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Volt Ink.: Recipes, Stories, Brothers Hardcover – 25 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Press (25 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616281618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616281618
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 3 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Hardcover. Pub Date: 2011 Pages: 336 Publisher: the Weldon Owen yan and Michael Voltaggio have been called two of the most talented Chefs of their generation. Though they ARE probably best known for their head-to-head. Other-against -other competition on season 6 of avo TV's Top Chef. In their eagerly anticipated debut cookbook. the others present their cuisine through an exploration of 20 food families of ingredients. Chef Charlie Palmer. one of the others' mentors. writes in his foreword to the book. There are no better examples of kitchen craftsmen in our exciting culinary era than the Voltaggio others. and celeated chef Jos Andres calls the others both amazing and talented cooks. among the ...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danny Marbella on 21 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
When these two brothers write about families, it is about flavor families -- how Avian (Squab, Quail, Chicken) or Buckwheat (Buckwheat Flour, Sorrel, Buckwheat Groat, Rhubarb) give them ideas -- that have them to compete before us. They force us to be Structuralist. It's as if their new cookbook were saying, "Think about the food: that is what we are." This gives the book inner tension between their own Structuralist approach and the Post-Structuralist urge in readers to want to know the authors more. (There are no pictures of Mum or Dad or other family members. There is little about the details of the food they grew up with -- the TV shows they watched or books they read)

They invite comparison in Food: readers want to tease apart their psyches. Here are two brothers, both chefs. How did nurture affect nature? How did the role of their mentors help form their own signature styles?

The Voltaggio Brothers answer in restaurant recipes, constructed like a competition between two chefs, but really a challenge to see whether readers can tell them apart.

Chefs Michael and Bryan have both worked for Charlie Palmer, who penned a forward. Michael worked at Dry Creek Kitchen, and Bryan at Charlie Palmer Steak. They have competed against each other on Top Chef. Jose Andres knows both chefs as well, since Bryan used to work nearby in Washington DC, while Michael worked for him at The Bazaar by Jose Andres in LA:
No one knows you better, and no matter how different you grow up to be or how much distance separates you, your sibling understands you like no one else does. Unlike most brothers, the connection between Bryan and Michael has the added layer of their connection through the kitchen. Both of them are amazing and talented cooks, among the best I know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By arch on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have hundreds of cookbooks but from a technical viewpoint this has to be the best book i have read. The brothers use most of the modern techniques in recipes that can be followed by good cooks and restaurant professionals. The food combinations are inspiring and i have made a few of these dishes using close relatives of those in the book and feel much more confident with using the equipment mentioned in this book. The lobster with forbidden rice was heavenly.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dignan on 11 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Lovely book things are pretty, using new methods of food tec. Nice the way the chapters are set in to food groups too c
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By rob on 19 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 44 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Stunning book. Stunning achievement. 26 Oct. 2011
By J. C. Kinder - Published on Amazon.com
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. Unless you own an immersion circulator, a vacuum sealer, vacuum bags, nitrous foamers, dehydrators and a few other non-standard pieces of cookware (and I personally do not, though I understand they are becoming more common)this book is roughly as practical for the home chef as a chocolate stockpot. I have only seen a spare handful of things I thought were possible to cook at home. The joy of this book is the way it organizes its self around groups of ingredients that go well together. This arrangement provides a great deal of inspiration, even for people with no intention of ever attempting the dishes shown. Another cookbook that does this, and one I would cheerfully recommend for anyone interested in cooking, is Think Like a Chef, by Tom Colicchio.)

A last word on the photography. The pictures in this book are stunning. The term food porn gets thrown around a lot. This book moves transforms the term from irritating to accurate. Volt ink is a staggeringly beautiful book.

I strongly recommend Volt ink, not as a book of recipes, but as a source of inspiration, excitement, and a wonderful insight into the future of American cuisine.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Volt, ink 24 Jan. 2012
By MommaDuck - Published on Amazon.com
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.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
impractical 26 April 2012
By Marie Hanerhoff - Published on Amazon.com
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.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A worthy addition to Modernist Cuisine literature 8 Nov. 2011
By Robert Jueneman - Published on Amazon.com
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!)

Other, not so exotic or expensive equipment includes a 6-quart pressure cooker, a deep fryer (optional), a masticating juicer, a dehydrator (optional -- a convection oven or just a plain oven will also work), a high-speed blender, a Japanese mandoline, a PolyScience smoking gun and applewood or other wood shavings, an iSi canister with NO2 chargers, and a kitchen blowtorch.

Some of the recipes do call for liquid nitrogen and a Styrofoam cooler, although I prefer using a double-walled stainless steel bowl or bain. But in general, those techniques are for speed, e.g., when coating foie gras "tiles" with a strawberry liquid, and an alternative technique that involves freezing the foie gras in a freezer for eight hours is presented as well.

Since I have all of that equipment and more, and use them routinely when cooking for just the two of us, this volume will be a very welcome addition to my cookbook collection. For others who are just starting to go down this path, it may all seem rather intimidating, but there is a lot of information available on-line, and many people willing to help. See [...], for example.

I applaud the fact that all of the recipes are given in both traditional volume measurements (cups and teaspoons), as well as in the much more precise and repeatable metric weight-based measurements (grams).

Although terms like "reverse spherification" aren't used, perhaps to avoid the dreadful "molecular gastronomy" epithet, nonetheless such techniques are sometimes employed, as in the case of the Mock Oyster recipe.

There is a Sources section, but unless you know that what a hydrocolloid is, you might not find what you are looking for. In particular, the book uses the terminology introduced by Ferran Adrià and his line of Texturas ingredients, instead of the more conventional chemical names. "Algin" is sodium alginate, "Citras" is trisodium citrate dihydrate, "calcic" is calcium chloride, "gluco" is 75% calcium lactate and 25% calcium gluconate, "xantana" is Xanthan gum, "agar" is agar-agar, "kappa" is kappa carrageenan, "metil" is their particular brand of methylcellulose, "malto" is tapioca maltrodextrine, "lecite" is soy lecithin, and "sucro" is a combination of various sucroses. For further information, see [...]. At one time, Texturas offered a 12-unit Experimental sampler kit. More recently, others have been dividing the large bulk quantities into smaller portions that are more reasonable for the home user.

Finally, because many of these techniques are still quite new, it would have been a considerable help if a References section had been included. But then I would have had to give it six stars!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and complicated 7 Jan. 2012
By Chrisalyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book is simply beautiful. Stunning photography, artistic plating of the dishes and breathtaking story telling. It's the kind of book that challenges you in the kitchen. But this book is not for the average home chef, because many of the recipes require speciality equipment, such as thermal immersion circulators. I wrote a blog detailing my experience with this book. Check it out, if you like.
It's a wonderful book. I can't wait to try another recipe.
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