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VOLT ink.: Recipes, Stories, Brothers Hardcover – October 25, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bryan Voltaggio
Highly accomplished, innovative, and talented 35-year old Chef Bryan Voltaggio is among the new generation of chefs who are reinventing American cooking. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Voltaggio's pedigree includes almost a decade working as protege under celebrated culinary notable, Charlie Palmer. Through his three-star reviewed restaurant VOLT in his native Frederick, Maryland, Voltaggio exercises his cooking philosophies and signature preparations of New American cuisine offering menus driven by the fresh, seasonal offerings of local farmers. He characterizes his cuisine as “sophisticated dishes offering classic flavor combinations created using fundamental and innovative cooking techniques.” Bryan Voltaggio’s passion for cooking was fostered during childhood in Frederick County where meals often included produce harvested from the family garden. Committed to a career in cooking early in his life, Voltaggio had already served as Sous Chef and Executive Chef at two regional hotel restaurants by the age of 20. Upon graduation from culinary school, Voltaggio went on to work under Chef Palmer at famed Aureole in New York City, and later opened the second outlet of Aureole at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Voltaggio re-located to Frederick with his family to open Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, DC. After five years there as Executive Chef, Voltaggio opened VOLT in 2008. Voltaggio is a James Beard Best Mid-Atlantic Chef nominee and was named Chef of the Year by both the non-profit Share Our Strength and the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2010.

Michael Voltaggio
Chef Michael Voltaggio has spent over half of his lifetime in the kitchen, starting at the age of 15. Now based in Los Angeles, he will open his first signature restaurant, ink., in 2011. Voltaggio describes his food as "modern Los Angeles," distinguished by inspired flavor profiles and elevated by the combination of classical and modern techniques. Voltaggio touts a solid culinary background, receiving his formal training as an Apprentice at the esteemed Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. He went on to helm the kitchen at an honor roll of haute dining establishments: The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills; Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg; The Dining Room at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena; The Grill Room and The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples. A Michelin-starred chef, he was a finalist for the James Beard “Best New Restaurant” award in 2009, the same year he famously won the honor of Top Chef on Bravo TV’s Emmy-winning season (Season 6 – Las Vegas).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Press; First Edition edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616281618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616281618
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. C. Kinder on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Voltaggio brothers are the next generation of fine dining standard bearers. This book has a fascinating intellectual pedigree- modernist cuisine, the farm to table movement, the 'new American' cooking, all paired with a global palate of flavors rooted in classic french technique. Nori and truffle Brioche made with goats milk, for example, or dishes relying on foraged morels and asparagus. It is a wonder and a joy.

Its useful to put this book in a bit of historical context. The last twenty years or so have seen a revolution in the American culinary world. Arguably, the revolution began with Wolfgang Puck. Not only did he create many dishes that have since become cliches (many of them combining European and Asian flavors), he became synonymous with the products he sold. Fine dining meant more than French Haute Cuisine, and the chef became an inspirational force in American cooking. Volt ink is a product of a generation of chefs who grew up under the intellectual influence of chefs like Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, Tom Colicchio and Wylie Dufrense. The techniques are both modernist and traditional. The ingredients are selected with an intense focus on seasonality and quality, with all excess stripped away. The dishes combine global influences in terms of flavor pairings, ingredients and aesthetics. Its far, far too early to say if this book will have the sort of impact the French Laundry Cookbook did (and does), but at the very least it is a worthy companion to that lofty work.

A few caveats.
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By MommaDuck on January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love these guys they are awesome ,just haven't found anything I can make. Great book, cool,Stories. The ingredients are too obscure and the tools and techniques are for the advanced. If you live in a bigger city and have the time this is a good advanced cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful cookbook, however completely impractical for any home use. I am a culinary student at the Art Institutes International and we chose this book as one of our units, but it was a disaster. The recipes are poorly written, confusing, and leaves out instructions. For example, the recipe for foie gras with compressed melons calls for brioche in the ingredients, but never tells you how to use it nor is it in the picture of the final plating. This not being a crisis, i realize, but should never happen in a properly edited cookbook. Many of the recipes also do not actually work and some just simply taste HORRIBLE! The textures of chocolate recipe has an ice cream in it that is made with menthol crystals... and it literally tastes so strongly like chugging cough syrup that we couldn't stand to get through more than one bite at our final tasting. My class consisted of 3 different groups of 3 or more students, most of which were graduating that quarter, and a VERY skilled, VERY meticulous Chef instructor... and every single plate we produced 3 different times, all with at least 1 element on the plate that did not work after multiple attempts.
I absolutely recommend this book for inspiration and plating ideas, but to actually use, it's mostly worthless in my opinion and the opinion of my Chef.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first saw the "Volt, Ink." Cookbook at a Williams-Sonoma store, I turned to the index and looked for terms such as "sous vide," "vacuum sealers," or even "liquid nitrogen" (one can always hope). Not finding any of those terms, I almost passed it by -- after all, I have the monumental Modernist Cuisine set, Heston Blumenthal's Big Fat Duck, all of Thomas Keller's books, Ferran Adrià's tome, Grant Achatz's Alinea, and another 12 linear feet of other cookbooks from Escoffier to Momufuko.

But flipping through this effort by the Voltaggio brothers, I was quickly impressed by the beautiful photography and the stunning plating, as well as by the complexity of the various dishes, many of which combine as many as six different preparations into one harmonious whole, e.g., the recipe for Lobster, Forbidden Rice, Carrots, Sunchoke Puree, and Carrot-Tarragon Vinaigrette.

Each recipe lists the necessary equipment, as well as the ingredients. Many, and perhaps even most, suggest using a thermal immersion circulator, although a simple CrockPot or rice cooker, together with an inexpensive controller such as the Sous Vide Magic would do equally well. Likewise, although a chamber vacuum or a FoodSaver style vacuum sealer would certainly be desirable, a home chef could get by very well using a ZipLoc bag and the Archimedes principle, wherein the bag containing the food is submerged in water until all of the air has been squeezed out, and then seal the final corner. (Eureka!
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