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Wolfgang Puck Michelin Stars
Wolfgang Puck currently holds a total of two Michelin stars, as the proprietor of both CUT, Beverly Hills, which holds one Michelin star, and CUT, Singapore, also with one Michelin star. His flagship restaurant, Spago, Beverly Hills, was previously awarded two Michelin stars, but the current Michelin guide lists it as a Michelin plate restaurant only, meaning good food, but not quite Michelin star quality.
Wolfgang Puck is a US-based chef and restaurateur, known as one of the pioneers of fusion cuisine. He is a familiar face in American households from his numerous appearances on cookery shows such as Cooking Class with Wolfgang Puck and Iron Chef of America: Battle of the Masters, as well as cameo appearances on American Idol, Frasier, and Tales from the Crypt.
Puck was born to a pastry-chef mother in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia, Austria, and trained as an apprentice chef in Monaco and Paris before moving to the US in 1974. Two years later, he became chef and part-owner of LA celebrity hotspot Ma Maison, where he developed a style of cuisine known as ‘California nouvelle’, or ‘California cuisine’, a type of fusion cuisine focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients from the California region, cooked using French techniques and with a wealth of culinary influences from countries including Italy, Mexico, China and Japan.
By now an established figure on the culinary scene, Puck opened what was to become his flagship restaurant, Spago, on the Sunset Strip in 1982. His unique fusion cuisine continued to bring fame and success, with Spago winning various awards, and frequently featuring on lists of America’s best restaurants. Several new branches of Spago followed, including restaurants in Istanbul and Singapore, and in 1997, Spago Beverly Hills replaced the Hollywood restaurant as the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group.
It was Spago, Beverly Hills that won Puck his highest recognition in the Michelin Guide, gaining two Michelin stars in both the 2008 and 2009 Los Angeles Michelin Guides. As there was no Los Angeles guide from 2010-2018, Spago’s Michelin star status remained in limbo for several years, but when the Los Angeles Michelin guide was reintroduced in 2019, Spago’s stars were notably absent. The restaurant was listed in the 2019 guide only as a Michelin plate restaurant, much to the surprise of many critics.
Another of Puck’s Beverly Hills concerns, luxury steak restaurant CUT, was also recognised in the 2008 and 2009 Los Angeles guides, in this case with a single Michelin star. CUT, Beverly Hills is located within the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons hotel, and offers classic steakhouse fare in a sleek, modern setting. And unlike Spago, CUT retained its Michelin star in the 2019 guide, which reserves particular praise for the friendly service and the Wagyu beef.
Puck has also picked up a Michelin star for another of his CUT steakhouses, this time located at the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. CUT, Singapore was awarded one Michelin star in 2016, and has retained it ever since. The 2019 Singapore Michelin Guide praises the bone marrow flan with mushroom marmalade, and expertly seasoned steak.
To date, Wolfgang Puck holds two Michelin stars, one for CUT, Beverly Hills, and another for CUT, Singapore, having briefly held, and subsequently lost, a further two stars for Spago, Beverly Hills. The man himself, however, seems largely unconcerned with the winning or losing of Michelin stars, particularly compared to other famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay, who was reportedly reduced to tears on hearing that his New York restaurant had lost its stars in 2013. In a 2015 interview, Puck said that Michelin stars aren’t particularly important to him, as he prefers his restaurants to offer a more relaxed dining experience, where diners can feel at ease.
The informal dining trend is favoured by a growing number of chefs, including Marco Pierre White, who famously handed back his Michelin stars in 1999, and has said that ‘Michelin star restaurants are not what people want.’ Puck, however, seems to have taken a more relaxed attitude towards Michelin stars, accepting them if they are offered, but not worrying too much if they are not.
Wolfgang Puck Restaurants
Wolfgang Puck operates several restaurant chains, with branches in the United States and overseas:
Wolfgang Puck Kitchen offers relaxed dining, with Puck’s take on global comfort food. As well as several restaurants in the US, there are also branches in China and Singapore.
CUT is a luxury American steak restaurant with branches in the US and around the world, including the Michelin starred CUT, Beverly Hills, and CUT, Singapore.
Spago is the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, serving Puck’s trademark California cuisine, with an emphasis on seasonality. There are restaurants throughout the US, with two overseas branches in Istanbul and Singapore.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill serves quality, modern bar food, with outlets in Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.
He also owns various stand alone restaurants and cafés, both in the US and abroad.
re/Asian Cuisine is situated on the 50th floor of the Four Season’s Hotel, overlooking Bahrain Bay, and serves Puck’s signature fusion of contemporary and classical Asian cooking.
Lupo is an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas, specialising in tableside service and exhibition cooking.
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air is a relaxed yet elegant restaurant, offering a cool Californian vibe with a Mediteranean twist.
Café at the End of the Universe is a friendly, relaxed café located in the Griffith Observatory, and boasting panoramic views of Los Angeles and the famous Hollywood sign.
Wolfgang Puck Players Locker is a family friendly sports restaurant, run in conjunction with Las Vegas’s Ice Hockey Team, the Golden Knights.
Chinois on Main, Santa Monica is known as the home of Asian Fusion cuisine, featuring a combination of ‘Chinese tradition, fresh California ingredients, and contemporary French techniques’.
Culture Kitchen is a relaxed urban café bar, located within Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture.
See below for a full list of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants, in the US and abroad:
Behind restaurant won its first Michelin star after just 20 days of serving eat-in diners. We spoke to chef Andy Benyon about his extraordinary feat, and the fastest Michelin star in the east (London).