The James Beard Foundation announced Wolfgang Puck as the recipient of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award yesterday, and while Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe closed in 2005, Denver still has the Puck legacy. Chef Jennifer Jasinski, who worked under Puck for 11 years before moving to Denver, tells Eater that his success stems from a sensible approach to restaurants. "He's smart and in-tune with what people want. He watched people in the dining room and he always made an effort to interact with guests. He was the first chef that I saw do that." While he's obviously been a huge influence on her menus, Jasinski says Puck greatly influenced her idea of what it is to be a restaurant family as well. "He always includes everyone in the party. It doesn't matter if you're a dishwasher or a valet attendant — you're important. "
Pictured: Jennifer Jasinski and Wolfgang Puck in New York City