9 Things You Didn't Know About Wolfgang Puck

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9 Things You Didn't Know About Wolfgang Puck
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9 Things You Didn't Know About Wolfgang Puck

Read on to learn more about celebrated chef Wolfgang Puck.

He Cooks for His Family Every Night

"I cook at home all the time," Wolfgang says. "Every day, I go home at 5:30 and make dinner for the family. I keep it simple: I'll make some grilled fish, grilled chicken, grilled steak or grilled veal chops. We always have a romaine salad in balsamic vinaigrette. Then, we'll make some brown rice, because my little boy, Alexander, eats very little meat, but he eats rice and vegetables and pasta," Wolfgang says.

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Chefs He Admires Today

"I think one [chef] who is really talented is Grant Achatz in Chicago," Wolfgang notes. "I think Eric Ripert really concentrates on Le Bernardin and makes it better all the time. Often, when a restaurant gets older, it sets somewhere in the sunset. It doesn't change. But Eric always changes the menu, tries new things and always has the best fish in New York. Not complicated, but you think, 'Why didn't I think of that?'"

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If Wolfgang Wasn't a Chef...

"I'd love to be a painter," Wolfgang says. In one of his books, he even did all of the illustrations. "I was very good friends with Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg," he says.

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He Loves the Farmers Market

"The great thing with cooking is it is a seasonal experience," Wolfgang says. The chef goes to the farmers market every week with his family and on his own to explore the produce.

"We have something different all the time," he says. "I'm not fixated on one thing. I love truffles, but I don't mind when the season is over because we might get morels in the springtime. We get fruits and corn in the summer. In a way, it is a great thing. Nature almost made it up so we don't get bored. It is always something new," Wolfgang explains.

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One Thing He Can't Live Without

"The one thing I can't live without is espresso," Wolfgang reveals. "I tell everybody, the most important appliance in my kitchen is my espresso machine. I get very cranky if I don't have espresso. If I don't drink it for one or two days, I get a headache."

Wolfgang admits that he drinks around 10 espressos a day—and he isn't the only one in the family with a love for the drink. "My wife is from Ethiopia, and coffee comes from there, so she loves it the same as me," Wolfgang says. "She does not stop."

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The Best Food He's Ever Eaten

"I think one of the most amazing things was when I first had white truffles," Wolfgang says. "It was in Italy, somewhere in Milan. It wasn't about the eating, it was about the smell. It was so intoxicating. It was the sexiest smell."

"One day in the '80s, I did David Letterman's show and I made a chicken with black and white truffles. I gave it to him to smell and I said, 'Smell that, it smells so sexy.' Naturally he takes it, smells it, and says, 'Where have you been?'"

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Mom's Advice He Won't Forget

"My mother told me to make more money than I spend. That is my business motto. I don't have to go to Harvard Business School or Wharton. My mother told me," Wolfgang says.

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The Best Culinary Tip He Recalls

Wolfgang says the most important advice he received came when he was a young chef working at L'Oustau de Baumanière in Provence. "They told me you get the best ingredients and you don't [mess] them up," Wolfgang says.

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Early to Rise

Wolfgang wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. to have breakfast with his family. Then he helps his son put his lunch together for the day. "He loves truffle cheese, he is very gourmet" Wolfgang says. After lunch is ready, Wolfgang takes his son to school and heads to the farmers market (or the fish market on certain days).

When he gets home at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., he exercises, takes a shower and goes to work—but not without his favorite drink. "I have my double espresso macchiato, one at home, one on the road and another one after exercising," Wolfgang says.

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Wolfgang Puck may be one of the biggest chefs in the world—known for his wide-ranging culinary creations such as his Chinese chicken salad and pizzas—but did you know that Wolfgang Puck still cooks for his family every day? Or that he really loves espresso? You'll never guess how much of it he drinks in a day!

Check out the slideshow above for nine things you didn't know about Wolfgang Puck.

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