I’ve been in the restaurant industry for over 22 years, and Chef Wolfgang Puck has always been an idol of mine. Most people go crazy over singers, actors, and sports players. Not me. I fangirl over chefs that have made a lasting impact on me and my train of thoughts over food. Just recently, I was actually able to give a phone interview with Chef Wolfgang Puck…and it was not disappointing at all. We talked about food, life, family, and one of his newest passions: his Wolfgang Puck Online Cooking School. So, you can only imagine how extremely thrilled I was to ACTUALLY be able to talk with a kitchen icon. I hope you enjoy our discussion!
I want to give people a basic education, and to help them think for themselves when it comes to food.”
Me: What inspired you to move forward with your Wolfgang Puck Online Cooking School?
WP: I used to write cookbooks. It was passion to try to bring healthy and fun recipes to people’s homes. It was a way to bring my home to theirs. My passion for writing cookbooks really came from my love of collecting cookbooks. Collecting cookbooks is still my biggest passion! Believe it or not, I actually got the biggest form of inspiration from my kids. My kids do everything online. They would have their tablets in front of them watching hours upon hours of online videos. I came to understand that these videos were actually teaching my kids lots of different forms of information. That’s when I had that moment of realization that I wanted to create videos to help people truly learn basic cooking skills, kitchen skills, and to teach them everything from start to finish. I really felt that there was a huge need for that, and it’s something I really couldn’t teach people at home…at least not from a true visual standpoint. People are visual and hands on learners.
Me: You have a lot of classic and traditional recipes in your your online cooking school. It is your goal to establish a solid knowledge food base to inspire other recipes? Help them to think outside of the box?
WP: Yes! I want to help give people a basic education and to help them think for themselves when it comes to food. I want to help build their basic food terminology. I want to teach them the secret of great visual presentation. Your stomach sees the food first, and I want to help them match food flavor profiles with the aesthetics of everything. The food could taste amazing; however, if you present a plate of misfortunate looking food…you would really question yourself about whether or not you should eat it.
Me: I totally couldn’t agree with you more! I think food should look sexy on a plate. That’s why I take the time to make everything look nice when I make food for the family. You know what? My whole family loves that I take that extra time.
WP: See? Absolutely! You’re also teaching your family that food can be beautiful.
Me: Okay, I have to ask! When you and your gorgeous wife actually have time to enjoy a date night, what do you cook for her?
WP: Haha! We have to literally escape the house to have a real date night. You know…the kids are always there, so we have to plan it out. However, my favorite recipe? Go to a hotel and get room service! I just have to make sure that that they put my wife’s sauce on the side. She needs her sauce on the side. Even when I cook for home, it’s sauce on the side. A side note: my wife does love when I make her Pepper steaks. She just loves it!
Me: I think that’s the most amazing answer: Room Service! HAHA! That totally sounds like something that me and partner would do. Runaway, and order room service.
WP: Everybody loves it. It’s the best escape ever. Truly it is.
Me: I know you share a lot of recipes from your mom. You pay homage to her and your heritage. Will you be sharing more? I ask because I truly believe that Family starts in the kitchen.
WP: I couldn’t agree more. I fell in love with food because of my mother. So, I will definitely be sharing and expanding more recipes from my culture (as well as many other cultures), and will be sharing recipes that I have experienced from my whole culinary life.
Me: Sounds exciting, and I can’t wait! Okay, while on the topic of food: What are some basic seasonings that everyone should have in their pantry?
WP: Most seasonings are based on family tradition. However, some of the most basic ones should include: Pepper (Please make sure you grind your own pepper! It’s much more aromatic and flavorful!), Coarse Salt, Chili flakes (I love a little spice), fresh ginger, garlic, and onions. These seasonings help make food come alive and take on lots of great personality.
Me: I’m SO Glad that you brought up salt because that leads into my very next question: Sea Salt versus Kosher Salt. What is your own personal cooking preference?
WP: First, stay away from iodized table salt. It’s just bad and doesn’t help food taste good. I would say that I mostly use Kosher Salt for seasoning my water and flour. I love sea salt, too. I think both are just fine, as long as it’s not iodized salt. Nutrition is just so important to me, mostly especially for children. The usage of proper salt is really just a small piece of education. However, I want people to really get the proper nutrition from food for them and their family.
Me: I sincerely agree with you about that. I don’t think most people truly know how to properly cook ingredients, and that it’s all about layering flavors, understanding cooking times from one ingredient to the next, and so forth.
WP: Absolutely. That’s why I want to teach people how to do it the right way. And it is from that they can teach their children how to do it properly. It will teach them how to cook better and healthier at home. I’ve discussed this with many doctors, and it is just so imperative that people learn how to properly cook food to get those vital nutrients out of them. Technique is also very important. The only way to teach people how to truly do it and do it the right way, is to get those ingredients and kitchen tools in front of them and in their hands to use. I teach them everything from basic knife skills, how to make certain types of sauces, and it will just grow and grow! Every 3 to 4 months, people can expect more and more videos about recipes and techniques!
Me: I can not thank you enough for taking time out of your super busy schedule to talk with me. I’m so flattered and completely fangirling right now. It truly was amazing to spend time with you on the phone. You now my number, so call me some time when you want to cook for me and my brood!
WP: Haha! It was totally my pleasure. It is so nice to talk to someone that has a passion for food and family. You can always watch my videos, it’s kinda like I’m cooking for your family. HA!
Me: Okay…fine. That works lol! Take care and give the wife and kids and hug and kiss for me. Enjoy the rest of your day, and hope to talk again in future with updates of your online cooking school!
WP: Most definitely!
Okay, I had a total amazing time in talking with Chef Puck. He was completely nice, very enthusiastic about teach people about food, and is definitely in love with his family. His passion really shined through during our discussion, and there’s nothing more that I love than a passionate chef talking about food. Just ask my waistline.
Wolgang Puck’s Online Cooking School is definitely a much needed resource. I’ve watched many of his videos already, and they are super educational, fun, and very motivating to make you want to cook more! The monthly price is super nice and affordable. So, go and visit and sign up today. You completely won’t be disappointed! FYI, there are even some sample courses for you to enjoy for free!