Wolfgang Puck explains how seasonality influences a successful dish, interview

Wolfgang Stills, photo provided by Disney+
Wolfgang Stills, photo provided by Disney+ /

As foodies savor every moment of the Wolfgang documentary on Disney+, Wolfgang Puck reveals more than just the secret to success of one of the world’s most recognizable chefs. Even though everyone yearns for a table at Spago or one of his many restaurants, the reality is that the lessons that Puck employs in all of his dishes can be mastered by any cook.

When Puck started his cooking career in California, the concept of highlighting the local farmer was a foreign one. American food was as bland and boring as a TV dinner. Although the plate of overcooked steak and potatoes was hearty, it lacked flavor (and creativity).

As Spago became a force in the culinary world, Puck opened everyone’s eyes and tastebuds to local, farm fresh ingredients. While that concept might have been coined “California cuisine” or has become the overused “farm to table,” the reality is that seasonal food from a farm is always bursting with flavor.

Wolfgang Puck shares a story about his mother’s soup.

During a recent interview with FoodSided while promoting the Wolfgang documentary on Disney+, Puck shared a story about his mother’s soup. As Puck said, “from her big vegetable garden, she would gather ingredients for the soup. She would take a leak and maybe some kohlrabi, and some cauliflower, whatever was available. Then she made a soup and it tastes so good.” Anyone who had tasted it said it was “the best vegetable soup.”

Although that simplicity might not exactly be present in Puck’s dishes, the story is woven into his plates. Sourcing ingredients from local farmers brings out the best flavors. When the food is at its peak freshness, it deserved to be highlighted.

Puck shared that when he started “Spago there was no farmers market.” Instead of going to a local market and talking to a farmer, he would drive “two and a half hours south to Rancho Santa Fe” to source delicious ingredients. From strawberries to white corn and from melons to herbs, the food from the garden inspired the food that he served. The ingredients might not have been outside his back door like his mother, but the flavor concept is the thread that connects them together.

As the home cook devours the Wolgang documentary for every tasty morsel, one of the biggest takeaways is that seasonality can and does enhance any dish. When the ingredients are at their peak, it doesn’t take extra effort to make them shine. That home cook dish might not be Spago ready, but it will earn applause from everyone around the table.

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What food find did you uncover in the Wolfgang documentary? Has the Disney+ show helped your home cooking?