Working as a chef based in greater Los Angeles, though I also have restaurants across the U.S. and around the world, I'm very aware of the richness of Latino culture. So many good, hardworking people from Mexico and countries further south live in my home state that Spanish is virtually a second language here.
And, of course, I've grown not ...Read more
Earth Day is being observed worldwide on Friday, April 22. It's a holiday unlike any other: a celebration based simply on the fact that we all live together on this planet and benefit from taking care of all its many natural wonders and resources.
Earth Day had its start in 1970 as an environmental-...Read more
"What's the secret...?"
Those words begin so many of the questions people ask me in my restaurants, or when they meet me in public. It sometimes feels to me as if everyone believes there's some special storehouse of magical knowledge locked away somewhere, and only professional chefs have the key.
To tell you the truth, there really are "...Read more
It always delights me how some of the world's greatest recipes are also the simplest. Start with just a few high-quality ingredients, cook them in a way that highlights their natural qualities and serve them with just a little imagination, and it's very possible that the result will be something that everyone finds amazing.
Take, for example, ...Read more
With spring upon us now, you could say we're entering the salad days of cooking. Shakespeare coined the term "salad days" to refer to someone's green and inexperienced youth, but the words are equally appropriate to describe the time of year when fine, fresh, tender, often green, young produce is beginning to fill farmers' market stalls. ...Read more
Springtime is just a few days old. Already, enthusiastic cooks everywhere are celebrating its arrival by preparing lighter, fresher-tasting dishes that feature the finest seasonal produce. From salads and soups to main courses and sides, young leaves, roots, shoots, pods and other edible plants are beguiling food lovers with their bright colors,...Read more
Aspiring chefs and home cooks alike ask my advice about how they can get better in the kitchen. It may surprise you to know that one of my main tips is one word: simplify.
When people start out with big hopes in the kitchen, they often put too much into one recipe. I made that mistake myself early on.
But if you start with good ingredients and...Read more
A plate of mashed potatoes ranks among the most widely beloved side dishes I know. It's easy to understand why.
They're an ideal comfort food: earthy and mild, rich yet also austere, filling and yet delightfully easy on the palate. They also go with virtually any main dish. At Spago, my CUT steakhouses, and many of my other restaurants, they're...Read more
It always surprises me how many chefs love to talk about "secret" recipes that they won't divulge to anyone, no matter how polite or pleading the request might be. Why? Because, to tell you the truth, there aren't really that many top secrets in the world of restaurants.
Most experienced chefs can look at and taste a dish in a restaurant and ...Read more
Just because you're all dressed up for a big event, it doesn't mean that you're craving the culinary equivalent of a tuxedo or designer dress. Often, the exact opposite is true.
Take, for example, the annual Academy Awards, which takes place this coming Sunday evening. Since 1994, my Wolfgang Puck Catering team and I have prepared the food for ...Read more
As a chef with restaurants on three continents and the good fortune to travel and eat my way around the world, I am always fascinated to see how so many dishes that may at first seem unique to a particular cuisine actually have close cousins in other countries.
Fried chicken, for example, is undeniably all-American; yet, I grew up eating ...Read more
"Say it with chocolate" seems to be one of the most popular themes of Valentine's Day, and for very good reasons. Chocolate, so luscious and sweet, is one of the world's most popular flavors. Studies have shown that naturally occurring substances in chocolate actually make us feel better, happier and maybe even more romantic. And ...Read more
Last year, much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. endured snowstorm after snowstorm. Right now, where I live in Southern California, we're in the grip of what meteorologists have been saying may be the biggest El Nino rain system ever.
Yes, winter can feel like a burden. But I like to think of it in much more optimistic terms: It's perfect soup ...Read more
As we near the end of January, memories of all that holiday entertaining have begun to fade and many people begin to think about throwing dinner parties again.
One thing I've noticed over the years about the way people entertain at home is that they mistakenly think they have to go all out, preparing labor-intensive, multi-step dishes to ...Read more
Just as New Year's resolutions often inspire us to eat more healthily and exercise more often, so does January see many of us trying to live more economically. And one of the smartest ways to save money is to enjoy more meals cooked at home.
Yet, it sometimes seems to me as if the home kitchen can feel like a foreign territory to...Read more
The new year always feels like it offers us an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings. That's why so many of us make resolutions at this time of year -- the most widespread of which, not surprisingly, revolve around a desire to eat more healthfully and shed some pounds.
Fortunately, all the beautiful produce you can find in your supermarket, ...Read more