Co-Creator, Executive Producer and a Fit Global Production
Wolfgang Puck became a cooking sensation not only in Hollywood, but around the world with his famed Spago restaurant. At the same time, Andrew Freirich transitioned from the famed William Morris agency and had created his new production company, Fit Global. One of his programming agenda items was to tap into the rising food culture around chef personalities.
Andrew knew Chef Wolfgang Puck was a truly captivating figure in the culinary world. That inspired Andrew and Fit Global to acquire and secure the rights to produce the chef’s first ever cooking series.
Chef Puck had been approached about creating a series many, many times, but it was Andrew’s creative approach, energy and sheer enthusiasm for cooking made
it finally happen.
Andrew will never forget his first meeting with Wolfgang. It began as more of an audition, then a meeting. He was ushered into his kitchen by his Sous chef who looked like a line backer for the Green Bay Packers. With his deep Austrian accent, he said “Andrew, we hope you don’t mind, Wolfgang would like you to assist in doing some prep for the evening dinner.” For the first time in his professional life, Andrew was asked to julienne an array of vegetables as part of a pitch meeting. Andrew smiled and asked, “Are you kidding me?” The chef replied, “No, I am totally serious.”
Andrew responded with gusto, “No problem! Let’s do it!” Deep down, he knew he had this. Thank goodness, cooking has always been a passion of Andrews, and he would actually enjoy going along with this process. As he quickly made his way through the veggies, Andrew and the sous chef engaged in a loud laugh of mutual satisfaction.
As he was more than pleased with Andrew’s technique, the sous chef told Andrew, “Wolfgang is waiting for you.” Then over, a smoked salmon pizza and glass of wine, Wolfgang embraced Andrew’s ideas.
Andrew then had the pleasure of working out the structure of the deal with Wolfgang’s agent at that time — the famed super agent Michael Ovitz from CAA. He even attended the Academy Awards that season. Afterward, Andrew served as a correspondent and interviewed over two dozen A-list celebrities on why Wolfgang’s Spago is the place to go.
Working with Warner Brothers, the series was an inside look at the glittering world of the celebrity chef — his life and his work, not to mention the high profile audience he cooked for on a regular basis. Never had there been a cooking series with so many celebrities!
For Andrew, it was thrill it was to work closely with Wolfgang and also be able to experience the Academy Awards and the inside workings of the restaurant Spago. He was able to shadow Wolfgang’s life from early morning fish market runs at 4 a.m. to the wee hours in the night, rubbing elbows with a plethora of A list celebs at Spago, while enjoying Wolfgang’s best signature dishes.
The series was voted best cooking series of the year. And it was a truly groundbreaking production and first of its kind.
“Wolfgang talked to over 200 producers. Being the one he chose to work with on his first ever cooking show is still one of my proudest accomplishments! I’ll always remember our first meal together. We indulged in one of his famous signature California dishes:
a smoked salmon pizza with creme fresh and golden caviar, accompanied by a glass of Robert Mondavi’s Reserve Chardonnay.”