'The First Time' With Wolfgang Puck - Rolling Stone
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Wolfgang Puck Talks ‘Simpsons’ Cameo, Food Adventures and More on ‘The First Time’

Chef recalls the origins of his famous smoked salmon pizza and the time he thought Indianapolis was going to be just like Monaco

Chef Wolfgang Puck discussed his numerous culinary exploits and shared stories about Pink Floyd and The Simpsons, on the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “The First Time.”

Puck — who’s the subject of the new Disney+ documentary, Wolfgang, out June 25th — has been one of the best-known chefs in the world for decades, though he still finds the term “celebrity chef” nonsensical. “You don’t say somebody who is a good tailor is a ‘celebrity tailor,’” he quipped. “You don’t say it’s a ‘celebrity designer.’ I think this ‘celebrity chef,’ I don’t know who made up that word, but it’s still stuck to me and some other people.”

Throughout the video, Puck recounted his various adventures in food: He recalled a life-changing meal at Baumaniere, a restaurant in the South of France, where he later found work; clinking glasses with Orson Welles and Jack Lemmon at Ma Maison, then leaving to start his own restaurant Spago; and how he came up with his singular smoked salmon pizza.

Puck also told an incredible story about one of his biggest misadventures, which happened after he fled New York City for greener pastures in the mid-Seventies. “I didn’t like New York that much, and then a friend of mine, who owned the restaurant La Grenouille, found me a job in Indianapolis,” Puck said. “I got so excited because I used to live in Monaco and they have the famous Formula 1 race there, and the Indianapolis 500 I think at that time was even more famous. So I said, ‘I want to go to Indianapolis, because it’s going to be just like Monaco!’” (Needless to say, when he arrived in Indianapolis, he discovered it was nothing like Monaco.)

Puck shared some non-food related anecdotes as well, including the time he made a cameo on The Simpsons and how surprised his sons were when he popped up on the show. He also spoke about his first concert, seeing Pink Floyd at the football stadium in Marseille. “I was mesmerized!” Puck recalls. “I was pretty close to the speakers… it was an amazing experience, and I’m a fan of Pink Floyd even to this day. I have it in my car, I play it in my restaurants. It was the first experience and it lasted.”

In This Article: The First Time, Wolfgang Puck


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