Inside the $75 Million World of Wolfgang Puck, Chef to the Stars

by Raphael Chestang 6:22 PM PST, March 06, 2015
Playing Inside the $75 Million World of Wolfgang Puck, Chef to the Stars

Superstar celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and his world famous Spago restaurant started in Hollywood and has since become an Oscar tradition. Now, with restaurants all over the world, we have the story behind his success.

Wolfgang boasts Justin Bieber as one of his frequent eaters, but even before the pop star was born, Wolfgang was already serving stars at Oscar's Governors Ball, and the chef's post-Oscar party at Spago has seen guests from Michael Jackson with Madonna to Nicole Kidman with Tom Cruise.

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It wasn't long before Wolfgang became a global brand with his worth being estimated at $75 million.

"Cooking to me is like fashion," Wolfgang said. "There has to be an evolution."

And there's a side to Wolfgang we never knew. The strong-willed chef got off to a rough start.

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"My stepfather always told me I was good for nothing," Wolfgang said. "When I left he said, 'You're good for nothing and you'll be back in a month.' I said I'll never be back."

He was just 14 at that time and his first job nearly turned to tragedy. After he was fired for mismanaging the potato supply, Wolfgang went to a river and thought about taking his own life.

"After an hour of standing on the bridge and looking down I said, 'You know what? Maybe I'll go back tomorrow and maybe he'll forget about the whole thing. Maybe he was drunk or who knows what,'" he said.

Wolfgang was successful in getting his job and later moved to America. Since then, his philosophy has been simple.

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"How can I improve on what I did today for tomorrow?" Wolfgang shared.

Watch the video to see Wolfgang as he brought us along for his shopping trip to the Farmers Market, picking up items for his Beverly Hills steakhouse Cut, Spago, the Hotel Bel-Air and his own family.