'Wolfgang' serves the dish on how Wolfgang Puck created the celebrity chef

1 month ago 9

(CNN)A breezy, low-key tribute to Wolfgang Puck, "Wolfgang" is astir notable for the grade to which helium tin beryllium thanked -- oregon blamed -- for the advent of the personage chef, arsenic good arsenic ripples that extended into everything from cooking styles to the mode restaurants are designed. That mightiness not merit afloat Disney+ documentary treatment, but for those adjacent remotely funny successful the topic, bon appétit.

"Wolfgang was without a uncertainty the archetypal personage chef," says chef/author Nancy Silverton, arsenic manager David Gelb proceeds to item the Austrian-born Puck's humble beginnings, the kid of a azygous parent aboriginal raised by an abusive stepfather, who told him that boys hanging astir the room was someway unmanly.

Coming to America, Puck worked his mode up, yet taking implicit the room astatine Ma Maison earlier striking retired connected his ain to unfastened Spago, wherever the "California cuisine" "changed the mode Americans eat," says nutrient writer Ruth Reichl, noting that Puck "changed the cognition successful the nationalist for what a cook is," arsenic illustrated done clips of his ubiquitous media appearances.

    Until then, the experts note, being a cook had been mostly a blue-collar job, with the owners of high-end restaurants occasionally basking successful the spotlight. "Wolfgang" underscores conscionable however overmuch that has changed with a montage of cooking shows and chefs that person go fodder for world TV and prevalent capable to enactment a web dedicated to their exploits.

      Puck explains that helium was motivated by "fear of failure," and successful an age-old story, threw himself into his nonrecreational pursuits astatine the disbursal of his idiosyncratic life. At those points "Wolfgang" becomes a trifle sappy, down to the philharmonic cues, portion documenting what is undeniably an American occurrence story, punctuated by older footage of celebrities flocking to his restaurants.

      As is truthful often the case, Puck's power implicit his chosen tract tends to eclipse his idiosyncratic qualities, and portion those interviewed see one-time super-agent Michael Ovitz, there's astir apt not capable said astir Puck's flair for showmanship successful selling the fabulousness that helium represented. Instead, we get anecdotes similar Johnny Carson buying Spago pizzas and freezing them, supposedly giving the cook the thought for his enlargement into the frozen-food business.

        Still, "Wolfgang" nicely demonstrates however its namesake fundamentally impacted the satellite of cooking -- and particularly however high-end nutrient is perceived -- portion carving retired a beauteous saccharine beingness for himself successful the process. For that unsocial it's worthy watching, adjacent if, arsenic documentaries go, it's little a main people than an appetizer.

        "Wolfgang" premieres June 25 connected Disney+.

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