Wolfgang Review – A Michelin Rated Four Star Experience

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Wolfgang, from Disney+, presents an intimate portrayal of uber-chef Wolfgang Puck, and brings his unique life story and rise, from his abusive childhood in Austria to transforming California cuisine and creating the world of the celebrity chef.

The documentary, which was shown at the Tribeca Festival, begins on a produce farm south of San Diego, and we hear Wolfgang Puck talk about the vegetables grown at Chino Farms, a non-descript farm stand, that could be on any road, anywhere produce is grown.

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Wolfgang walks the audience through Chino Farms, and we understand, while off the beaten path and non-descript, its reputation for farm fresh and just the best produce one can imagine attracts chef’s, celebrities and the lucky few who have happened onto this hidden gem.

After we understand a little more about Wolfgang, we return with him to his home in Austria, and meet his sister, Christine. We also learn, from local Los Angeles food critic Ruth Reichel a little more about his childhood. His mother had him out of wedlock, and while that may not seem like an issue in our contemporary minds, in the 1949, in Austria, it was difficult.

Soon his mother married, and to hear him explain, his stepfather was very abusive, he terrorized them, so much so that Wolf, at nine, contemplated suicide. He climbed onto the ledge of the bridge, and looked into the river, and the abusive words of his father haunted him for that hour. And he finally decided the best revenge was to prove him wrong.

This was the beginning of the transformation of Wolfgang Puck as kitchen help to chef. He had been fired from his apprentice job and refused to leave. So, they transferred him to a better restaurant. During that internship he was introduced to French cuisine and decided that was it. He, when possible, would go to France to continue to build his culinary skills.

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Working as a chef, was the pathway to culinary mastery in the 1950 and 1960s. While the best may have studied at elite culinary schools, many learned the kitchen from long grueling hours, working the line, learning the techniques. Wolfgang was one of them.

After years in France, Wolfgang explains his move to California. Sunny LA, and while he doesn’t explain exactly why he settled on Los Angeles, he does explain culinary, at that time was a processed pile of tasteless, overdone, garbage.

In what can only be described as a serendipitous moment, he run into a former colleague from Brumaire, who offered to get him a job at Ma Maison, which at the time was the most talked about restaurant in Beverly Hills.

One week after Wolfgang began to work at Ma Maison, it was given the worst review ever. The head chef was fired, and Wolf was given the kitchen.

The rest one can say is tinsel town magic. From that moment on, Wolfgang began to transform the palettes of the wealthy, the powerful, the celebrities and dining began to take on an entirely new meaning. He labored for six years at Ma Maison, bringing his unique flair and mastery to each morsel.

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He also met his first wife, Barbara Lazaroff, a former set, and production designer who had more confidence in Wolfgang’s ability than he did at that time. After a falling out, with Ma Maison owner Patrick Terrail, they decided to follow his dream of opening a restaurant and Spago became an overnight sensation.

Throughout the film Wolfgang’s former agent Michael Ovitz, co-founder CAA provides insight into the tricks of the trade that he used to propel Wolfgang to celebrity chef superstardom.

Wolfgang, will be released on Disney + June 25, 2021, is filled with scenes from the Academy Awards, celebrity snapshots from Ma Maison, and Spago, from the early days of his many television appearances and a glimpse of the transformation of both the Beverly Hills dining scene and farm to table California cuisine. See it.

A Michelin rated four-star experience, Bon Appetite!

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Country: USA.

Year: 2021.

Release date: June 25, 2021.

Languages: Austro-Bavarian, English with English subtitles.

Runtime: 79 mins.

Director: David Gelb.

Writer: Brian McGinn.

Producer: David Gelb, Brain McGinn, Jason Sterman.

Cast: Wolfgang Puck, Mike Ovitz, Barbara Lazaroff, Christine Puck, Nancy Silverton, Evan Funke, Ruth Reichel, Laura Ochoa, Patrick Terrail, Jannis Swerman, Bryon Puck, Gelila Assefa.

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