Wolfgang Puck is going green. The famed California chef said he is switching within all his restaurants and feeding venues to meat and produce from organic, all-natural sources. In addition, the creative force behind landmarks like Spago and Chinois on Main is adding his marquee name to the list of restaurateurs who have agreed to buy their meats and eggs from vendors who follow humane animal cultivation practices.
Foie gras has been eliminated from all menus, and Puck’s operations will expand their vegetarian offerings.
All seafood will be sustainable, following recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Working in partnership with the Humane Society of the U.S., Puck said all of the restaurants, catered events and grocery products that bear his name will by the end of 2007 use ingredients that meet certain standards for the humane treatment of animals. Included will be eggs from cage-free hens, crate-free veal and pork, and poultry from farms with progressive animal welfare practices, he explained Wednesday night.
“I have always been concerned, especially since I have little kids, about how we will feed the world; how will we teach our children,” said Puck, whose 14 fine dining restaurants, 80 fast-casual Gourment Express units, and 43 catering venues fed an estimated 10 million people in 2006.
"Our guests want to know the meals they eat in my restaurants are made with fresh, natural, organic ingredients,” he said. “They want to know where the produce comes from and how the animals are raised. In short, they want to eat healthy food in good conscience, and they know that we can make healthy taste delicious.”
The move was hailed by Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society, who joined Puck for the announcement. “What Wolfgang is doing is going to be a catalyst for change,” said Pacelle.