The Dish: Wolfgang Puck Q&A

by Editorial

The almighty Puck chats about his favorite foods, cooking philosophy, and holiday meals.

Wolfgang Puck, owner and chef of D.C.'s The Source. (Photo by Amanda Marsalis)

Most creative dish

American Kobe Beef Sliders.

Best known for

The Source and Spago

What’s the inspiration behind your most creative/signature dish? What is your cooking philosophy?

Whenever I go to the fish market or to the vegetable market, I get inspired by seeing fabulous raw ingredients. I’ll challenge myself and my chefs: ‘what can we make that’s different and new? What has never been done?’ Obviously, it’s always very difficult to come up with something totally new, but then we also get inspired by different ethnic cuisines and incorporate them in our creations.

Why do you think Washington DC has become a destination for great food?

There is a lot of talent in the kitchen in Washington (and in the dining room too), so it’s only natural that Washington has become a great world-class restaurant city.

If you could make dinner for anyone living or dead, whom would it be and why?

Probably Einstein and we could talk about relativity in cooking.

What is your “death row” meal?

If I knew I was about to die, I would go one better and probably drink myself to death with the best Cognac or whiskey.

The best dish you’ve ever had? The worst dish you’ve ever had?

The worst meal was in Sardinia in Porto Rotondo – I left before the main course arrived. The best meal I ever had was when chef Scott Drewno cooked a fantastic Chinese meal at a private party.

What’s your guilty food pleasure?

Coffee and macaroons by François Payard.

What’s your drink of choice?

Krug Champagne.

Best cookbook other than your own?

Edward Behr’s “The Art of Eating.”

What special dish do you make for the holidays?

Roasted Peking-Style Duck with Braised Red Cabbage, Brioche Dumplings and Red Currant Chutney.

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