Many years ago, I visited Wolfgang Puck's Spago for lunch. I remember dining on Smoked Salmon Pizza and trying to make a celebrity sighting. While I didn't make that sighting, I realized I could still relive the memory of my pizza over in Costa Mesa. The Kitchen branch of his growing empire has dual entrances at South Coast Plaza, and I had the opportunity to interview its Executive Chef, Joshua Turner, one Saturday afternoon.
What advice would you give to a home cook?
Have fun, be adventurous, utilize local ingredients and don't overthink it.
One stereotype about your industry, and whether it's true.
I love the industry I'm in, but it's true, we do have a little bit of unique fire about us (maybe a little bit of crazy).
After undergoing a recent renovation, what can diners look forward to?
Great food, great service, a new, modern look and the magic of Macy*s!
How does this location's concept differ (if at all) from other WP locations?
We have a unique and exciting location, which has entrances from within Macy*s, as well as from the exterior of South Coast Plaza. Similar to Macy*s, Wolfgang Puck Kitchen has a little something for everyone— from our signature Tortilla Soup and Ahi Tuna Poke, to salads, sandwiches and a variety of Wolfgang's world-famous pizzas. We're excited for Southern California locals and visitors to come see what's new at Wolfgang Puck Kitchen.
What is your guilty pleasure food?
Reese's peanut butter cups.
Favorite places to eat.
Sushi Plus and Hashigo.
You're making breakfast; what are you making?
Chicken fried steak and eggs.
What do you recommend for first-timers?
Two staples: The famous Smoked Salmon Pizza and the Chinois Chicken Salad.
Most important qualities you look for in a sous chef:
Honest, hard working, passionate and eager to learn and teach others.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Family trips to Yosemite.
Where was your most recent meal?
Philly Grill: Cheesesteak sandwich.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I'm a brain cancer survivor.
Last thing you looked up online:
US Open results for BMX, as my neighbor's daughter was competing.
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Do you have any skills that have nothing to do with the kitchen?
Gardening and fishing.
Hardest lesson you've learned.
How to be humble.
What profession would you like to try if you weren't in this industry?
I would be a forensic pathologist.
Wolfgang Puck Kitchen is located at 3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, (714) 545-5439; www.wolfgangpuck.com.