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Monday, April 10, 2006

Chef Wolfgang Puck to headline Newseum restaurant

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Chef Wolfgang Puck announces that his first East Coast fine-dining restaurant, 'The Source by Wolfgang Puck,' will be located at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The Newseum, an interactive museum of news, will open in fall 2007. (Credit: K. Barraclough/Newseum)

WASHINGTON — The Freedom Forum has announced that it has partnered with Wolfgang Puck to open "The Source by Wolfgang Puck," the District's first fine dining restaurant headlined by the legendary chef. This afternoon, Wolfgang Puck visited Washington to unveil the restaurant's name and planned menu. The Source will be the signature dining experience at the Freedom Forum complex that also includes the Newseum, the interactive museum of news scheduled to open fall 2007 on Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W.

Chef Puck and partner Carl Schuster, CEO and president of Wolfgang Puck Catering, are looking forward to entering the Washington market in partnership with the Freedom Forum and much-anticipated Newseum. Puck and his culinary partners, Executive Chef Lee Hefter and Chef-Partner Matt Bencivenga, will develop a restaurant concept based upon Puck's renowned signature fine dining restaurants. Klaus Puck, vice president of restaurants and sommelier, will oversee operational aspects of the new restaurant, implement Wolfgang's acclaimed style of service, and develop a specialty wine and spirits program for the new location.

"We have promised to create an unforgettable experience for the people of this area and for visitors from around the world," said Freedom Forum Chairman and CEO Charles Overby. "This exciting partnership with an internationally known culinary star demonstrates that we are committed to meeting that goal."

"I am thrilled to bring the best in California Cuisine to the most newsworthy spot in Washington, D.C. The menu will offer some of my signatures dishes, as well as new creations inspired from fresh Maryland, Virginia, and East Coast ingredients and flavors. This combination will surely make our newest restaurant The Source for lunch and dinner in the District of Columbia," explained Chef Puck.

The restaurant's ground floor will offer approachable dining with a "bar and grill" ambiance, and a casual menu designed for comfortable dining or a quick bite. Workday lunch, bar menu, and late-night dining will be available in a contemporary, dynamic environment. The upstairs dining room will evoke signature menus from Spago, Chinois and Postrio restaurants, featuring the finest and freshest ingredients, local artisanal producers and a more leisurely dining experience.

"We welcome the opportunity to offer Washingtonians and Newseum guests this experience by integrating our award-winning service with Wolfgang's passion for the finest and freshest ingredients at a one-of-a-kind location," said Schuster.

Perhaps no other chef-restaurateur in the last quarter century has been as influential to the American dining experience as Wolfgang Puck. Wolfgang has been catering since he first opened Spago Hollywood in 1982. He and Schuster began developing the Wolfgang Puck Catering brand and services together in 1998. Currently, WPC operates restaurants and catering services at many event venues and cultural centers in major markets in the United States including Seattle's Benaroya Hall, Minneapolis' Walker Art Center, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles. Puck caters many well-known events such as the Academy Awards Governors Ball, the annual Lincoln Park Zoo Gala, AFI Awards, BET Awards, the ESPY's and the Millennium Park Grand Opening Gala. In addition to "The Source by Wolfgang Puck" at the Newseum, Wolfgang Puck Catering will be opening soon in San Francisco's DeYoung Museum. For additional information: www.wolfgangpuck.com

The Newseum — the interactive museum of news that drew 2.25 million visitors to Arlington, Va., in its first five years — is being reinvented as a state-of-the-art museum in the nation's capital. The new 641,000-square-foot complex, scheduled to open in 2007 on Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., will include the Newseum and its support facilities, more than 30,000 square feet of retail space and 135 housing units. Approximately 70,000 square feet of exhibit space will feature seven levels of displays and experiences including 12 main galleries; nine themed or changing exhibition galleries; 15 theaters; an expanded Interactive Newsroom; a state-of-the-art broadcast studio and control room; and several familiar icons from the original Newseum. While under construction, the Newseum continues to offer public programs in partnership with area organizations. Visit newseum.org to learn more about the Newseum, view upcoming events or to take a virtual tour of the new building.

Newseum operations are funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on three priorities: the Newseum, the First Amendment and newsroom diversity.

The Freedom Forum also funds the operations the First Amendment Center; and the Diversity Institute. The First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute are housed in the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The First Amendment Center also has offices in Arlington and the Diversity Institute has offices and programs at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The Freedom Forum was established in 1991 under the direction of Founder Allen H. Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets.