While some reality shows confer stardom on folks with no discernable talent, Bravo’s “Top Chef” winners usually end up making a name for themselves in the food world. Season six “Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio is no exception, having just opened an eatery in Los Angeles while prepping another — both backed by Michael Ovitz. The media maven contends that while he’s not a foodie, he has spent much of his life going out to lunch and dinner.
And Voltaggio’s cuisine wows him.
“His cooking is at the very top of my list,” Ovitz says.
Voltaggio’s fine dining restaurant, ink., will open in mid-September in the space formerly home to Japanese eatery Hamasaku, also underwritten by Ovitz. Until then, food enthusiasts and TV fans can make do with Voltaggio’s creative take on sandwiches dispensed from a modest, storefront takeout shop with an affordable menu called ink.sack on Melrose Avenue.
Once ink. opens, artwork from Ovitz’s extensive personal collection will hang in the Cliff Fong-designed dining room. Voltaggio wanted the room minimalist, in shades of gray and black, to serve “as a gallery for food.” Both eateries reflect Voltaggio’s thoughtful attention to detail and artistic sensibility, says Ovitz.
Does a “Top Chef” win mean built-in patrons for ink.?
“I personally think it helps,” says Ovitz. “But when you cut through it all, it’s all about the food. If the food is great and the chef committed — and not a guest chef at his own restaurant — you usually have a shot.”