At Wolfgang Puck’s Café in Downtown Disney, the legendary Austrian chef shares his “Live. Love. Eat.” philosophy with visiting groups who can learn how to craft a huge array of simple yet delicious dishes.
California Rolls, for example. Sushi success weighs on the freshness of the ingredients, which is something the Wolfgang Puck Café is passionate about. This is where the “love” part of the philosophy comes in: fresh ingredients picked with tender love and care. Attendees learn about the importance of fresh ingredients as they craft their own sushi roll with cucumber, avocado and kanikama.
Director of Sales Marian Ream says the love for fresh food is infectious among both the staff and the patrons.
“We have passion and love for what we do for a living; we live, love and eat and we love to share that with our guests,” she says. “Our chefs love to teach and they actually do while they’re whisking and chopping…. Many people are afraid of sushi. We make it less mysterious, so our guests are more willing to try it—in the end, everyone loves the sushi.”
Up next is the French-inspired Chinois Chicken Salad: Napa cabbage tossed with julienned snow peas, shredded chicken and sesame seeds, served with the incredible Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette. Thanks to the subtle tang of the rice wine vinegar in the dressing, this dish marries perfectly with Japanese sake.
“We built the class so all the recipes for the dishes are user-friendly. That way all the recipes attendees take home are sufficient enough to create for their family and friends at home,” says Marian.
The user-friendliness of the recipes will make attendees jump with joy when they taste the Pumpkin Ravioli they just cooked, a personal favorite. The group learns how to create this sweet, rich dish from scratch, all the way from the pumpkin filling to the ravioli crafting. The final product: rich pumpkin ravioli cooked in a brown butter sauce with fried sage and sweet port wine, topped with roasted pecans and aged parmesan. This dish has been a favorite at Wolfgang’s famous Spago Hollywood restaurant since 1985.
The finale of the cooking lesson is also the “Live” part of Wolfgang’s philosophy. You’re not living if you haven’t tried Wolfgang Puck’s Banana Foster served in delectable dark rum sauce and topped with flambé bananas.
“We want our guests to see that anyone can flambé at home,” says Marian. “We are just here to show them how to do it safely so they can show off when they get back to their own kitchen.”
Class sizes range from 30 to 50 and can be paired with wine tastings at the Café, seating 200 pax.