Michael Voltaggio

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Michael Voltaggio
Born (1978-09-29) September 29, 1978 (age 39)
Frederick, Maryland, United States
Education The Greenbrier Hotel Culinary Apprenticeship Program
Culinary career
Cooking style Modern American

Michael Voltaggio (born September 29, 1978) is an American top chef residing in Los Angeles, California. Voltaggio was the winner of the sixth season of Top Chef, Bravo's cooking competition reality show,[1] where he competed with his brother, Bryan Voltaggio. The two ended in the finale, alongside Kevin Gillespie, with Michael winning the contest. Top Chef Head Judge Tom Colicchio said of Voltaggio, “Out of all the cooks that have come through the show, Michael is the most talented—both from a sensibility and technical standpoint. He has the chops to pull off what he’s trying to do.”[2]

He owned and ran the restaurants ink. and ink.sack, both in West Hollywood, California. As of June 2018, both of these restaurants have closed.


Voltaggio did not have the money to attend culinary school.[citation needed] Instead, he did a long apprenticeship in The Greenbrier's prestigious culinary apprenticeship program.[3] Michael completed his Greenbrier apprenticeship under Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins at the age of 21.[4] He later held jobs at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Naples, Florida under chef Peter Timmins[5] and Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg.[6] During his tenure as Chef de Cuisine at The Bazaar by Jose Andres, the restaurant was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant in 2008.[7]

Voltaggio was the Chef de Cuisine at The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena,[8] which received several culinary awards, including the AAA Five Diamond Award, the Mobil Five-Star Award, and a Michelin Star, one of the few held by restaurants in the US.

Voltaggio left The Dining Room in 2010 and announced plans to open his own restaurant in West Hollywood, California, in a space owned by former Hollywood superagent Michael Ovitz.[9] After several delays, the highly successful ink. opened on September 21, 2011.[10] Voltaggio's goal with the restaurant was to create what he called "modern Los Angeles cuisine."[11] The restaurant seats 60 in the dining room with a private room that can accommodate an additional 10 guests.[12] It was named America's best new restaurant by GQ Magazine in March 2012.[13]

While publicly developing and readying ink. for its highly anticipated debut, Voltaggio was quietly planning a smaller restaurant around the corner, a sandwich shop called ink.sack.[14] Voltaggio designed and built the shop himself [15] and surprised the culinary world when he opened the small restaurant with little notice or fanfare on August 11, 2011.[16]

Michael's sous chef, Mei Lin, won Top Chef Season 12.

Other television appearances[edit]

Voltaggio appeared in September 2010 on the finale of season seven of Top Chef and as a guest judge in Season 3 of Top Chef Canada.[17]

Voltaggio appeared twice on the American sitcom Young & Hungry as himself, in the 2014 pilot episode and in the episode "Young & Amnesia".

Personal life[edit]

Voltaggio has two daughters, Olivia and Sophia.[18] His daughters live in Lewisburg, West Virginia with their mother, Kerri Adams, from whom Voltaggio is divorced.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Chef - Bios - Michael Voltaggio | Bravo TV Official Site". Bravotv.com. Archived from the original on 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Cook Illustrated". Los Angeles Magazine. March 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Consuming Passion With Dinner". LA Times Magazine. September 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  4. ^ "Chef Michael Voltaggio - Biography". Star Chefs. March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  5. ^ "People - Michael Voltaggio". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  6. ^ "About Michael". Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  7. ^ "2009 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARDS RESTAURANT AND CHEF SEMIFINALISTS UNVEILED" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  8. ^ "Best Hotel Restaurant in Pasadena - The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington Pasadena, Los Angeles". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Michael Voltaggio Announces New Restaurant". LATimes.com. 2010-11-18. 
  10. ^ "First Taste". Eater LA. 2011-09-22. 
  11. ^ "KevinEats Review of ink". Kevin Eats. 2011-09-22. 
  12. ^ "Michael Voltaggio Opens ink. on Wed, Here's A Looksee". Eater LA. 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ "THE TEN BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA". GQ Magazine. March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  14. ^ "After Ink., Michael Voltaggio to Open a "Sandwich Place"". Eater LA. April 6, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  15. ^ "A Top Chef's Next Act". The Daily Beast. August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  16. ^ "Michael Voltaggio To Open Sandwich Spot This Week?!?!". Eater LA. August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  17. ^ "Meet the five Toronto contestants on Top Chef Canada season three". Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  18. ^ "A Top Chef's Next Act". The Daily Beast. August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-20.