It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Chef Michael Voltaggio. Luckily for me, I also get to call him a friend.
Ever since I first tasted Michael’s food at the Bazaar by José Andrés last year, I made sure to keep an eye on the man that chef Andrés selected to open (as Esquire Magazine recently coined), the “Restaurant of the Year”.
The L.A. Times even gave the Bazaar a rare FOUR STAR review, and yes… I understand that the restaurant, menu and concept belong to the great José Andrés (I adore him too). But it was primarily Michael Voltaggio I saw in the kitchen each time I sat down for dinner in the Bazaar’s Roja room.
Michael now runs the kitchen at the Dining Room in Pasadena, which is located in the Langham Hotel. Before starting this most recent gig, he took some “time off” to compete in Bravo’s Top Chef – Season 6 (which is currently airing). He even squeezed in time to helm a one-night-only Hatchi guest chef event at BreadBar Restaurant in Century City, and it was there that I got to taste creations that were finally, truly his own.
BreadBar describes the Hatchi Series as a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ‘savory’ dishes and two ‘sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each. I love the Hatchi dinners, and do my best to attend each one!
The best part about Michael Voltaggio’s Hatchi dinner, surprisingly, wasn’t about the food. OF COURSE the food was STELLAR, it’s Michael Voltaggio for goodness sakes, but my favorite part was meeting and getting to know Michael’s mother, Sharon and his stepdad, Bob.
Top Chef 6 hadn’t started airing yet, and there was a lot excitement and anticipation at the restaurant that night. Sharon and I now email each other every Wednesday night after the show has aired, so we can dish about how her TWO sons are doing on the show. In case you don’t watch Top Chef, Bryan Voltaggio (Michael’s equally talented big brother) is also competing for the title this year. Sharon is certainly one proud mom, that’s for sure!
Michael Voltaggio’s incredible Hatchi menu:
An Experience of Texture and Flavor
Artichokes “Barigoule” Salmon Belly, Philadelphia Cheese, Smoked Salmon Roe
Japanese Tomato Tartare: Green Almonds, Parmesan “Overeasy”, Tapenade
Hamachi Crudo: Smoked Egg Yolk, Sea Sponge, Watermelon and Wild Rice
Veal Sweetbread, Poached Egg, Coffee Cardamom Soil (before adding Pea Consomme)
Veal Sweetbread, Poached Egg, Pea Consomme, Coffee Cardamom Soil
Crispy Chicken Thigh: Cuttlefish, Green Garlic, Sweet and Sour Mushrooms
Wagyu Beef: Short Rib, Saul’s Pastrami, Tamarind, Broccoli Textures, Horseradish “Styrofoam”
Miso Cake: Jasmine “Rice Cream”, Strawberry, Yuzu
Fool’s Gold: Hazelnut Praline, Salty Caramel, Nitro Coffee Mousse.
Sommelier Matthew Lathan paired each dish beautifully with wines, sherry and beer!
Chefs Michael Voltaggio and Marcel Vigneron (Top Chef Season 2)
BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770
Dining Date: 7/30/09
With friends Afaf & Ray.
Hatchi Dinner: 8 Plates for $8
See website (link above) for upcoming Hatchi dinners!
The Dining Room at the Langham
Michael Voltaggio’s Top Chef Bio
Bryan Voltaggio’s Top Chef Bio
Esquire Magazine (Bazaar)
L.A. Times (Bazaar)
All my Michael Voltaggio photos on Flickr
More awesome Voltaggio tattoos (posted with permission)!
on his hand
on his arm
for his mother
More about Hatchi
More about Michael Voltaggio
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