All About Wolfgang Puck's 3 Marriages

Wolfgang Puck and wife Gelila Assefa
Wolfgang Puck and wife Gelila Assefa - David Livingston/Getty Images

Long-time celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck may be better known for his media appearances and series of world-class restaurants than for his romantic life. But with three marriages as part of his history, there's plenty to slice into personally as well. Though his restaurants, cookbooks, and T.V. shows all speak volumes about his vibrant public persona, the behind-the-scenes happenings over the years tell a different story of both elation and heartache that eventually leads to a sweet ending ... for the time being, at least.

That's because, after what appears to be quite a bit of tinkering, it seems that Puck has finally perfected his recipe for a successful marriage. But how did he arrive at his most recent blend of personal and professional elements to create a workable balance? And what happened along the way to prove that the mix wasn't quite right just yet? We took a look at the multiple marriages of Wolfgang Puck to explore the truth behind the culinary wizard's three attempts at wedded bliss and learn what went right and wrong with each try at matrimonial magic.

Read more: The Biggest Scandals To Ever Hit The Food Network

Puck's Married His First Wife, Marie France Trouillot, In 1975

Wolfgang Puck smiling
Wolfgang Puck smiling - Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

In 1975, before his career as a culinary superstar had begun to truly catch fire, Wolfgang Puck took his first trip to the altar with Marie France Trouillot. Little is known about this mysterious figure, other than her marriage to one of the world's most renowned culinary creatives came to an end in 1980. Her most notable point, at least from a public perspective, is actually being listed as Wolfgang Puck's first wife, which can lead digital detectives in circles when looking for more in-depth information about her.

It isn't easy in the digital age to dodge internet coverage almost entirely, no matter how far back your notoriety may extend. But that's just what Trouillot has managed to do, keeping such a low profile after her divorce from Puck that almost no online footprint from her exists. Maybe she works helping exotic animal species in far-off locales, or maybe she's lounging on a beach somewhere drinking Mai Tais and watching the surf. Whatever she's doing, Trouillot seems to want that to be her business and not ours. Having ducked out of the picture before Wolfgang opened his restaurant Spago and became a culinary phenomenon, she chose a path that opened the door for the cook extraordinaire to move on to his next marriage.

Wife Number Two Was Interior Designer And Restaurant Entrepreneur Barbara Lazaroff

Wolfgang Puck second wife Barbara Lazaroff
Wolfgang Puck second wife Barbara Lazaroff - Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Creative people often attract other creative people as partners, and Wolfgang Puck's second marriage is little exception to that rule. His second union with interior designer Barbara Lazaroff paired the master chef with an equally inventive wife. The couple first connected at a disco in 1979 while Puck was separated from his first wife. Eventually, their connection saw Lazaroff make a crucial influence in Puck's life when he launched the world-famous Spago, his first restaurant, in Hollywood in 1982. She was instrumental in determining the quintessential mix of easygoing atmosphere and gourmet food his dining establishments would take on. In fact, Lazaroff's website landing page details her contributions to the Wolfgang Puck cottage industry. She's so accomplished that she has even had her own figure on display at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in both Las Vegas and London!

Diners at Spago have luxuriated in Lazaroff's vision for how Puck's restaurants should look and feel, giving her an undeniable presence and role in his success through the years. Her eye for design and talent for creating artful spaces led her to opportunities in other restaurants and commercial spaces and ultimately provided her a platform as a philanthropist dedicated to supporting causes such as Meals On Wheels and the Big Sisters program.

They Were Married From 1983 To 2003

Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff
Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff - Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

Even if it came to an unceremonious end, Puck and Lazaroff enjoyed a nearly 20-year run between 1983 and 2003 that marks a milestone marriage by any measure. In those two decades, both saw their shared enterprise become a world-class business. A 1984 People magazine interview portrayed the two as a study in contrasts, highlighting his softness and her spiciness. The piece credits Lazaroff as the spark that sent the Puck rocket into the stratosphere, thanks to her creative sensibility paired with his talent for crafting exceptional food.

The article goes on to explain how, early in their relationship, Lazaroff and Puck took a four-day break, during which Puck was tasked with considering a list of relationship aspects that required change for the continued success of their marriage. The picture painted is that of a pairing of equals, two powerful individuals with different approaches to life and business who were somehow able to find common ground and make a marriage that worked for the better part of 20 years. It's undeniable that Lazaroff's contributions to the endeavor established a balance that gave Puck's restaurant dreams some much-needed drive and fire.

They Had Two Sons Together

Cameron Lazaroff Puck with dad Wolfgang
Cameron Lazaroff Puck with dad Wolfgang - Sarah Morris/Getty Images

An almost two-decade marriage that results in two thriving children can hardly be seen as a failure, even if it doesn't last forever. Puck and Lazaroff may not have lasted as a couple, but their connection started a four-member family with the arrival of Cameron Lazaroff-Puck in 1989. Puck's first-born son bucked his father's culinary heritage in favor of academia. As per his profile on X, formerly known as Twitter, he holds a PhD in the History of Science and Technology. The "About" section of his website explains that he has academically focused on late-19th century physics — which is about as far from fiddling with gourmet cuisine as possible! Wolfgang proudly announced the arrival of Cameron's son Maxwell in late 2023 on Instagram and shared an adorable photo of his first grandson swaddled up to his nose.

Byron Lazaroff-Puck was born in 1994 and by age 12 had joined the family business as a dishwasher at Spago. In 2023, the elder Puck went so far as to declare Byron his hero in an article for Daily Beast. In the piece, dad describes son as a hard worker and a smart businessman in his own right, not to mention just the right person to carry on the family legacy when the time comes. Byron's very trim Instagram profile shows photos of his joyful exploits in the kitchen, with images of artful plating and high-end dishes that speak to a talent similar to his father's.

Lazaroff Filed For Divorce From Puck In 2002

Wolfgang Puck with Barbara Lazaroff
Wolfgang Puck with Barbara Lazaroff - Paul Harris/Getty Images

Whether it was the glare of the spotlight or simply the ground-level marital issues faced by long-time couples from all walks of life, Barabara Lazaroff decided to end her marriage to Wolfgang Puck after nearly 20 years of marriage. She filed paperwork in 2002 to terminate the bond. The reason cited was good ol' "irreconcilable differences," though the request did specify shared custody of the couple's sons, with Lazaroff retaining physical custody. It signaled their shared interest in keeping their children top-of-mind during and after the dissolution of their marriage.

The split wasn't all hearts and flowers, though. In 2011, long after the couple had dissolved their connection, Lazaroff weighed in on Puck's redesign of Spago, the flagship restaurant she had helped to create, calling his decision an ego trip in a public Facebook post. She went into great detail regarding the changes, even suggesting the redo was a way to rid the location of her influence. Yikes. The reason she ultimately cited? Her ongoing investment in Spago was at risk. There's nothing quite as contentious as putting an ex's personal fortune at risk to make once-loving folks scorn one another on social media.

Puck Wed His Third And Current Wife, Gelila Assefa, In 2007

Gelila Assefa
Gelila Assefa - Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

If you keep yourself open to the possibilities even after two marriages have come to a close, there's still a chance you'll find a third relationship, and that might be the one that sticks. This seems to be the case for Wolfgang Puck's current marriage to Gelila Assefa. The culinary genius met the Addis Abbaba-born Assefa the same week her father died, an occurrence she now considers auspicious and which led to their greater connection.

Their initial meeting wasn't under the pretext of romance, however. After a business dinner where she initially met Puck, Assefa worked as a Spago host, eventually succumbing to the chef's considerable charms and becoming his third wife in 2007. Their wedding took place on the Italian island of Capri on July 7, letting the couple line up a lucky anniversary number of 7-7-7. They even took their vows at 7:00 p.m. to add more good fortune to their marital numerology. With two previous marriages in his deck, who could blame Puck for being a little superstitious with marriage number three?

Assefa Is A Fashion Designer And Philanthropist From Ethiopia

Wolfgang Puck with wife Gelila
Wolfgang Puck with wife Gelila - Joce/bauer-griffin/Getty Images

With an impressive resume that establishes her as a power player in her own right, Assefa's career as a fashion designer has taken her to the heights of the industry. Assefa had come to America from Ethiopia on her own as a 17-year-old, eventually becoming a model and working in fashion design. She put her design talent to use creating a line of designer handbags after she had her sons, a project that allowed her the flexibility of being a mom while also pursuing her creative and professional goals. An archive of her collection can be seen on her website, Eventually, Assefa took over as the creative director for her husband's restaurants, applying her abilities closer to home.

Beyond crafting the look of the Wolfgang Puck collection of international eateries, Assefa also serves as the Chairwoman of Dream for Future Africa Foundation, a not-for-profit she founded to support African women living with HIV and AIDS. Her detailed bio on the website explains her commitment to bettering the lives of children as well, with a role on the board of Los Angeles-based Children's Institute, Inc. With such a busy slate of business and charitable works, Assefa appears to be a force of nature who more than matches her husband's energetic professional presence.

Puck And Assefa Have Two Sons, Oliver And Alexander

Wolfgang Puck with family
Wolfgang Puck with family - David Livingston/Getty Images

During his marriage to Assefa, Puck welcomed two more sons into the family. Born in July 2005, Oliver Puck has been known to join his dad in the kitchen, as captured in a charming Instagram video on Wolfgang's profile showing the two creating guacamole and tomahawk steaks together. There's another possible heir to the family business who appears to be working on earning his apron! Younger brother Alexander entered the fold in December 2006, making the Puck boys a full-fledged quartet. Though his youngest son makes appearances for birthday shout-outs on Puck's Instagram profile, there's no evidence as of yet that he shares his brother's and father's abiding affinity for the culinary world.

The younger Puck boys may show up frequently in photos online with their Mom and Dad, but their lives on social media and elsewhere on the Internet are practically nonexistent. Tagged Instagram posts show Alexander's account as private, while Oliver's handles shown on his rather trim TikTok account lead to defunct accounts. Even though not much is known about these two, having a total of four Puck sons in the clan provides him an extended family tree to carry on the legendary culinarian's legacy.

Their Marriage Affords The Couple A Seemingly Happy And Glamorous Life

Wolfang Puck and Gelila Assefa together
Wolfang Puck and Gelila Assefa together - Amy Sussman/Getty Images

The romantic bond between Mrs. and Mr. Puck is evident in the many apparently happy photos of the duo found online. Having a marriage that's lasted more than 15 years and adding two sons to the family seems to have a joyful effect on both Puck and Assefa. The proud mom shares photos of her family on her Instagram, among images speaking to her numerous philanthropic and commercial projects. Puck also shares key moments in his bride's accomplished career on his own Instagram profile, marking moments when the family hit the town to honor their matriarch.

Is this joyous, fulfilling life with Assefa the happily-ever-after Puck has seemingly been in pursuit of through his trio of marriages? Time will tell, though almost 20 years of wedded bliss certainly seems to suggest as much. Even if there are no guarantees for the future, Wolfgang Puck appears to be quite settled and happy for the moment, which is all anyone can hope for, whether they are married, looking, or otherwise-joined.

Read the original article on Mashed