It’s not every day that Wolfgang Puck joins your table and takes you on a tour of his kitchen, but he just happened to drop by during a hosted dinner in the WP24 lounge, on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles downtown.
Behind the scenes, the WP24 kitchen is bustling: orders come flying in from the floor, ducks and chickens hang to dry for authentic Chinese preparations on dishes like Peking duck; Pastry Chef Sally Camacho puts finishing touches on a delicious vanilla panna cotta, Wolfgang Puck in turn hands it out to a hungry crowd, and everything seems oddly civilized—quite the contrast from the routine kitchen nightmare stories.
The magic not only happens behind the scene at WP24, but up front as well. There are few better views of downtown at sunset than you can get 24 floors up overlooking the LA Basin, especially when sipping a freshly crafted cocktail. WP24’s summer cocktail highlights include the Passion Cosmo (Kettle One Citroen, passion fruit, cranberry, lime), Sweet Basil “Piñarita” (pineapple, Thai basil-infused Patron silver tequila), and Kalamansi Lemonade (Skyy Vodka, Kalamansi, honey, lemongrass); red wine Sangria is stirred with sake and fresh fruit for flare.
Pair cocktails with anything on the lounge menu, which is an exciting blend of sushi offerings and Asian-inspired appetizers. Baby pork belly boa buns in a Chinese honey-garlic sauce melt in your mouth, chow fueng rolls arrive stuffed with braised kobe beef cheeks, tempura green beans shine with chili aioli and curry salt and spring rolls sport Maine lobster, prawns and 10-spiced honey.
Not only does Puck define celebrity chef, he also stacks his kitchen with superstars. Chef de Cuisine Sara Johannes, who rose up through Wolfgang Puck restaurants before taking her place at WP24, keeps a cool head explaining the ins and outs of WP24’s aforementioned Peking duck, while facing a nonstop influx of orders, and Camacho recently won the opportunity to represent the US in the Valrhona C3 Culinary Competition in Madrid in early 2012. The rest of the story is in the photos, so check out our gallery below for more highlights from WP24. Inside the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, 900 W Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.743.8824. bit.ly/brAm3M