In an age when it seems like everyone wants to be a celebrity, it can be surprising to hear otherwise. Except that is exactly what Chef Wolfgang Puck told Wired.
With his charismatic style and witty remarks, Puck’s rise to fame is one worth noting. His path to well-known restaurateur and cook has been filled with turbulence and challenges, but the chef has remained steady in his rise to fame. Though hard work and hustle, Puck established himself as a guest on TV shows while simultaneously building a business of culinary products, restaurants, and cafes, ultimately changing the way Americans view food and the cooking profession.
“Wolfgang stepped into the spotlight in a way no chef ever had before. In doing so, he showed that a chef could be a storyteller, a teacher and a friend,” David Gelb, Director of Wolfgang, told Food & Beverage Magazine. But Puck has different thoughts on the matter.
When asked what it takes to become a celebrity chef, Puck emphasized the need to focus on cooking. Puck admitted to Wired that he hates the word “celebrity chef,” recognizing that celebrity involves quite a bit of luck. Forget about the celebrity, Puck insists. For him, he’d rather be known as a cook, a chef, and a restaurateur and believes that his celebrity happened because of his work ethic and commitment to the industry.
Influenced by his mother, also a chef, Puck started cooking when he was a child. He opened his first restaurant in 1982, and since then, has expanded with restaurants around the world. In addition to several Michelin stars, Puck has served as the official chef of the Oscar’s after-party, been honored with the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, and received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Puck’s bright career shows aspiring chefs that if you focus on culinary craft, the rest will follow.