From the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., the “Top Chef” talked to Krista Simmons of the L.A. Times’ Daily Dish blog about yesterday’s announcement that he’ll be leaving The Langham in Pasadena to start his own restaurant venture:
Krista Simmons: Because of your personality and your style of cooking, everyone was surprised that you stayed at the Langham for so long. Why leave now that they’re renovating?
Michael Voltaggio: I had to come to terms with the fact that I either stay in Pasadena and be at this restaurant being branded around me, or I can do something on my own outside of the Langham. I decided I want to make my own place. … At the end of the day I know that no matter what, that restaurant wasn’t mine.…KS: What neighborhoods are you scoping out? Is there a possibility that you might not even stay in L.A.?
MV: Restaurants don’t just fall out of the sky, so it’ll be a while. My goal is to stay in Los Angeles. I love L.A. and think it’s the most exciting food city to be in right now. … I’ll be looking in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, places with a lot of foot traffic.
Rumors are building in the blogosphere that Michael Voltaggio is leaving the restaurant at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, Eater LA reported earlier today.
We love free stuff. (A demonstration of that love is our soon-to-launch sister site Freebie Finds. Bookmark it now. Thank us later.)
Free stuff is even better when it comes from The Langham Huntington Spa.
Tomorrow from 4-8 p.m. in the courtyard, The Huntington Spa and Ajne Rare & Precious are hosting a complimentary Lavender Harvest Festival with live lavender distillation, samples of essential oils, bundles of lavender and lavender-infused hors d’oeuvres.
And (in the not-free-but-still-lavender category) lavender manicures ($45), specialty cocktails, beauty products and jewelry will be available for purchase.
Reserve your manicure in advance: (626) 585-6414
If you can’t make it tomorrow, The Langham is continuing its discount on lavender manis and pedis through October.
We just wanted to pause for a superficial moment and admire The Volt’s — Can we call you that? Thanks — body art in her photos. (Pause.)
And for those who’ve been living under a rock since Voltaggio was brought on by the Langham in July, the guy’s known for shaking things up — or, rather, mashing, blending, whipping, pureeing, powdering, pickling, puffing, frothing and just about every other -ing that can be done in the kitchen (plus a handful you never even knew could be done there).
Critic Merrill Shindler gives his two cents in the Star-News. Shindler thinks Voltaggio is toning down his molecular cooking techniques a bit, but adds this:
“… he’s continued to have fun with textures. His
tomato tartare is topped with powdered tapenade; he must have one
powerful dehydrator. His Kuroge beef wears a mantle of whipped soy. (I
tried whipping soy in a blender. After 10 minutes, I still had soy.)”
We say: Set the amps to 11, man.
Check out Voltaggio’s “Top Chef” bio.
(Photos, in detail, by Sarah Reingewirtz)