The Washington Post

Maryland’s ‘Top Chef’ turns focus to school breakfasts

File photo, Chef Bryan Voltaggio. (Bill O'Leary/TWP)

With dinner and now lunch for foodies, Voltaggio is turning his focus to the most important meal of the day — breakfast. But you and I are not likely to eat anytime soon at the breakfast spot he’s working on. It’s too exclusive for us. We wouldn’t fit, especially not in the chairs.

Voltaggio is working on school breakfasts.

Voltaggio testified Monday in front of Annapolis legislators in support of increasing funding for Maryland Meals for Achievement, a project that serves healthy breakfasts in elementary schools. “As a chef, I understand the importance of nutritious food in people’s lives, and as a father, I am even more keenly aware of what a square meal means to my children,” he said in his testimony.

Voltaggio testified that breakfast at more than 500 schools in the state won’t be funded this year because of budget shortfalls, and he applauded Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) decision to increase the program's funding by $560,000 in his 2013 budget. Now Voltaggio wants Annapolis legislators to approve the funds.

“There are few things more important than ensuring our children have what they need to be successful,” he said, according to his testimony. “As a father and as a chef, I feel a responsibility to do what I can to ensure that kids never have to worry where their next meal will come from.”

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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