This past Sunday, Jonathan Gold launched the first of a series of one-on-one personality studies for L.A. Times Magazine. The article finds Gold sitting in on Michael Voltaggio’s creation of an extra-terra-strial veggie plate that reflects the “scary focus Voltaggio….brings to a lightly cooked baby turnip,” among the 30 splendid ingredients that each require “a slightly different cooking technique.” The Pulitzer winner praises the Top Chef victor, comparing the sight of him cooking to “watching Eminem in the recording studio,” which is funny since Voltaggio kinda resembles the rapper. What else do we learn about M. Volt?
Though details of the chef’s bio are familiar to fans and even Gold isn’t privy to the address of his coming restaurant, what emerges is a strong recipe for what keeps driving the chef’s passion for cooking, product, technique, learning, and hard work. It also peers into the devotion of the chefs’ admirers, in this case Ludo Lefebvre, who recalls Voltaggio’s laser-like plating at The Langham. And what turns Michael on himself when it comes to such stuff as sous vide baby carrots? The chef admits, “When I was a kid…I hated vegetables. I think a lot of my cooking is about taking something I wouldn’t ordinarily eat and transforming it into something I love.”
Dinner with Michael Voltaggio [L.A. Times Magazine]