Despite his solid footing as the O.G. of celebrity chefs, with an untold number of T.V. appearances, flock of famous friends, and some serious change in his pocket, Wolfgang Puck tells The Hollywood Reporter that he doesn't rest easily on his laurels and even fears for the future of Spago. Puck explains that the remodeling of his signature restaurant comes with a little cold sweat, as he doesn't want to see Spago expire like some other old-timers of note. Puck tells the mag, "I don't want it to go the way of a Le Dome or a Chasen's, where they didn't remain relevant...It's because they did not change, or they changed when it was too late, that they didn't last."
To that end, the chef is puttng Spago on hiatus while it gets a new look by Waldo Fernandez, new China from Alinea-aligned Martin Kastner, and a new menu from his team that will be more like the old Spago than the latest incarnation. And fret not, because the chef admits he won't deny anyone the smoked salmon pizza, as long as they let the kitchen know ahead of time that they really want it (wouldn't it just be easier to give the people what they want?).
Puck says he won't start work on Spago's new selection until the restaurant's July 8 closing day. Showing a truly European sense of what a "holiday" should entail, Wolfie says he chose summer, "I thought at least during the summertime people are on vacation -- some for two weeks, some for six weeks."
Six weeks! Yeah, right. Then again, if you're a regular at Spago, which plans to reopen in September, you may just be that pampered.
Earlier: Wolfgang Puck on Battling Shyness, Bogus Celebrity Chefs [GS]