David Gelb's biographical documentary says a lot about what Wolfgang Puck did, and very little about who he is
" I don 't like to think too much about the past ", confesses Wolfgang Puck at the beginning of Disney documentary +" Wolfgang, ” a red flag that we don 't helloDon't encounter much in terms of intense self-examination within the next 78 minutes. A fairly tasteless and superficial affair, even by the lowest standards of the celebrity bio-doc subgenre, "Wolfgang " provides copious archival montages of "Famous First Chef " (Julia Child n 'apparently not counted), but a valuable understanding of what actually ticks him.
Puck's early years are gone, aside from a long Anecdote about the loss of his first job in the kitchen, told in detail and illustrated by re-enactment pictures, so we fully understand this as the story that defines him. The real juice here is Chef Wolfgang's rise to fame, and much of that material is fascinating: how the open kitchen design of his restaurant Spago elevated the chef to a 'blue collar job'. To a celebrity, how his staff read trade journalsHollywood to better assess who got the premium tables, how much they contributed to the development of fusion cuisine.
Patrick Terrail, the owner, provides a much needed strain of Ma Maison (Puck's first remarkable kitchen), as he and his chef have conflicting accounts of how much credit Puck deserved for the success of this restaurant. But most of the picture buzzes with the singularity of an infomercial's purpose, and even its coverage of Puck's flaws - he spread too thinly, he was an absent father and husband - have the ringtone of the deion of a job seeker their biggest flaw: that they just work too hard, and be careful too much.
" Wolfgang "is directed by David Gelb, who practically defined the celebrity chef documentary with " Jiro Dreams of Sushi. He hits several of the same notes; food photography is delicious, and Puck is full of wisdom like 'We have to be focused in life' and 'If you believe in anything you have to follow your dreams'. But "Wolfgang " ultimately plays like exactly what he is: "Jiro " Disney-fied, and therefore emptied of its nuance, complexity and questioning.
Uncategorized. Duration: 1 hour 18 minutes. Watch on Disney +.