Opportunities are just like trains at a station in a holding pattern. You have to grab, hop on oneand hopefully it takes you in the right direction. Hopefully, it takes you where on the precise journey you want embarck upon. Wolfgang Puck has spent a lifetime hopping from one train to the next affording him the distinction in becoming one of the greatest chefs in the world. Referred to by some as the “Mount Rushmore of California Cuisine,” this Austrian harnessed his love of cooking to escape the harsh rule of an emotionally cruel stepfather. However, it was his work at Ma Maison and the lack of acknowledgement for its success that paved the way for Spago, where famous clientele assisted in buliding and solidfying his place with a gold standard of cuisine enjoyed all over the world.
Puck, almost by accident, created the concept of a “celebrity chef” with his multitude of television appearances, a staggering global empire of restaurants, cafes and products for even the most novic of home cooks. However, like most who excel with a public persona, those demands eventually begin to disrupt and dismantle family life. Directed David Gelb and the creators of Chef’s Table, Wolfgang is a candid, emotional open book look at a legend reflecting on the price his dreams have ultimately cost.
Learning that fans have a lack of baguettes to thank for his famous Smoked Salmon Pizza, his inspriaton from French cooking, making Chinois a ground-breaking fusion restaurant or how Johnny Carson’s request for take out pizzas to freeze at home launched a whole new line of frozen foods are stories that are infamously shared with a twinkle and a smile.
Wolfgang Puck’s brilliant ex-wife/business partner Barbara never let him forget that the grass is greener where you water it the most. For it is with her determination and lack of self-doubt and elbow grease that resulted in creating a taste of cuisine now characterized as California on a plate cooked with an open flame kitchen. Throughout his tales, successes and small regrets, Puck reminds those of us growing older, not dwell too much in the past and be more conscious of the time we have left. After all, tomorrow or even the next second is not guaranteed.
Produced by Disney Plus, Wolfgang is available on the streamer beginning July 25th.