing". The Straits Times. The Straits Times. July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  19. ^ "Wolfgang Puck | Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Wolfgang Puck unveiled". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Wolfgang Puck Receives Foodservice Industry's Top Honor". Cision. PR Newswire Association. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Chef Wolfgang Puck - Spago Restaurant". Delish. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Spago Istanbul by Wolfgang Puck | Rooftop Restaurant and Lounge in Istanbul". www.spago.thestregisistanbul.com. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Star-studded: 38 restaurants in Michelin Guide Singapore 2017". VisitSingapore.com. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  25. ^ "CUT By Wolfgang Puck - Bahrain Restaurant - Four Seasons". Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Five Sixty closes for good". CultureMap Dallas. 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  27. ^ "The Source Washington DC :: Wolfgang Puck Asian Fusion Restaurant". Wolfgangpuck.com. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  28. ^ "Wolfgang Puck Steak". MGM Grand Detroit. MGM Resorts International. and "Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina". MGM Grand Detroit. MGM Resorts International. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Wolfgang Puck". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 July 2017.

External links[edit]