Bryan Voltaggio to debut solo cookbook in 2014


Bryan Voltaggio, shown here at his Family Meal restaurant in Frederick, says his next cookbook will be “very approachable” for home cooks. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
June 7, 2013

It could be the world’s shortest cookbook: Following a collaboration with his brother on “Volt Ink” in 2011, Range and Volt chef Bryan Voltaggio will focus on home cooking with his first solo collection of recipes.

“The working title right now is ‘Home,’ ” Voltaggio says. “It’ll be what I cook at home and also some adaptations of dishes at Family Meal, which is a restaurant about families getting together and sharing food. It’s kind of a window into what I like to cook when I might be off, which is very rare. These are rare recipes, sir!”

And with that, Voltaggio releases one of his staccato bursts of laughter, endearing in its boyish enthusiasm.

Scheduled to be published by Little, Brown and Co., “Home” will be a departure from the large-format “Volt Ink,” in which Voltaggio and his brother, Michael, pulled out their bag of modernist tricks for home cooks with enough bank to afford thermal immersion circulators, smoking guns and vacuum sealers.

“It’ll be a fun book. It’ll be very approachable,” Voltaggio says. “ ‘Volt Ink,’ I think, was a great window into the time and place where Michael and I were in our careers at the time we wrote the book. This is a different take. It’s a book about food that I’m excited about, that everybody can try.”

Speaking of his sibling, does Voltaggio have any plans to collaborate on a project, such as a restaurant, with his younger brother?

“That’s always on our minds,” Voltaggio says. “When opportunities come available that we believe would fit between the two of us, then, yes, we do [look at them]. But Michael’s really focused on what he’s doing out West, and I obviously am here. We haven’t come across anything that was going to work. Not that there’s not an opportunity.”

Neither brother, Voltaggio notes, has the temperament to open a restaurant in which the two chefs are figureheads, just names above the door.

“I’m not a guy who’s going to jump on a plane and head to Vegas to pretend like I’m a chef at a restaurant,” Voltaggio says. “I want to feel in touch and be a part of my restaurants. So for us right now to open something, I’d have to get him to pack up and move. [Laughs]. Or vice versa. He would feel the same. I think that’s probably why we haven’t done it with a brick-and-mortar business. Rather we’ve done it in some of our efforts,” such as their cookbook or their partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Even though Voltaggio has several restaurants to oversee and an upcoming appearance on “Top Chef Masters,” among other projects, he says he still hopes to develop and publish “Home” sooner rather than later.

“I’m ambitious. I was shooting for spring ’14, and they told me I’m crazy,” Voltaggio says. “So it’ll probably be in fall ’14. But it’s in the works now.”

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires ingesting more calories than a draft horse.
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