About Barbara Lazaroff: Hospitality, Interior Designer & Restaurateur

About Interior Designer & Restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff, ASID

Barbara Lazaroff in her green dressBarbara Lazaroff is a highly regarded restaurateur and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). She is also a producer, writer, published author, celebrated philanthropist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, podcast host and mother of two sons. Her career as a restaurateur started after co-founding, marketing and leading the publicity of the Wolfgang Puck Brand & IP in 1979.

The second reason that Granita is important is because it symbolizes the importance of Barbara Lazaroff to the Puck-Lazaroff empire. Barbara has her detractors (as does Granita), but it would behoove men and women in the business to appreciate Barbara’s impact — the importance of a great partner, of a team — on the building of any business empire:
Like any of the great talent managers of Hollywood, fundamentally it has been Barbara all along who has understood Wolfgang best and who has helped to make him the phenomenon he is today. Whereas the humble village boy might have hesitated and cautiously undersold himself, Barbara constantly oversold him, confident that Wolf would always live up to her billing. And he did. ~Juliette Rossant, SuperChef, page 46

Barbara established Imaginings Design, Inc. in 1981 and was the sole designer for WP restaurants: Spago Hollywood, Spago Beverly Hills, Chinois on Main, Chinois Las Vegas, Eureka, Granita, Obachine and all the WP Cafés. She also designed such popular restaurants as SHANE Hidden on the Glen, Bel-Air, California. She also worked abroad, designing Spago Tokyo, the Playboy Club Japan in Tokyo and the WP Café in Melbourne, Australia. More about the Wolfgang Puck Brand later on this page.

Her business and marketing acumen combined with her lauded design statements have provided an indelible imprint on the restaurant industry. Barbara’s renowned and innovative restaurant concepts are demonstrated in the restaurant design section of this site. Her exceptional work in the restaurant industry  has been recognized with many an award or honor. Most are documented on her Awards page.

Barbara Lazaroff with her son Byron, father, son Cameron Lazaroff-Puck and new wife Kate at their wedding

Barbara on Family

Although my professional life is very rewarding, I still feel my most important creations, greatest successes and blessings are my sons, Cameron Lazaroff-Puck and Byron Lazaroff-Puck.

When I first launched my website, I said “I feel my primary purpose is being their mom, setting a healthy role model and raising children of good moral stature, who will go on to contribute positively to the world at large.” I am happy to be able to say they have both grown into fine young men, both with great spirits and on paths to successful fulfilling careers. Here, we are at Cameron’s wedding to the beautiful Kate, my new daughter standing by my beloved late father and my son Byron. A perfect and touching day, beautiful start for Cameron, and wonderful memory of my father.

Other projects

Barbara Lazaroff remains engrossed in her passion for design. In 2014 Barbara designed her exclusive “Flame of Life” Dinnerware, available for purchase on Amazon, with the intent of using 100% of the proceeds to support a variety of her charities.

Her interest in art, charity, and her commitment to the restaurants’ operations continues. Her plans for the future include finally setting time apart to realize her lifelong dream of writing and illustrating a series of children’s books and marketing them with a line of children’s toys and accessories.

Also in 2014, Barbara hosted “Exuberant Living,” an iTunes Podcast that featured interviews with dynamic people from various industries: arts, entertainment, business, culinary, philanthropy, social activists and more. Unfortunately, other things have pulled her away from continuing this podcast for now.

Always a strong community-minded advocate of women, Barbara raised awareness as an Associate Producer for Femme: Women Healing the World (2013). Additionally, she was one of the founding members of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR, 1992) and one of the original members of the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH, 1984). Barbara contributed to the production of Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Manchester’s album, “You Gotta Love the Life” (2015).

Throughout her life, Barbara has been recognized with countless awards for her continuous philanthropy. NAWBO inaugurated her into their “Millennium Hall of Fame” for Business (2000) and also awarded her NAWBO’s “Legacy Award” for Philanthropy (2013). She is also James Beard recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award (1994).

Barbara is also involved with a variety of humanitarian, environmental, social and political issues. Some of her humanitarian awards are listed below. You can learn about some of her causes on Barbara’s Philanthropy page.

Co-Founder of the Wolfgang Puck Food Company (now Wolfgang Puck Worldwide)

In 1994, Barbara Lazaroff co-founded the Los Angeles-based Wolfgang Puck Food Company. She served as a board member, Director of Restaurant Design and Development, and on the Real Estate and Site Selection committee until 2000.

The Wolfgang Puck Brand has been developed to include the separate entities: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining, WP Catering and WP Worldwide, (formerly Wolfgang Puck Food Co). She is also a founding partner of the licensed WP products sold on HSN and elsewhere. The companies now have expanded concepts that extend across the U.S. and globally.

WP Catering is an extensive catering business, which garners international attention through such noteworthy events as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® Governors Ball, GLAAD League Convention & Gala, The Louis Vuitton United Cancer Front Gala, Donna Karan/Marshall Field’s Fashion Show, Lincoln Park Zoo Gala and Lyric Opera Chicago.

It brings a new level of innovation and inspiration to restaurant, special event, catering and food service management for cultural, corporate and entertainment venues across the world. Wolfgang Puck Catering venues in the United States are located in: Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Washington D.C.

Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Restaurants

Barbara Lazaroff and her former husband Chef Puck co-own and operate several fine dining restaurants:
(These links go to the official page at wolfgangpuck.com.)

Several others fine restaurants Barbara Lazaroff & Chef Puck co-owned have recently closed after long successful runs:

    • Postrio – San Francisco, CA ~ Opened 1989, now closed after 20 years
    • Postrio – Las Vegas, NV ~ Opened 2000
    • Chinois – Las Vegas, NV ~ Opened 1998, now closed
    • Vert – Hollywood, CA (Los Angeles) ~ Opened 2002, now closed
    • 20.21 – Minneapolis, MN ~ Opened 2005, now closed
    • Red Seven @The Pacific Design Center (W.P. Catering Division) – West Hollywood, CA (Los Angeles) ~ Opened 2007

Barbara Lazaroff receives Honorary Doctorate from Johnson & Wales University, May 23,1998

Honorary Degrees

  • 1992 Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Interior Designers Institute, Newport Beach, CA
  • 1998 Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI

Interior Design Affiliations

  • ASID — (American Society of Interior Designers)
  • CCIDC — (California Council for Interior Design Certification)
  • IDCEC — (Interior Design Continuing Education Council)
  • U.S. Green Building Council Member
  • LEED — (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). “Certificate of Completion” for New Construction Technical Review

Hospitality Affiliations

  • WCR – (Women Chefs & Restaurateurs) – Founding member
  • NEWH – (Network of Executive Women in Hospitality) – Founding member