Wolfgang Puck sat down with Modern Luxury Angeleno to answer 18 rapid fire questions.
The famed chef talks about his essential ingredients, what spices he must have, his favorite food memory from childhood and more.
See the full Q&A below:
I don't have one favorite ingredient to cook with because there are too many out there.
[A] signature dish from me is something people really love and come back for. So if it's my signature dish, it doesn't matter, it's the customer's signature dish. And our customers come for smoked salmon pizza, for our tuna cones and for our Wiener Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarrn.
Sweet or savory?
I love them both but I must tell you I have a very sweet tooth, chocolate for me every day.
Pizza or pasta?
I really love pizza but at the end of the day, pasta is more versatile.
Best cooking tip you've ever received?
Best cooking tip I have ever received was one day a chef told me "if you mess up something, don't worry just throw it in the garbage.
I have many favorite cuisines. You know, it goes in circles. Sometimes I eat a lof ot Japanese food, sometimes I get tired of it and I love Mexican food. I think there's so many great cusines out there, so for me I can't say I have one favorite.
Challenging dish to prepare?
A lot of dishes are challenging if you don't know the technique. I remember when I started to make Peking-style duck, I threw away over 50 ducks until I could do it right.
Favorite food city?
One of my favorite food cities is San Sebastian in Spain. Why? Because it's very small. It has great restaurants ... in the street and tapas bars. But most of all, also, the best ingredients.
Three essential ingredients?
I think we are so lucky in California. We have the best vegetables, the best fruits, the Pacific has really good fish too.
I love a great tomato salad in the summertime.
Must have spice?
I always love to have all kinds of peppers.
Favorite comfort food?
I grew up in Austria and I still think Wiener Schnitzel is part of my comfort food. But then I often think so is goulash and my mother's mashed potatoes or a Kaiserschmarrn.
Favorite food memory?
[My] Best food memories [were] always on Sunday when my mother used to make Wiener Schnitzel. You could smell the whole house and outside, it smelled of the frying .. she didn't fry it in some old oil. It was half oil and half pork fat and it smelled amazing.
Anything with chocolate.
Best way to elevate a simple dish?
If it's grilled fish, vegetable, pasta, make a pesto.
If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
I only want to cook for the pope because that way I might go to heaven.
Always add more?
When in doubt, add more love.
Never go too heavy on the butter.
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With reporting by Laura Eckstein
Photography by: Owen Kolasinski, BFA.com for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures