It’s official. Wolfgang Puck is coming to Dallas. Well, I guess he’s technically been here since 2006 when he took over the catering for Cafe Nasher, but with a new (name undecided) Asian-inspired restaurant, he means business. We wonder if it’s because he saw so many other celeb-chefs rushing to “D” town or if it’s been his plan all along. No matter, but there is one down side, the restaurant’s not set to open until sometime in 2009. He has some other special plans for Dallas in the meantime, but first the jump.
Before the restaurant opening, Wolfgang Puck Catering will begin operation at downtown’s Union Station. A press conference was held this morning to unveil not only design plans for the venue, but to also announce chef Puck as the BOH (back of house) man. They had some goodies set out that were tasted by yours truly, and I’m sad to say that had I known Union Station would be available for events in January (at least it’s scheduled to be), I would have considered it for my own wedding reception.
Chef Puck treated guests to heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad, Shanghai lobster with steamed jasmine rice and sweet pea risotto with morel mushrooms, among other things. I don’t even like grits, but his creamy grits with honey was so good I contemplated sneaking back up for seconds. I reconsidered since I didn’t want to be escorted out before I could interview the Puck himself.
As to be expected from his cheery demeanor, chef Puck is as sweet in person as one would think. He talked with me about his love for Dallas, his friendships with Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles and his thoughts on finding balance with his family and work. He said if you neglect either too much, they will end up unsuccessful. He also weighed in on Top Chef (I couldn’t resist). He said it’s “new today, gone tomorrow,” and that becoming a chef takes years of experience learning how to run a kitchen and a restaurant. Although I love me some Top Chef, I couldn’t agree more.