Tag Archives: Michael Voltaggio

Voltaggio’s Monte Cristo Umami Burger


Michael Voltaggio's Monte Cristo Burger
Michael Voltaggio‘s Monte Cristo Burger is made with a beef patty, gruyere fondue, prosciutto and placed on, wait for it… a CUSTARD-SOAKED, DEEP-FRIED BUN. Then it’s topped with powdered sugar and served with a side of maple syrup. Too sweet? Actually, no. I found myself going back to the syrup again and again. The best part? $1 from each burger will go to the Los Angeles Mission!

NOTE: It’s available for a limited time only at Umami Burger (as of 1/28/14) so DON’T MISS IT!

From the press release:
“Michael Voltaggio is one of the best chefs in the nation,” said Adam Fleischman, Founder and Chairman of Umami Restaurant Group. “He’s changed the rules of fine dining in Los Angeles, making it pretty bad-ass.”

The winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 6, Michael Voltaggio was named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2013. His flagship restaurant, ink., was named GQ Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in America in 2012. Additionally, Voltaggio’s sandwich shop ink.sack has received widespread acclaim, most recently opening its second outlet inside Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Michael Voltaggio, Chef/Owner ink. & ink.sack said, “I wanted to make a burger that would hit the spot no matter if you’re craving something sweet or savory. This was a fun collaboration with Umami Burger and even better since $1 from every burger sold will benefit the LA Mission. They do a ton of good for people in need and this is a great way to give back.”


Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites

ink sack

BEST SANDWICHES IN TOWN (ok, so these are my favorite sandwiches in town)…

Michael Voltaggio’s ink sack:

ink sack's Spicy Tuna
spicy tuna miso-cured albacore, sriracha mayo

ink sack's Cold Fried Chicken
cold fried chicken house-made ranch cheese, gindo’s spice of life

ink sack's Banh Mi
banh mi pork butt, pork belly, chicharrónes, pickled vegetables

ink sack's Spanish Godfather
the Jose Andres aka “the spanish godfather” serrano, chorizo, lomo, manchego

ink sack's CLT (Chicken Liver Mousse)
c.l.t. chicken liver mousse, curried chicken skin, lettuce, tomato

ink sack's Maple Pepper Turkey
maple-pepper turkey melt camembert, mustarda, arugula

ink sack's Beef Tongue Reuben
“reuben” corned beef tongue, appenzeller cheese, kraut, russian dressing

ink sack's Maryland Crab Chips
maryland crab chips

AJ on the line @ Voltaggio's ink sack
Checking on the ink sack kitchen on opening day! AJ Ramirez on the line, Animal’s Jon Shook on far right.

Ink Sack at Home
Water melon sriracha, lime & pineapple chile y lemon. Great as a side… or take home for cocktails later!

Voltaggio's ink sackAll my photos from ink sack

ink sack
8360 melrose avenue #107
los angeles, california 90069


Jonathan Gold on ink sack

All my Michael Voltaggio Photos on Flickr

Follow Michael Voltaggio on Twitter


Filed under Eating Out


My First Bites at Michael Voltaggio’s ink.

Fish Sticks at ink
Fish Sticks, Smelt, Dill Pickles, Black Olive Mayo

Octopus Popcorn at ink
Octopus Popcorn, Piquillo Pepper, Spinach

Carrots Baked in Salt at ink
Carrots Baked in Salt, Nasturtium, Yogurt, Vadouvan, Spiced Soil

Corned Beef Tongue at ink
Corned Beef Tongue, Appenzeller Churro, Red Onion, Pastrami Syrup

Blue Prawns at ink
Blue Prawns, Green Papaya, Ginger Lime

Seaweed Mashed Potatoes at ink
Seaweed Mashed Potatoes

Crab Toast at ink
Dungeness Crab Toast, Smoked Mayo, House Made Hot Sauce, Celery

Chicken Oysters at ink
Chicken Oysters, Oyster Mushrooms, Oyster Plant, Tomato Coconut

Bay Scallops at ink
Bay Scallops, Cream of Dehydrated Potato, Potato Skins, Buttermilk Shellfish Broth

Squid Spaghetti at ink
Giant Squid Spaghetti, Squash, Hazelnut-ink Pesto, Piment d’espilette

Sea Bass at ink
Sea Bass, Scrambled Cauliflower, Egg Yolk, Caper

Hamachi at ink
Hamachi, Parsnip Cream, Grapefruit, Jalapeno, Sesame Cake

Veal Sweetbreads, Corn Dumplings, Baby Corn, BBQ Caramel at ink
Veal Sweetbreads, Corn Dumplings, Baby Corn, BBQ Caramel

Iberico Pork Loin at ink
Iberico de Belotta Pork Loin, Romesco Almond “beans”, Mushroom Chicharron

Quail, Charred Orange & Onion, Sorrel Cream at ink
Quail, Charred Orange & Onion, Sorrel Cream

Veal Cheek, Red Curry at ink
Veal Cheek, Red Curry, Nante Carrots Baked in Salt, Fried Sticky Rice

Grapefruit Curd Avocado at ink
Grapefruit Curd Avocado, Lime, Cilantro, Sorbet

Apple Caramel, Burnt Wood Ice Cream at ink
Apple Caramel, Burnt Wood Ice Cream

Chocolate, Coffee, Spice at ink
Chocolate, Coffee, Spice

Goat Cheese Ash, Concord Grape Sorbet, Walnut Pralines at ink
Goat Cheese Ash, Concord Grape Sorbet, Walnut Pralines

ink crew
On the line

ink crew (Cole & AJ)
Cole & AJ

ink crew
Tight Ship = Smooth Service (Whitney & Josh on the right)

About Chef Michael Voltaggio & ink.

Pre-Service Meeting (1st night!) at inkink restaurant
8360 melrose ave.
los angeles, ca 90069

Many more ink photos on flickr

All my Michael Voltaggio photos on flickr

Dining Dates:
9/16/11 (with Peter, Sharon & Bob Mangine)
9/22/11 (with Peter)

“Jonathan Gold Recommends Ink” 

Check out photos from ink sack (Voltaggio’s sandwich shop!)

Photos below from from Oct 16, 2011 (dinner with Peter, my brother Greg and our friend Lien)

ink's Hiramasa
Hiramasa, Parsnip Sesame Cream, Grapefruit

ink's Dungeness Crab
Dungeness Crab, Broccoli Mayo, Broccoli “Kimchi”

ink's Skate Wing
Skate Wing, Red Pepper Dashi, Shishito Peppers, Kelp Pasta, Fennes

ink's Veal Cheek
Veal Cheek, Red Curry, Nante Carrots Baked In Salt, Fried Sticky Rice

ink's Wagyu
Wagyu Hanger Steak, Ras El Hanout Yogurt, Black Garlic, Mushroom Chicharron

ink's Apple Dessert
Apple Creme Caramel, Burnt Wood Sabayon, Charred Maple Lime

Dewazakura Sparkling Sake at ink
Dewazakura Sparkling Sake


Filed under Eating Out


Smoking GunLast week I attended a private cooking demonstration at Williams-Sonoma in Beverly Hills. Chef Michael Voltaggio and his awesome crew were on hand to whip up some delicious bites using modern cooking equipment, including a few devices I’ve only dreamt about having in my own kitchen.

Back in March 2009, during yet another exquisite meal at the Bazaar, Michael motioned me back to the open kitchen so I could watch him plate a new menu dish. On the counter sat a heavy slate plate with salmon (& cucumber “noodles”) under a clear glass dome. As I eagerly watched, Michael grabbed what looked like a laser price scanner and lifted the dome just a bit, then slipped in a small tube which filled the dome with smoke.

"Smoked" Salmon photo 1, MyLastBite.comBack at my table, the server lifted the dome and a gentle puff of smoke wafted under the lights. The flavors in the salmon were fantastic (yet subtle), especially since the fish was smoked just minutes before being served. That was my first experience with the handheld food smoker aka the “Smoking Gun”, which is made by PolyScience Innovative Culinary Technology.

At the Williams-Sonoma demo, Michael and his team touted the Smoking Gun as well as PolyScience’s Sous Vide Thermal Circulator. I didn’t see the Anti-Griddle (which quickly freezes items) on hand, but was thrilled to see that the Smoking Gun was for sale! After a few glasses of bubbly, Peter gladly bought me one… as well as the additional set of flavored wood chips. My niece and nephew had a BLAST smoking our entire dinner last week, and we were surprised how easy and well the gun worked.

Voltaggio and crew at Williams-Sonoma

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Foie Gras and Wagyu Shortrib Bahn Mi: Foie gras terrine with shortrib cooked sous vide, pickled daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro and jalapeno on mini french roll.

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Chef Michael Voltaggio cutting the Wagyu Shortrib

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Bacon, Egg and Cheese: Slow poached egg with bacon puree and aged white cheddar foam, garnished with mini chives

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Chef Cole Dickinson making the Bacon, Egg and Cheese (note the Thermal Circulator filled with eggs).

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Coconut Shrimp (Tom Kha): Poached and smoked shrimp skewered with pipettes filled with tom kha consomme, garnished with puffed wild rice and mini thai basil, lime zest

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Chef Klein De Bow making the Coconut Shrimp

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese: Salmon smoked and cooked sous vide, cream cheese snow, red onion puree, bagel struesel, tomato heart, caper powder

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Chefs Klein De Bow and Adam Cole making the Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Love these “tomato hearts” for the Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Peaches and Burrata: Fresh market peaches with smoked burrata, wild arugula and aged balsamic air

Voltaggio @ Williams Sonoma
Chef Alexander J. Ramirez making the peaches and burrata

The Smoking Gun!

Smoking Gun
Unpacking the Smoking Gun (cooking dinner with my niece & nephew). I used my old steamer set for the smoking.

Smoking Gun
After reading directions

Smoking Gun
Lighting the Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun
Getting ready to test on tofu

Smoking Gun
Smoking Tofu: We (my niece Kindal above) tried all four wood chip flavors on the tofu (Cherrywood, Applewood, Hickory and Mesquite).

Smoking Gun
My nephew Chace, preparing to smoke grilled vegetables

Smoking Gun
Hickory and Mesquite for the grilled flank steak. The Smoking Gun was so easy to set up, and most of all… it was FUN!

All Photos Here

339 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-9127

Williams-Sonoma Event Date: Wed, 9/1/10

Purchase the Smoking Gun at Williams-Sonoma

Chef Voltaggio’s WebSite

Polyscience WebSite

The Anti-Griddle

The Thermal Immersion Circulator (for Sous Vide Cooking)

Follow Michael Voltaggio on Twitter

Follow Williams-Sonoma on Twitter

Follow PolyScience on Twitter

Video: Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: Inventors (Philip Preston)

The Bazaar by José Andrés

Modern Cookery aka Molecular Gastronomy on MyLastBite


Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Hot Chefs, Molecular Cooking

Tat for Taste

Yet another reason why I adore Chef Michael Voltaggio? Because when he commits to a cause… he makes it permanent! He definitely went above and BEYOND by getting the Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength logo TATTOOED on his leg last week!

Chef Michael Voltaggio
“Hey Jo… come meet me… I’m getting a new tattoo this morning.” (be right there Michael!)

Chef Michael Voltaggio
The filling-in looked PAINFUL!

Chef Michael Voltaggio
Tattoo Artist Jesse Exquivel

Chef Michael Voltaggio
“Tattoos are permanent… and if we’re not careful, childhood hunger could be a permanent thing too” ~ Chef Michael Voltaggio

Check out the video on E!

Taste of the Nation L.A.

Photos by Jo Stougaard 6/5/10 More on Flickr

More about Michael


Filed under Little Bites

TOP CHEF Michael Voltaggio!

Congratulations Top Chef!
Peter & I were so honored to be with you
and celebrate your win last night!

Top Chef Michael Voltaggio

Photo taken at Michael’s viewing party
Top Chef Season 6 Finale 12/9/09
The Langham in Pasadena


Top Chef

The Dining Room At Langham

Michael Voltaggio


Filed under Hot Chefs, Little Bites

Cyrus Restaurant

Favorite Bites at Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg. An absolutely fabulous once-in-a-lifetime meal! Thanks Kevin & Tamara!!

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Welcome to Cyrus!

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
I LOVED this drink! The Upstairs Neighbor calls for vodka, fresh horseradish, lemon juice, black pepper, kosher salt and juice made from heirloom tomatoes.

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
3-tier selection of canapes

Cyrus Restaurant, MyLastBite
Beer Bubble, Pretzel w/ Truffle Cream

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Amazing bread service

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Fine wines… thanks to Kevin Kinsella!

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Spot Prawn with Cucumber and Melon

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Foie Gras Torchon with Tamarind and Dates

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Turbot with Corn, Scallions, Shiso Ginger Dashi

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
The TRUFFLE box!

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Turbot with Corn, Scallions, Shiso Ginger Dashi… WITH Truffles!

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Duck Breast with Rosti Potatoes, Peppers, Sherry Jus

Cyrus in Healdsburg, MyLastBite
Abalone with Hijiki Noodles

Cyrus Restaurant
421 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-3311


Again, a great big THANK YOU to Kevin & Tamara Kinsella!


Filed under Eating Out