July 28, 2021

A Culinary Celebrity – Lights of the Century

  • Wolfgang was premiered last weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, where its curators celebrated its sharing of anecdotes.
JUAN GARCÍA / REFORM AGENCY

MEXICO CITY.- Wolfgang Puck was one of the first chefs to achieve “celebrity” status in the world, he is the darling of the stars and already has his own documentary.

Wolfgang, which opens this Friday on Disney +, recaps the most humorous, dramatic, sobering and sentimental moments in the life of the culinary artist, known for decades as “The Tom Cruise of Chefs.”

“I think I am very fortunate to have brought a vision of respect to the profession of chef. Today there are too many kitchen businesses and that has increased the capital gain of the profession. The television of the 80s and 90s changed the perception of the industry.

“When I came to the United States, and said that I was a cook, people were amazed and did not consider it something serious. Now, if you say you are a chef, they ask you where you work, what is your specialty or your creations, “said Puck in an interview.

And above any reference, the 71-year-old European nationalized American is usually associated with hundreds of movie and music stars who have fallen before his creations: John Travolta, Barbra Streisand, Madonna and Jennifer Lawrence, to name a few. .

He is about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his flagship restaurant, Spago, located in Beverly Hills, and among the lines that should be highlighted with intense marker, within his curriculum, is that he provides the annual banquets for awards such as the Oscars and the Grammy.

“My ideal is to keep my client satisfied, but it’s not just celebrities, but those people who travel to Los Angeles for the first time and put my restaurant on their to-do list. Obviously I am proud of the trajectory that I have solidified, but my creations are for everyone ”, he pointed out.

The big premiere

Directed by David Gelb, Wolfgang premiered this past weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, where curators celebrated his sharing unknown anecdotes, such as the origin of his must-have salmon caviar pizza.

“It was one day that Joan Collins unexpectedly came to the restaurant and asked for a very specific dinner, but we ran out of side bread. Two of my employees panicked because we knew he was very picky and he liked that product.

“Then I had the idea of ​​taking the pizza bread, shaping it, I added salmon and decorated it with caviar: it fascinated him.

Then she found out (we called her Pizza Joan) between us and she was amused. It continues to be one of my clients’ favorites, ”said the owner of the chain that bears his name and has more than 25 restaurants and 80 cafes.

In the documentary, the chef who has cooked for Arab sheikhs and members of British royalty returns in various interviews to his childhood in Europe, the family hostility he experienced at certain times and the brutal social change that impacted him when he decided to live in California .

In the story he mentions the characters that prompted him to appear on television and to be hired for banquets enjoyed by Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson.

“I did not have a great childhood in Austria. For years, I didn’t want to go back because of the memories I had of my stepfather and the memories of the first chef I worked with. It is difficult for me to speak it, although I know that it is part of my story and if I was going to tell it, it had to be complete. I went back to my hometown (in the documentary) and it was very bittersweet, “said Wolfgang Puck.

Divorced twice and currently married to designer Gelila Assefa, the father of four and holder of his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Wolfie, as his close associates tell him, claims to be flattered when they tell him that he is a inspiration for new generations.

“I am not an example, I am just someone who fought for his dream,” he concludes.

HE SAID SO

“My documentary is family, and I would like children and young people to perceive it as an impulse for growth and not to see adversity as bad as it is usually described. And hopefully it helps parents to help their children with their dreams. ” Wolfgang Puck, chef.

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