You probably know Wolfgang Puck as the celebrity chef who caters to the stars on Oscar night or as the owner of famed restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills.I was given a grand opportunity to meet with the renowned chef while he was there promoting his cookbook, knife set, and cookware set. I was very happy I got my questions in, although the questions had nothing to do with any of the products he was promoting.
Me: Hi, I'm so and so with a locally based food blog. Can I ask you a few questions regarding your food products?
I left out the name of my blog because he'd probably look at me like I was nuts if he heard Shaved Ice Sundays.
Me: I was actually curious as to how you decided to go from Spago and catering to marketing food in a warehouse setting like Sam's.
Wolfgang then told me that he actually got the idea from those times when his patrons took food from his restaurants home.
I was thinking "really?" I thought that it would have been a bit more complex if he had had a revelation in his dreams or something from the Sam's Club gods.
Me: So Sam's didn't approach you at all with this idea?
Wolfgang told me it actually was his idea to approach Sam's Club.
Me: Can you tell me what the involved steps are when it comes to going from having this idea in your head to actually getting the finished product marketed and out to the people?
I guess Wolfgang did not want to go into a lengthy answer regarding all the nuisances that goes into creating a frozen food product, but he told me that being in the restaurant business, he has so many connections that it was an easy process to get it done.
Me: In the planning stages of creating a recipe for a frozen food product, do you have to take into special consideration the various ingredients and whether the quality would withstand the freezing process and packaging process? Do you feel like you ever have to compromise?
Again, I was thinking he'd come up with some foo foo answer, but he gave a very honest answer that surprised me, stating that he always tries to use the best quality ingredients possible in coming up with something and then hopes for the best when it goes through the process. He states that essentially you never know until you try it.
Me: I would get your book and knife set but I actually don't have a membership to Sam's.
Wolfgang asking a Sam's Club guy nearby, "Do you need a membership to purchase these?" The guy answers yes. Wolfgang says that someone can help me get a membership. I did not have time to wait in the huge line to get a membership, but I really wanted to get a signed cookbook for a giveaway drawing for my loyal readers. You know who you are. Of course, I couldn't let this chef get away without a photo with yours truly, and so I offer and he accepts kindly.
Me: Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Wolfgang: You're welcome, my dear.
I was very impressed with how this world famous celebrity chef was so down to earth and really didn't mind that I dragged him away from his commercial duties to talk to a foodblogger who mind you, is not even a year in the making. Thank you to the folks at Sam's Club for making this happen and for making Wolfgang so accessible, no matter how short a time. I'm just so glad that a little baby barf didn't stop me.