Michael Voltaggio is not a formally trained chef; he couldn’t afford to attend culinary school. Regardless, he’s done incredibly well for himself in the culinary world.
Instead, the winner of Top Chef Season 6 garnered his education through hands-on experience with the Greenbrier's culinary apprenticeship program, serving under Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins and graduating when Voltaggio was just 21 (the youngest at the time to have ever done so).
Vollagio then spent time leading some high-profile kitchens, including Dry Creek Kitchen, where he earned a Michelin star and The Bazaar by Jose Andres where he received a nomination for best new restaurant from the James Beard Foundation.
Voltaggio earned additional accolades along the way, including being named Angeleno magazine’s best new chef in 2010 and being selected by Star Chefs as a Rising Star Chef in 2010
He and his brother, Chef Bryan Voltaggio, wrote their first cookbook (titled Volt ink. after their flagship restaurants) together in 2011.
Specialties & Resources
Voltaggio is recognized for his ingredient-driven, modernist techniques that blend classic French technique with progressive application for a multi-sensory experience.
In 2011, Voltaggio opened ink. with the goal of creating modern Los Angeles cuisine. In 2012, the restaurant was named the best new restaurant in America by GQ Magazine. Also in 2011, Voltaggio opened a small sandwich shop he designed and built himself called ink.sack.
Voltaggio is inspired by the diversities (in culture, ethnicity, and industry) of Los Angeles and is considered to have reinvented a finer class of dining at ink. The menu reflects this diversity, including the local black cod with grilled romaine, grapefruit ponzu, and yuzu-kosho mayo; wagyu beef brisket with barbecue baked barley; jidori chicken with hazelnut-potato and leeks; foie gras terrine with fermented cherries and walnuts; hanger steak tartare with turnip kimchi and nori aioli; lamb belly with pine nut cassoulet; and flat iron steak, with hearts of palm and seaweed potatoes.
Ink.sack, where the sandwiches are described as unconventional and accessible, is similarly inspired, as demonstrated by the menu, which features such sandwiches as cold fried chicken, banh mi, spicy tuna, and the beef pastrami New “Deli” with curry mustard.