Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Chef Q + A:

Eight questions with Wolfgang Puck

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Trae Patton / BravoTV

Chef Wolfgang Puck and judge Padma Lakshmi sample food on the first episode of Top Chef: Las Vegas

The Carnivale du VIn brought together many of the top chefs in the country: Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Bradley Ogden… most of the big names were at the Venetian this weekend.

The Sun caught up with eight of the culinary heavyweights and asked them eight questions, including their take on their signature dishes, restaurant trends, favorite kitchen gadgets, and what they would have for dinner if they had just one last supper to enjoy.

Chef #2: Wolfgang Puck

How many restaurants do you currently have?

Seventy. We have smaller restaurants, for example, we're in 22 airports and then we have bigger ones, like, five here in Vegas and we're building a sixth one over in the City Center and then all over the country, from Atlantic City to Dallas and Vail and Washington and Detroit and Minneapolis and so on.

What would you say your signature dish is? What defines you as a chef?

I don't think we really want to be known just for one thing, really, but you know at Spago we have good pizzas like the smoked salmon pizza, then now at Cut it's our new, modern steakhouse which is different than any other one. … We want to have different places with different flavors. … If we would have only one, it would be sad. It would be boring for me.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Three espressos. My wife, she's Ethiopian, and she actually roasts the coffee and then makes coffee.

What is your favorite food-related trend right now?

People are getting more and more health conscious. People know it is important what you put into your body whereas before people used to just eat silly, big portions; it was always quantity over quality and now, little by little, I think people are getting into quality.

What would you have at your last supper?

First of all, I am way too young to even think about that. (He's 60 years old.) … It is really (a question of) who you're going to eat it with (and) what wine you're going to drink. … I would probably have some great scrambled eggs with some La Tache and some white truffles.

Who would cook it?

Probably me.

What is your favorite Vegas-based restaurant (other than your own)?

I like L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon right across from us at the MGM (by "us," he means his signature Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill) and … Mario (Batali) has a great restaurant here at the Venetian,

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

Definitely my most important thing is my espresso machine. I have, like, a $6,000 espresso machine at home and that's on 24 hours a day. I could live without a lot of different things but if I did not have an espresso machine I would be unhappy.

Next Chef: Mario Batali

Jump to: Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Bradley Ogden, Kerry Simon, Sammy Hagar, Nancy Silverton, Mark Tarbell.