Bryan Voltaggio Outside of the Kitchen

The celebrity chef’s family dishes on what he’s like at home.

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Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef Masters know all about Bryan Voltaggio’s prowess in the kitchen; his way with food and focused precision earned him finalist spots on both series. For the uninitiated, a meal at any of his restaurants—Volt, Range, Family Meal, and Aggio—is guaranteed to win your admiration. Despite celebrity-chef status, at home Voltaggio, 37, is simply “Daddy” to Thacher, six, Piper, two, and Ever, eight months, and husband to Jennifer, who remembers the first time she saw him at their Frederick, Maryland, high school. “He was by my locker, wearing a baseball hat and a green Puma jacket.” Odds are he had as much swagger then as we think he has now.

Photograph by Kip Dawkins.

His Best Quality:

Jennifer: “The road here wasn’t easy, but he never had a second of self-doubt. It’s a quality I hope our children see in him and possess themselves.”

His Funniest Habit:

Jennifer: “He always covers his face with his shirt when he’s changing diapers. He gags uncontrollably and nearly throws out his back doing so.”

His Pet Peeve:

Jennifer: “Bryan can’t stand a mess. We have three kids—it’s organized chaos 24-7. He tries to fight that, and it frustrates him.”

His Smooth Moves:

Jennifer: “[When we met in high school] he started sitting with me at lunch, but he never ate, so at first I shared my lunch, and then I started packing him lunch every day. Friends first, I guess. We’ll be together 20 years total, ten years married, in May.”

His Teaching Skills:

Thacher: “The best thing he’s taught me is how to snowboard.”

Piper: “How to dance like a ballerina, I think. I suppose that is all right.”

His Quality Time:

Thacher: “After I got my stitches, he took me to get a game and ice cream.”

Thing He Wouldn’t Give Himself Credit For:

Jennifer: “He never worries about how something will get done, he just knows it will; anything and everything is possible in his world. Even though it frustrates me sometimes, I do love that about him.”

Thing He’d Never Turn Down:

Piper: “Swimming! Yes, Daddy, take me to the pool, I say.”

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