Having built an empire in restaurant hospitality and the culinary arts, the name Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with the ultimate in fine dining. Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. are just a few entities of his success. Having learned to cook from his chef mother, Puck’s talent has since earned him careers at top culinary establishments like Maxim’s in Paris, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and the Michelin 3-starred L’Oustau de Baumanière in Provence.

At 24, he took on the United States with his vibrant personality and culinary genius, expanding his talents throughout the globe and catering to the rich, the famous and everyone in between. Puck is the only chef to have won the Outstanding Chef of the Year Award twice. His latest venture, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air offers modern California cuisine with Mediterranean influences and has fast become Los Angeles’ newest haute spot.

How did you begin your career in the culinary field?

My mother was a hotel chef in Austria, so around the ages of 12 and 13, I spent every summer with her while also working with the pastry chef.  At 14, I started my apprenticeship at the Post Hotel in Villach.

What restaraunts did you work at prior?

My first great restaurant experience was when I worked at Baumanière in the south of France under the guidance of Raymond Thuillier, who was a real mentor.

What appetizer, entrée and dessert is your restaurant best known for?

At Spago, for appetizers, it would be the Spicy Tuna Cones or Smoked Salmon Pizza. For the entrée, it would be the Wienerschnitzel and our Kaiserschmarrn for dessert. At Chinois, the Crispy Calamari Salad, the Shanghai Lobster Risotto and the Trio of Crème Brulee. At Cut, the Bone Marrow Flan, the New York Steak from Snake River Farms, along with the Truffle Mac-n-Cheese; and for dessert, a Chocolate Soufflé.

When your not at your own restaurants, where can we find you dining?

I eat in restaurants all over the world, but in Los Angeles, if I go out with my children you can find me at Angelini. I love Matsuhisa, and for great Italian food, Valentino.

What’s your favorite drink?

Krug Champagne.

What’s your favorite pastime?

Cooking, tennis and skiing.