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Wolfgang Puck Moves to MGM Grand Detroit and More News

Wolfgang Puck Moves to MGM Grand Detroit and More News

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In today's Media Mix, troubling food stamp statistics, plus a look at Master Chef's surprise finalist

Arthur Bovino

Michael Mina Out, Wolfgang Puck in at MGM Grand: At the resort in Detroit, Puck will open Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina and Wolfgang Puck Steak when Mina's restaurant contracts are up. [Eater]

Food Troubles for 18 Million Americans: More than 14 percent of the American population had trouble putting food on the table in the last year. [NPR]

Blind Chef Talks Master Chef:Christine Ha, one of the three finalists for Gordon Ramsey's show (and the only blind chef to ever compete), will be walking away with $250,000 and her recipes in the Master Chef cookbook before next week's finale. [TIME]

'On the Job Drinking' Causes Problems for Restaurants: The lawsuit at Charleston's Husk restaurant has made restaurants to review "on the job drinking" among staff. [USA Today]

Man Swallows 1.5-Carat Diamond: That's a $13,000 stone the man decided to ingest. [Associated Press]

Mina Out, Wolfgang Puck IN at MGM Grand Detroit

Michael Mina is out at the MGM Grand in Detroit: two Mina restaurants, Saltwater and Bourbon Steak, will shutter now that the San Francisco-based chef's five year contract with the hotel/casino is complete. In his place, Wolfgang Puck will open two restaurants, Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina and Wolfgang Puck Steak. Both restaurants will be run by chef Marc Djozlija, who has been with Puck's dining group for over ten years and was on the opening team for Spago Las Vegas. Here's a press release:

Celebrated Chef Wolfgang Puck And MGM Grand Detroit to open Two New Restaurants

Detroit, September 4, 2012 – MGM Grand Detroit, the city's premier entertainment destination, announced today they will once again partner with one of the world's most celebrated restaurateurs. Master Chef Wolfgang Puck will be rejoining the property with two new restaurants – Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina and Wolfgang Puck Steak.

"It's great to return to Detroit and to the MGM Grand," said Wolfgang Puck. "I have a long-standing relationship with MGM Resorts International and strong partnership with MGM Grand Detroit. Detroit has a lot of great restaurants and it's an excellent place for us to be. We're looking forward to bringing two new concepts to locals and visitors."

"This is tremendous news for both MGM Grand Detroit and the city," said Steve Zanella, general manager of MGM Grand Detroit. "We are constantly listening to our guests, reviewing our product offerings and reinvesting in our property. We are very excited to partner again with Wolfgang for the openings of his new restaurants.

Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina will offer guests a warm and inviting atmosphere in a comfortable setting with an approachable menu. The restaurant will pay tribute to Italy through house-made pastas and specialty dishes and is complete with Italian favorites including antipasti, salads, and enticing entrees featuring meats and fish. The menu will feature nearly one dozen of Puck's signature oven baked pizzas. The beverage list will complement the menu's Italian flavors and will include a comprehensive selection of Italian wines, domestic and international beers and specialty cocktails.

Wolfgang Puck Steak is a new concept, developed specifically for MGM Grand Detroit, and will become the place to see and be seen in Detroit. A contemporary steak restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Steak will offer guests steakhouse favorites with Wolfgang's signature style. The menu will provide broad appeal with a large assortment of grilled steaks and meats, shellfish and roasted whole fresh fish plus a selection of sauces and side dishes to accompany the entrees. The dynamic beverage program will feature an international wine list with robust red wines and vibrant white wines plus artisan, custom-crafted cocktails.

"Both of our restaurants will be led in the kitchen by Chef Marc Djozlija," said Puck. "Working with a Chef like Marc is great. He's a talented chef and a great businessman. And, he's born and raised in Detroit so he knows the people and the city very well."

Djozlija is the former chef of Wolfgang Puck Grille and a more than 10-year veteran of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. He began his career with Puck in 1992, joining the opening team of Wolfgang's famed restaurant Spago in Las Vegas.

Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina will inhabit the space that is currently occupied by SALTWATER and Wolfgang Puck Steak will be in the space now housing BOURBON STEAK, both operated by Chef Michael Mina.

"After five successful years and at the completion of their contract, the Mina Group and MGM Grand Detroit have mutually decided to pursue new opportunities," said Zanella. "We have greatly enjoyed our relationship with the Mina Group and thank them for their contribution to our success."

Share All sharing options for: Why Wolfgang Puck Is Ditching Cookbooks and Opening a Test Kitchen

It's a Friday morning in November at the MGM Grand Detroit and Wolfgang Puck has just arrived on the casino floor. He's not here for the slots, but rather for his annual check-in at his two branded restaurants in the resort: Wolfgang Puck Steak and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina . His itinerary is tight, filled with interviews, book signings, and a special dinner.

As a fixture in the restaurant world since the 1980s, Puck is now much more than a chef: he's a savvy businessman with properties around the world, franchises, a catering business, publishing, and even an app. Earlier this year, he released Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy — a cookbook paired with exercise advice that reflects Puck's own journey to lose weight without losing flavor. The chef says having kids at 55 years old was a wake-up call that he needed to eat better and exercise. Eater sat down with Puck to discuss his cookbook, growing up in Austria, and why he used to pretend he was a racecar driver.

You've undertaken some major lifestyle changes.

So I started to change my diet a little bit, like instead of eating white rice, I eat brown rice. At the beginning I didn't really care for it, but now I actually like it better.

I can play tennis now. I don't get tired like I used to where after 10 minutes hitting with a coach I had to sit down. Now I can hit it and I don't sit down. So it wasn't a need to do it to just lose weight. Sure, everybody wants to lose weight all the time. You look better, clothes fit better. It's better us. Not just for vanity, but also for our health.

How has that affected the way you run your restaurants?

I said, "How can we make the people understand it's about quality not quantity?" America was so geared towards big portions. But it's really not necessary to eat a 16 ounce steak, especially at 10 o'clock at night, unless you're really a bicyclist and you go bicycle riding three hours later. Then you need all this energy. It's not necessary.

A few years ago you closed your Grille in the MGM Grand Detroit and these two new concepts: Wolfgang Puck Steak and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina. How successful has this move been so far?

We have done very good with [Wolfgang Puck Steak]. We still have to redo the trattoria next door. So we have to remodel it to give it the feel more like a trattoria instead of this big white cube. Because I think it's very important. If it doesn't feel very comfortable. think about an Italian trattoria — you don't think about this big massive room. So we're going to redo it hopefully sooner rather than later.

With such a busy schedule, how to do manage your time? How do you fit into the restaurants?
Well I cook with my head all the time. And now the next thing, we're almost finished building it. We're building an experimental kitchen. It has nothing to do with the restaurants. I have one chef to supervise it. I have some young chefs who are into molecular gastronomy and they do all that stuff, and we're going to have someone like that work, and we're going to have different equipment from old style wood burning things to centrifuges to see how we can cook everything better.

Being a chef, like what I do, is like being a basketball coach. You don't go on the ice and play hockey. And I don't want to stay behind the grill and cook all night long. I cook for a special dinner. I do things all the time, but not on a regular basis that I have to be in the kitchen so much. I love to cook. I mean I cook at home all the time too so it's not like something where I say, "Oh my god, I have to go in the kitchen."

What is your next move?

I'm not going to do books anymore. The next thing is I'm going to do an online cooking school, because I know the young people, they're always on the computer, always playing on the computer, doing everything on the computer. I think with the recipes, it might actually be better because you can actually see too. You know some people are more visual and it's easier once you see how to do it instead of explaining it for people who aren't really that adept in the kitchen.

What is your opinion on the American food scene today?

I think it has gone so much for the better. One thing is because of television it got young people interested in food. It got people interested in experimenting. It got people interested in trying new things all the time. Food has become one of the number one topics. It used to be sports maybe. Now food is more important than anything. It's really amazing to see where it has gone. And because of that it's brought in so much more talent into our profession.

Like 30 years ago, if you told somebody you wanted to be a cook they would be like they would be like, "A cook?" Now these days it's like a good thing.

I remember when I was in LA, I was friends with a race car driver and he was racing out there in Long Beach and we went to a club and I was 26 years old [maybe] 27 years old. I asked a girl to dance and then she asked me, "What do you do?" And I said, "I'm a cook." The song was over, she left. So, then I had to say, "I'm a race car driver." Today it's the opposite.

All of a sudden we get good ingredients. We get people who are passionate about and love what they do so we get better food and the customers to go where they're willing to experiment and try new things so really I think America has grown up so fast and it's more exciting here now than anywhere. I think America has some of the best restaurants in the world. It's a good time to be in America. To cook and to be a customer.

All Purpose Pizza Dough

Using a stand mixer: Combine the flour and salt and add it to the yeast mixture all at once. Mix it together using the paddle attachment, then change to the dough hook. Knead at low speed for 2 minutes, then turn up to medium speed and knead until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. Hold on to the machine if it bounces around. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand for 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and elastic. When you press it with your finger it should slowly spring back, and it should not feel tacky. Kneading the dough by hand: Mix together the yeast, honey, water and olive oil as directed in a medium-size or large bowl. Combine the flour and salt. Fold in the flour a cup at a time using a large wooden spoon. As soon as you can scrape the dough out in one piece, scrape it onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and elastic. Using a food processor: Mix together the yeast, honey, water and olive oil in a small bowl or measuring cup. Place the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice. Then, with the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture. Process until the dough forms a ball on the blades. Remove the dough from the processor and knead it on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, adding flour as necessary, until it is smooth and elastic.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes (you can leave it for up to an hour). When it is ready the dough will stretch as it is gently pulled.

Divide the dough into 2 to 4 equal balls, depending on how large you want your pizzas to be. Shape each ball by gently pulling down the sides of the dough and tucking each pull under the bottom of the ball, working round and round the ball 4 or 5 times. Then, on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball around under your palm until the ball feels smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Put the balls on a tray or platter, cover with pan-sprayed plastic wrap or a damp towel, and leave them to rest for at least 30 minutes. At this point, the dough balls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. You will need to punch them down again when you are ready to roll out the pizzas.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place a pizza stone in the oven to heat. In the meantime, press out the dough. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. While turning the dough, press down on its center with the heel of your hand, gradually spreading it out to a circle 7 to 8 inches in diameter for small pizzas, 12 to 14 for larger pizzas. Alternatively, use a rolling pin to get an even circle. With your fingers, form a slightly thicker raised rim around edge of the circle. Brush everything but the rim with a little olive oil, then top the pizza as you like. You can transfer the pizza to a lightly oiled pizza pan if you like, or bake it directly on the stone.

Depending on your taste, spread the dough with marinara sauce or pesto sauce (about 2 tablespoons for small pizzas, 1/4 to 1/3 cup for larger ones). If you don’t have sauce, a can of tomatoes, drained, chopped, and seasoned with salt and chopped sautéed garlic, will do. Top with the shredded or grated cheeses of your choice (I like a mixture of mozzarella and fontina). Add thinly sliced vegetables such as Roma tomatoes, pitted olives, red peppers, or red onions sautéed sliced vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, or artichoke hearts thinly sliced cured meats such as pepperoni or prosciutto or small pieces of lightly cooked chicken or shrimp. Add a lightly sprinkling of grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese and some minced or julienned fresh herbs such as basil or oregano or dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, or herbes de Provence.

Dust a pizza paddle (also called a baker’s peel) with semolina and slip it under the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the baking stone or into the pizza pan (or place the pizza pan on the stone – the heat from the stone will help it achieve a crisp crust). Bake until the cheese topping is bubbling and the rim of the crust is deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Use the pizza paddle to slide the pizza out of the oven and onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the pizza into slices and serve immediately.

Wolfgang Puck Steak Opens at MGM Grand Detroit

Wolfgang Puck Steak, an original concept from world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, is now open inside MGM Grand Detroit.

“Wolfgang Puck Steak is our new concept that we created specifically for Detroit and MGM Grand Detroit,” Wolfgang Puck says. “We have a broad menu of the finest steaks with delicious sides and sauces at a price point for all diners. This is a break from the traditional high-end steakhouse.”

Wolfgang Puck Steak is poised to become the place to see and be seen in Detroit. The contemporary steak restaurant offers guests steakhouse favorites with Wolfgang’s signature style.

“Detroit is the classic example of a city that loves great steak and great value,” says Steve Zanella, general manager of MGM Grand Detroit. “In developing Wolfgang Puck Steak, we worked with Wolfgang and his team to craft a concept which speaks to both of those ideals. Wolfgang did a superb job of creating a menu that beautifully marries the two.”

At the helm in the kitchen is executive chef Marc Djozlija, former chef of Wolfgang Puck Grille and more than 16-year veteran of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Djozlija also is the executive chef at Puck’s second MGM Grand Detroit restaurant, Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina, which opened in early November.

On the menu is an assortment of grilled steaks and meats, shellfish, and fresh fish plus a selection of sauces and side dishes to accompany the entrees. Starters range from classic steakhouse salads including Iceberg Lettuce Wedge with bacon, avocado, and blue cheese ranch and Crab & Lobster Louie Salad to an array of appetizers such as Creamy Lobster, Crab, and Clam Chowder with house-made crackers and New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp with Cognac-Dijon-Worcestershire sauce.

A variety meats will satiate any appetite including Kansas City Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, Ribeye Steak, and a 34 oz. Bone In Rib Chop for Two. Additional entrée selections include The Puck Burger with white cheddar and caramelized onion “jam” on a brioche bun, Colorado Lamb Chops, Rotisserie Free-Range Chicken, and Pan Roasted Two-Pound Maine Lobster. The restaurant features rotating daily specials such as Barbecued Grilled Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and Braised Beef Short Ribs.

All grilled meats include a choice of one accompanying sauce such as Mustard-Cognac, House-Made Steak Sauce, Béarnaise, Peppercorn, and Creamy Horseradish. Guests can top their cuts of meat with fried egg, blue cheese, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, or Apple Wood smoked bacon. Numerous sides are available including baked, hash brown, or mashed potatoes, “Tater Tots,” Onion Rings, Creamed or Garlic Spinach, Three Cheese Mac and Cheese, and Loaded Baked Potato.

A sweet ending includes Apple Cobbler with almond streusel and 50 vanilla bean ice cream Warm Chocolate Soufflé with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and Coffee and Pecan Ice Cream Pie with graham cracker crust.

The dynamic beverage program features an international wine list with robust red wines and vibrant white wines plus artisan, custom-crafted cocktails. A few standouts include the Adios Nonino with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Luxardo Amaretto and Aperol the Aviation Violette with Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Crème de Violette, Luxardo Maraschino and Lemon Juice and the Samurai Sword made with Yamazaki 12-Year Whisky, Cointreau, House-made Honey Syrup and Lemon Juice.

Wolfgang Puck Steak exudes rustic style and casual warmth through earthy, red, scarlet, and brown contemporary décor. Red leather, camel, and charcoal tweed, umber cowhide, and scarlet, gold, and brown textures combine to create a lively and rich dining environment. The expansive lounge area is perfect for guests either looking to grab a pre-dinner cocktail or to stay through dinner.

The restaurant provides flexibility for many sizes groups in the main dining room, large private dining room, wine cellar table, or Chef’s Table. Sepia-toned architectural photographs of Detroit’s skylines are screened onto glass divider panels in the lounge and Chef’s Table. Unique fabric wall panels, quilted into an intricate webbed pattern, depict the gridded pattern of city streets. As a nod to the industrious heritage of the Great Lakes area, panels of urban scenes and sculptures made of humble materials complement each other throughout the restaurant. The natural beauty of the region is brought in to the dining areas through images of grasses blowing in the wind at the water’s edge and quiet waters at twilight.

Wolfgang Puck Steak is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Read more

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

Wolfgang Puck on Detroit restaurant scene: Focus on local foods, more adventurous diners

Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck comes to Detroit two to three times a year to check on his restaurants, Wolfgang Puck Steak and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina inside the MGM Grand Detroit.

His most recent visit served a dual purpose: a promotion of his seventh cookbook, &ldquoWolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy,&rdquo which offers a healthy twist on some of Puck&rsquos classics.

Crain&rsquos spent time with Puck on Friday morning to talk about the Detroit restaurant scene and whether he had plans to expand or open a new restaurant in the city.

&ldquoIf we get the right real estate and the right deal, we might expand, yeah,&rdquo he said.

Here&rsquos more of that conversation:

Crain's: What&rsquos working at your two Detroit restaurants?

Puck: I think the whole scene in Detroit is better now and I think we are OK here.

We&rsquore talking with the chef today and he said our clientele has become more sophisticated and more willing to try things. It&rsquos an interesting scene where three years ago we wouldn&rsquot think anyone would want to try new things and people are more adventurous now.

Crain's: Do you have plans to expand your own restaurants or open new ones in Detroit?

Puck: If we get the right real estate and the right deal, we might expand, yeah. &hellip Maybe downtown, in the suburbs somewhere &ndash I don&rsquot know really yet. We did not talk about it. We are very happy here at the MGM and it has been a great partnership with them. I leave them alone and they leave me alone and we work together very well.

Crain's: What type of restaurant would you open?

Puck: Maybe a bar and grill. It depends on where it would be located a little bit. I could see us in a former factory downtown or a loft downtown &hellip so the food would have to be made with a big grill and have ethnic influences.

Crain's: What do Detroit restaurant-goers need?

Puck: I think people want to know what (ingredients) are from here. Years ago everything had to be imported. I tell people the peninsula of Michigan is really your vegetable garden. You really have a lot of local produce here, like asparagus and morels, to do well.

Crain's: Where do you see the Detroit restaurant industry headed?

Puck: There are more and more young talented chefs who are going to open their own restaurants. Not fancy ones maybe, but with good food and simple atmosphere, where they don&rsquot have to invest too much money.

Crain's:What role does the Detroit restaurant scene play in the city&rsquos comeback?

Puck: The main thing that has changed is that the industry attracts more really smart people into our profession. So you have young chefs now who have gone to the culinary institute and then worked in New York, Washington, L.A., San Francisco or overseas, and then they come back and say, &ldquoI really like Detroit, I&rsquom going to do something here.&rdquo

So they come back with a really good experience and understanding and then they open a restaurant.

Crain's:Which new Detroit restaurants do you want to visit?

Puck: I don&rsquot have much free time to go to different restaurants and I always feel I should be in our restaurant. I should go out more because it&rsquos good to see what&rsquos happening. But I want to go see Marc (Djozlija), who used to work for us here. He has a new restaurant, Wright & Co. &hellip I&rsquom very proud of the people who leave us and who do good.

Anjana Schroeder: [email protected] Twitter: @anjanaschroeder

Wolfgang Puck Moves to MGM Grand Detroit and More News - Recipes

Crab cakes with marinated tomatoes and basil pesto aioli. Photo by Joe Vaughn

By their nature, casinos are odd places for high-end restaurants. Certainly, people who gamble need to eat, but there is something contradictory about a highly polished, very hip place sitting right in the middle of a sea of slot machines.

The Wolfgang Puck Grille in downtown’s new MGM Grand Detroit is one of the latest arrivals on the casino scene. I doubt that there has been anything as subtly sleek and cosmopolitan to open in Detroit recently as this beautifully designed, well-run restaurant offering very solid, contemporary California-style food.

Just getting to the restaurant is an experience. Everything about the interior of the MGM complex and its approach outside has been designed to impress. And it does. Lit up at night with a glittering façade and neatly manicured front, the new MGM sports a new divided boulevard that looks more like Las Vegas than Detroit. Attached to it is a well-lighted, large parking structure from which, just steps away, is an elevator that delivers you to the main floor of the casino.

Like all casinos, it’s impossible to avoid being pulled into the vortex of the main hall and its sea of thousands of slot machines that emit an eerily inharmonious, undulating cacophony of electronic notes and light.

Follow the edge of the great hall around, through the slots, the bars, and cigarette smoke, and eventually you wind up at the entrance to Wolfgang Puck Grille, just steps up and away from the casino floor. A group of crisp and efficient hosts at a large sculpted-wood stand are there to welcome you.

Walk inside, and you enter yet another world, one quite divorced from the casino. The ceiling soars some 17 feet up into blackness, and several gigantic faux-granite pillars dominate the hall leading down to the bar at the back. The softly lighted dining area flanks one side of the hall, while the other looks into the massive kitchen through a long glass façade, providing a view of frenetic stirring, whisking, and tossing as the chef directs the sous-chef on sautéing and then plating food, while others direct runners to deliver the plates to diners.

In the back, the bar is quiet. It’s simple and modern, an equally tall soaring room, with a ceiling strung with hundreds of deer antlers dangling at different angles. Around the room are several long high-top tables with bar-height stools, and across the back wall is a contemporary minimalist “fireplace,” a vertical series of chest-level gas jets with about two dozen dancing gas flames, set into a wide and shallow hearth. Oh, and check out the restrooms. Eight-foot doors, luxurious white marble floors, and some of the biggest stalls — in Manhattan they’d call them studio apartments — you’ll ever see.

From the softly lighted dining room, the only hint of being in the casino is a peek through a few skinny arrow-slot windows.

Oversize versions of those rectangular pool-table light shades are suspended over serving stations and other areas of the restaurant, adding a simple, clean, elegant look, and casting a wide but soft yellow light.

The restaurant opened in October. I visited first in early November, and everything about that visit went well — great, actually. At that time, there did seem to be more managers and table captains, telling people what to do, than there were runners and servers, and clearly every aspect of food and service was being managed, observed, and critiqued.

On my second visit a month later, things were more relaxed. Service was just as good, although one order got confused, but the bosses weren’t as prevalent.

Overall, the food is exceptional, and the responsibility of 15-year veteran of the Puck organization, executive chef Marc Djozlija, who has worked at the Atlantic City restaurant, and Puck’s Spago in Las Vegas, among others.

Djozlija grew up in Madison Heights and left to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “Since I’m familiar with Detroit, I think that’s one reason the company wanted me to come back here for a while,” Djozlija says.

On two visits, everything we ordered was generally well prepared and beautifully presented, but one of the combinations struck me as somewhat odd, though I admit this is largely a matter of my personal preference.

For example, the preparation of the Colorado lamb chops with escarole, Parmesan polenta, and Niçoise olives was fine. But it also came with a very dense, overly sweet fruit sauce that was not listed on the menu or announced by the waiter. Lamb and jam? Not my taste and, had I understood that, I would have ordered something else. But since the lamb was sitting right in the sauce, there was no way of avoiding it. Yet, the Parmesan polenta, which arrived in its own little silver saucepan, was one of the best things on the table that evening.

Another diner at our table ordered the seafood risotto with gulf shrimp, Maine crab, poached lobster, and micro basil, which would have been delightful, but it was marred a little by flavor that some people call iodine-like. It seems to happen randomly with seafood frozen in their shells, a reaction much like what cork taint does to wine. Yet, the preparation and texture of the dish were right on.

A Wiener schnitzel with warm potato salad, arugula, and pumpkin-seed oil was perfection. “It’s a classic Austrian dish, and a total reflection of Wolfgang Puck,” Djozlija says. A great orange-golden breadcrumb crust, not too thick, surrounded a large, delicate piece of fresh, thinly sliced veal that was distinct in flavor and cooked to a point of such tenderness that it cut almost effortlessly with the side of a fork. Delightful.

Every restaurant today is doing a main course of braised beef shorts ribs. They have become a barometer by which to judge one restaurant against the next. Puck Grille gets a B+. The flavor of the ribs was a little flat, and the meat was a tad on the dry side.

From the first-course menu, don’t miss the Crab Louis, that old American standby, reinterpreted here with lovely, luscious, fresh chunks of lobster. “Crab Louis was one of the original signature Grille pieces, so we brought it here,” Djozlija says. It’s mayonnaise-based, but served here with a horseradish flan and tomato glaze.

I also loved the beef tartare, served with toasted Italian bread and a tiny, raw whole quail egg placed atop with its speckled little shell sitting on the side. On this dish, the kitchen gets a big thumbs-up for getting the texture right, which most restaurants do not.

How ground beef mixes with other ingredients in a raw beef dish very much governs how it will taste. It’s one of the best tartares I have had in Detroit since Lester Gruber’s old London Chop House closed about 20 years ago.

The biggest drawback to Wolfgang Puck Grille is the noise level. On the first visit, the place was half full, and we found it somewhat loud, but not nearly as noisy as our second visit, during which our table of four found it was nearly impossible to carry on a conversation without shouting at one another.

Overall, this is a very good restaurant. My guess is that Wolfgang Puck Grille is going to do well with the business crowd, and it should because it’s very much the kind of place the Detroit area lacks and needs. Puck is big-city cosmopolitan, and while some people will always find its location in a casino strange, others will undoubtedly love it.

In the MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St., Detroit 313-465-1648. B, L, D daily.


Puck was born in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia, Austria. [2] He learned cooking from his mother, who was a pastry chef. [3] [4] He took the surname of his stepfather, Josef Puck, after his mother's remarriage. [5] The marriage produced two younger sisters and a younger brother for Wolfgang. [ citation needed ] He trained as an apprentice under Raymond Thuilier at L'Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence, at Hôtel de Paris in Monaco, and at Maxim's Paris before moving to the United States in 1973 at age 24. After two years at La Tour in Indianapolis, Puck moved to Los Angeles to become chef and part owner of Ma Maison restaurant.

Following the 1981 publication of his first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen, which was based on his Ma Maison recipes, Puck opened the restaurant Spago on the Sunset Strip in 1982. Fifteen years later, in 1997, Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, his ex-wife and business partner, moved the award-winning Spago to Beverly Hills. It has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2004. The Infatuation wrote that "Spago made Wolfgang Puck the first (and maybe only) chef you and your grandma know by name." [6]

His success enabled him to launch the Wolfgang Puck Companies which includes the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. and Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Wolfgang Puck Companies encompass over 20 fine dining restaurants, among the top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., premium catering services, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks, canned foods, and coffee products. He is the official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors Ball, and has parlayed his celebrity into acting his credits include Frasier, a recurring role as himself on Las Vegas and a cameo appearance in The Weather Man. He also appeared as himself on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters, as well as Cooking Class with Wolfgang Puck on The Food Network, and in an American Idol season finale episode where he introduced unusual foods to Kellie Pickler in comic relief segments. He was featured as a guest judge on Season 7 of MasterChef. He also made a cameo appearance as himself on an episode of Tales from the Crypt, and appeared in a TV commercial advertising the state of California (along with famous people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson).

In 1991, Puck opened his fourth restaurant, Granita, a seafood restaurant in Malibu, California. [7] The restaurant closed in 2005. [8]

Since 2003, Puck's recipes have been syndicated worldwide to newspapers and websites by Tribune Content Agency. [9]

Wolfgang Puck is active in philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations. He co-founded the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation in 1982. The foundation supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival which benefits Meals on Wheels it has raised more than $15 million since its inception. [10]

Puck is The Honorary Chair Chef of the "Five Star Sensation" benefit in Cleveland, Ohio, which, every two years, helps to bring $10 million to support The Ireland Cancer Foundation of University Hospitals.

One of Wolfgang Puck's signature dishes at his original restaurant, Spago, is House Smoked Salmon Pizza. [11]

Wolfgang Puck married Marie France Trouillot in 1975. They were divorced in 1980.

He married Barbara Lazaroff in 1983, with whom he has two sons, Cameron and Byron. [12] They were divorced in 2003. Barbara Lazaroff continues to play a key role in his restaurants and has been instrumental in their interior design. She is listed by the company as co-founder. [13]

In 2007 he married designer Gelila Assefa in Capri, Italy. They currently live in Los Angeles and have two sons: Oliver and Alexander. His favorite food is macarons. [14]

In 1985, Puck received a Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in a ceremony at Denver, Colorado, presented by Awards Council member Ray Charles. [15]

In 1993, Spago Hollywood was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. [16] The next year it received the James Beard Restaurant of the Year Award. In 2002, Puck received the 2001–2002 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show, Wolfgang Puck. [17]

Spago Beverly Hills received a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Service Award in 2005. It was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2008 and 2009 Los Angeles Michelin Guide. [18]

CUT Beverly Hills was awarded a Michelin star in 2007. In 2013, Puck was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. [1] In July 2016, CUT at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore was awarded a Michelin Star. [19]

On April 26, 2017, Puck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his work in the TV industry, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. [20] [21]

On May 20, 2017, Puck was named the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) 2017 Gold Plate Winner. [22]

  • Spago, Puck's first restaurant opened on the Sunset Strip (1982) serving California cuisine but later relocated to Beverly Hills. [23]
  • Spago Istanbul by Wolfgang Puck at St. Regis Istanbul. [24]
  • Chinois on Main, Santa Monica, California (1983), Asian fusion.
  • Postrio, San Francisco (1989), Mediterranean and Asian fusion. , Beverly Hills (1997), known for serving California cuisine. Spago Beverly Hills, Spago Las Vegas, Spago Maui, Spago at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort, and Spago Beaver Creek.
  • Postrio, Las Vegas.
  • Trattoria del Lupo, Las Vegas.
  • CUT by Wolfgang Puck at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
  • CUT in London, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort. [25]
  • CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Address Downtown Dubai
  • CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Mondrian Doha
  • CUT by Wolfgang Puck at Four Seasons HotelsBahrain Bay[26]
  • Five-Sixty was located in Dallas and featured Asian-inspired New American cuisine. After 11 years, it closed in April 2020, felled by COVID-19. [27]
  • The Source, Washington, DC, modern interpretation of Asian cuisine located at the Newseum. [28]
  • Wolfgang Puck B&G (2009) in Los Angeles.
  • Wolfgang Puck at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Wolfgang Puck Catering at Museum of Science in Boston.
  • Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina, MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit
  • Wolfgang Puck Steak, a signature restaurant of MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit. [29]
  • Wolfgang Puck American Grille, a signature restaurant located in the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
  • Springs Preserve Café, Las Vegas.
  • WP24 by Wolfgang Puck located in The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles, modern Chinese cuisine.
  • Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria in Cucina, Las Vegas.
  • Wolfgang Puck Bistro located in the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.
  • Wolfgang Puck Express:
    • JC Penney in Monroeville, Pennsylvania at Monroeville Mall. , Boston , Las Vegas, Nevada , Seattle, Washington
    • Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio
    • Terminal 1, Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario (closed)
    • Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.
      , Grand Rapids, Michigan , Calgary, Alberta , Greenville, South Carolina , Atlanta, Georgia , Washington, D.C. , Singapore , Hong Kong
    • Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen (1980)
    • The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook (1986)
    • Adventures in the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck (1991)
    • Pizza, Pasta, and More (2000)
    • Live, Love, Eat (2002)
    • Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy (2004)
    • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: "Last Supper" as himself as the judge for the fictional Elite Chef reality T.V. competition.
    • Hell's Kitchen (Guest Judge) 2011-2014 TV series
    • MasterChef (Guest Judge) 2016 episode 3
    • Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Chef to Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries' Wedding)
    • The Next Food Network Star (Guest Judge) 2011 TV Show Series
    • The Smurfs (Chef Smurf) 2011 Movie
    • Top Chef: New York (Guest Judge) 2011 TV Show Series
    • Top Chef: Las Vegas (Guest Judge) 2009 TV Show Series
    • Celebrity Cooking Showdown (Reality Cast Member) 2006 TV Show Series
    • Las Vegas (four episodes) 2006: As Himself
    • AFI's 100 Years. 100 Movie Quotes (Remarks by) 2005 TV Show Series
    • The Weather Man (Actor - Himself) 2005 Movie
    • The Simpsons: "The Bart Wants What It Wants" (Guest Star) - 2002 TV Show Series
    • Wolfgang Puck series 2001 S
    • The Muse (Actor - Himself) 1999 Movie [30]
    • Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters
    • Frasier: "The Proposal" (Actor - Himself) TV Show Series
    • The Jay Leno Show: "Jaywalking" (Himself) October 13, 2009
    • Tales from the Crypt: "Werewolf Concerto" (Himself) September 9, 1992
    • The Chef Show: "Wolfgang Puck" (Himself), 2020

    Wolfgang Puck restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and licensed products are handled by Wolfgang Puck Companies, with three divisions: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. [1]

    Landmark Restaurant Commander’s Palace Makes History with New Chef

    For the first time in its 125-plus years of operation, Wine Spectator Grand Award winner Commander's Palace in New Orleans has appointed a female executive chef, Meg Bickford.

    “I’ve been here for over a decade now, and this has always been a dream of mine, and more recently became my goal,” Bickford told Wine Spectator via email. She said numerous kitchen mentors along the way have made her “more ready than ever to take on this new challenge.”

    The former executive sous chef is replacing chef Tory McPhail, who held the reins for 18 years. McPhail is moving to Bozeman, Mont., to be closer to family and pursue an opportunity at another restaurant group.

    "Walking into Commander's Palace every day as the chef has been an honor," read a written statement issued by McPhail. "I couldn’t be prouder of [Bickford] and I look forward to seeing her stamp on the legendary restaurant as it continues to evolve . It has been a helluva run!"

    Bickford is excited to foster Commander’s next batch of young cooks and add her own personal twists to the Creole-Cajun menu. “I look forward to proving to everyone that I can really push Commander’s to the next level, something that Tory had so tirelessly done,” she said. “This is the most exciting time for food in New Orleans and my mind is just brimming with ideas.”

    Growing up with wine always on the family dinner table, Bickford says she’s developed a natural knack for pairings. She hopes to work even more closely with wine director Dan Davis and his nearly 3,000-selection wine list, which excels in a plethora of regions including Burgundy, California, the Rhône and Bordeaux. When the doors to Commander’s shut to follow stay-at-home orders in the spring, the two worked on forming a weekly wine-and-cheese Zoom party, which has since gone nationwide and includes winemakers, musical guests and cheese-and-charcuterie pairings.—Taylor McBride

    City Winery Unveils New Manhattan Flagship

    City Winery—a restaurant, winemaking facility and music venue with seven Restaurant Award–winning outposts nationwide—opened its relocated New York City flagship on Pier 57 at Hudson River Park Oct. 15. The move from the original Varick Street location in Lower Manhattan was originally slated for April, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “I launched the City Winery brand in a major economic downturn and now I am launching our new flagship during a global pandemic,” founder and CEO Michael Dorf said in a statement shared with Wine Spectator. “No matter what happens in the world, City Winery will remain a place for people to come and enjoy the small pleasures in life like food, wine, music and community.”

    The sprawling space has been updated to adhere to new pandemic-related restrictions, including operating at 25 percent capacity. But at more than 32,000 square feet, that still means 200 indoor seats and 70 outdoor ones. “The goal is to give my neighbors a much-needed feeling of normalcy and offer a safe dining experience where we can escape, even if just for a night,” Dorf said.

    First established in 2008, City Winery New York received its first Restaurant Award in 2010, for a dynamic wine list that also includes selections produced on-site. Though tours of the on-site winery and concerts are currently suspended, guests can enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired menu by chef Robert Hamburg. Dishes like mushroom and goat cheese risotto balls, Long Island duck tostada and Hudson Valley Trowbridge angus sirloin are served alongside the 1,300-selection wine list organized by national beverage director Ganna Fedorova. The list represents over 20 countries and offers locally produced wines on tap and in flights.—T.M.

    Detroit’s Wolfgang Puck Steak Permanently Closes

    After eight years of service, Best of Award of Excellence winner Wolfgang Puck Steak will not return from its formerly temporary closure at downtown Detroit’s MGM Grand Hotel. “Wolfgang Puck Steak was one of the first chef-driven, fine-dining restaurants in Detroit’s dining resurgence that has taken hold in the last decade, and a favorite dining destination for our casino and hotel guests over the years,” David Tsai, president of MGM Resorts International’s Midwest Group, told Wine Spectator.

    The restaurant was a Midwest gem among the celebrity restaurateur-chef’s numerous restaurants, offering a noteworthy menu of steaks, lamb chops and shellfish. The menu accompanied a wine list that featured more than 950 labels, with regional strengths in Burgundy, Bordeaux, California, Italy, Spain and more, making it the second-largest Restaurant Award–winning wine list in the Motor City.

    It’s not clear what will happen to the wine collection, however, the MGM Grand Hotel is now in the process of converting the restaurant’s former space into a new steak house, D.Prime, which is set to open in late October. Some of the Wolfgang Puck Steak staff will transfer to the new venue. “This contemporary, upscale restaurant and lounge was crafted with a downtown vibe in mind and is a no-nonsense take on what a Detroit steak house should be,” Tsai said, adding that D.Prime will feature a similarly substantial wine selection.—Collin Dreizen

    Keep up with the latest restaurant news from our award winners: Subscribe to our free Private Guide to Dining newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @WSRestoAwards and on Instagram at @wsrestaurantawards.

    Wolfgang Puck: 3 smoothie recipes for a healthier 2016

    The new year always feels like it offers us an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings. That's why so many of us make resolutions at this time of year — the most widespread of which revolve around a desire to eat more healthfully and shed some pounds.

    Fortunately, all the beautiful produce you can find in your supermarket, even in the middle of the winter, provides an abundance of ways in which we can keep such resolutions easily. Fresh vegetables and fruits nourish us, help to keep calories and fat down, and raise our intake of all sorts of beneficial vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    One of the most popular ways to enjoy fresh produce is by drinking smoothies, usually for breakfast but also sometimes for other meals. Blending together a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables releases all of their goodness and helps you create a beautiful, delicious beverage that satisfies with every sip.

    To help you make the best smoothies, I recommend that you use one of the high-speed, professional-quality blenders that are widely available today. They liquefy even hardy produce easily for the smoothest, best-tasting results.

    You can combine fruits and vegetables in the same mixture, though I recommend using no more than about 40% vegetables to 60% or more fruits to get a sweet flavor that will conceal the sometimes-bitter taste of beneficial greens like kale or spinach. I also sometimes like to include almond milk or another kind of nut milk, and maybe some low-fat or nonfat yogurt. A chunk of fresh ginger spices things up, a drizzle of honey can enhance sweetness, and a few ice cubes help create the sensation of drinking a wonderful milkshake.

    The following delicious smoothie examples have been adapted from my exciting online adventure that represents yet another new beginning (for myself) in 2016. My all-video Cooking School is where I present exciting, fun recipe lessons, cooking courses and how-tos, plus much more.

    Mixed Berry Smoothie

    Serves: 2 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

    1 cup stemmed fresh strawberries

    6 ounces fresh blueberries

    3 ounces fresh raspberries

    1/2 mandarin, tangerine, clementine or tangelo, with skin

    1/4 medium-sized raw red beet, rinsed, cut into 3 wedges

    1 tablespoon vegetable-based protein powder

    1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt

    1 to 2 teaspoons honey (optional)

    In a professional-quality, high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping once or twice if necessary to scrape down the sides of the jar. Taste the smoothie and, if you like, pulse in a little honey to adjust the sweetness to taste. Pour the smoothie into two tall, chilled glasses. Serve immediately.

    From and tested by Wolfgang Puck. Nutrition information not available.

    Banana-Date-Yogurt Smoothie

    Serves: 3-4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

    2 small ripe bananas, peeled

    1 slice fresh pineapple, about 2 inches thick, cored and cut into chunks

    1 apple, peel left on, cored and cut into wedges

    1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt

    1 strip fresh lime zest, about 1 inch long

    1 piece fresh ginger, about 3/4-inch, peeled

    In a professional-quality, high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping once or twice if necessary to scrape down the sides of the jar. Pour the smoothie into chilled glasses. Serve immediately.

    From and tested by Wolfgang Puck. Nutrition information not available.

    Green Smoothie

    Serves: 2 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

    4 large kale leaves, stemmed, de-ribbed and very coarsely chopped

    1 piece fresh ginger, about 3 inches long, peeled

    1 green apple, peel left on, cored and cut into wedges

    1/2 English hothouse cucumber, peel left on, cut into 2-inch pieces

    2 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

    In a professional-quality, high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping once or twice if necessary to scrape down the sides of the jar. Pour the smoothie into two tall, chilled glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs (optional) and serve immediately.

    Watch the video: Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill Review MGM Grand Las Vegas


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  3. Kalle

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