This culinary icon is telling his truth. Wolfgang Puck is revealing in his new Disney+ documentary that when he was 14 years old, he almost took his own life.
The world renowned chef emotionally explains to Page Six that he felt it was important to include the admission in his new documentary because, “I always tell people my first 15 or 17 years were the most difficult in my life. And then it started to get better.”
The restaurateur went on to speak about how he grew up in a chaotic environment with an abusive stepfather who made his life a miserable. Upon getting brought on for an apprenticeship at a local restaurant in his teenage years, he was fired only three weeks in for not peeling enough potatoes. This made the future food star severely doubt himself which lead him to contemplate suicide.
"I stood on the river on the bridge and said that I was gonna jump in the river" but ultimately decided against it. The now gourmet chef went to ask for his job back and began a fresh new start on life.
Puck believes that shedding light on this topic in his documentary will let people know that struggles and dark times are inevitable, but that you your mindset is everything.
"I wanted younger people to know what adversity is — [that] you can overcome it and actually look at the positive and say the glass is half-full instead of half-empty," he explains.
The Los Angeles-based food sensation grew up in Austria and came to the United States when he was 24 years-old. He began to make a name for himself when he became the chef at Ma Maison in Hollywood. In 1982, he and his wife Barbara Lazaroff opened the first open kitchen eatery called Spago’s in Beverly Hills. His signature smoked salmon pizza became a hit with patrons and soon he was landing huge television gigs like The Late Show with David Letterman.
As far as the future of food and cooking, he feels that getting the youth involved and nurturing their passions for food as much as possible is of the utmost importance. "Forty years ago, 50 years ago, if any kid told their father or mother, 'I want to become a cook,' they would have looked at them and said, 'Can you get a real profession?''" he explained.
He continued saying how popular cooking shows are "great because you have so many more young people who are interested in cooking, who want to get in the profession."
But above all, the gourmet connoisseur, says that if you want to be the head chef in your own life you must "you buy the best ingredients" and "then, practice, practice, practice. You know, what you do 100 times, you get good at it."