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Stars rise and fall quickly in Hollywood, and few have endured successful careers as long as superstar chef Wolfgang Puck. His decades-long reign atop Hollywood’s culinary world was recognized Wednesday when he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Puck celebrated the triumph as only he could — with a spectacular soiree at his landmark Spago restaurant — and shared what the moment meant to him.
“I remember as a young cook coming to Los Angeles and walking on the boulevard and looking at all the names,” said Puck. “So now our grandchildren can walk over there and say ‘Look! Grandpa is here.’ I never would have dreamt of this. It’s really a special thing for my family and the people who work with us.”
Les Moonves, Cindy Crawford and Brett Ratner were just a few of the A-list names who showed up at Spago to sip champagne and dine on steak, lobster, duck and, of course, his signature pizzas. The room was adorned with pictures of Puck and famous celebrities at some of the many Oscar parties he has thrown over the years — including The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Nominees Night.
Ratner told THR what made Puck such an indispensable chef in the ever-evolving Hollywood food scene.
“He’s just an icon of the culinary arts,” said Ratner. “He’s transformed the food industry in Los Angeles, and he’s a true genius.”
The restaurateur mixed easily with his guests and stopped on the red carpet to greet and take pictures with dozens of them, demonstrating the legendary hospitality that helped make him a force in Hollywood’s dining scene.
He even shared how The Hollywood Reporter helped give him his start in Los Angeles when columnist George Christy gave Spago a strong review in his Good Life column.
“George really wrote the first article about Spago, and I remember he finished and he said ‘This is the hottest new restaurant. Here is the number. You better call today, because if not, you’re never going to get a table.’ I read it the next day, and I thought ‘What is he talking about?’ And sure enough, all of the sudden we were jammed!”
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