The Hilarious Misunderstanding Wolfgang Puck Had When Meeting Ariana Grande

Wolfgang Puck has met a few celebrities in his time. Almost since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1975 –– the beginning of his tenure at Ma Maison –– the Austrian-born chef has attracted the attention of Hollywood's upper crust. With some of the best respected restaurants in LA and nearly 50 years of experience, he's cooked for everyone from Sinatra to Jennifer Lopez to DJ Khaled, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Puck is, himself, a bona fide Hollywood celebrity, having received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.  He is the unofficial caterer for the Oscars (via Food and Wine) and his Beverly Hills restaurant Spago is ranked among Los Angeles' best locations to spot celebrities. In a way, Puck is more Hollywood than Hollywood itself. 

When you know that many rich and famous people, though, you might be forgiven for losing track of some of the faces and names. That's more or less what happened at Spago on June 7, when Ariana Grande came to dine.

An honest mistake

As Puck recounted in a recent interview with Insider, he failed to recognize the pop star when, making his usual rounds in the Spago dining room, he stopped by her table to greet her and her friends. As it happens, personal welcomes are a longtime custom of the Michelin-star chef (via Town & Country), granted to all patrons, famous or not. But seated at what Puck believed to be just another "table of young people –– girls and boys..." were, in fact, Ariana Grande and her husband, Dalton Gomez.

Puck thought they were high schoolers or maybe college students, celebrating a day off from school. He even thought to ID them. When he began walking away from the table, though, a waiter was sent to call him back for a photograph with Grande, and he was quickly brought up to speed and invited to accompany the group to a karaoke spot and sing. Not to be flustered, Puck came back with an offer of his own for the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum pop star: "I think I'd take her in the kitchen and teach her how to cook probably before [I'd do karaoke].'"