Another celebrity chef has put his stamp on duty shoes. Michael Voltaggio, owner of trendy Los Angeles-based restaurants Ink and Ink.sack, teamed with Malibu, Calif.-based OTZ Shoes to create the Michael Voltaggio Culinary Brigade label. His shoes, designed to perform in and out of the kitchen, launch this spring. “Chefs [typically] wear ugly shoes,” said Voltaggio, adding he attempted to add some panache to the category. “I wore OTZ Shoes to work and got hooked,” said the 35-year-old. “I started buying them in different colors for my days off.” Voltaggio worked with the brand’s creative director, Ludo Malmoux, to come up with two kitchen-friendly styles: the Madlib MV, a lace-up sneaker; and the Moc MV, a slip-on shoe. Retailing from $165 to $175, both feature Vibram outsoles specifically for the culinary market; easy-to-clean proprietary Tectuff leather uppers; and comfort-driven cork footbeds. “I see these as lifestyle and professional shoes that can attract a wide audience,” Voltaggio said. “They’re comfortable, durable and look good.”
City I’d move to: “Paris. I fell in love with it.”
Favorite toy: “A yo-yo.
Dinner I’d cook for President Obama: “I’d find out what he likes, take [those] things apart and put them together in different ways.”
Best thing about Los Angeles: “The different subcultures. I have friends [involved] in so many industries and lifestyles.”
Most coveted tattoo: “In Hawaii, I recently got an octopus on my left leg.”
Chef I most admire: “My brother Bryan Voltaggio.”
Radio station most played in my car: “Sirius’ Backspin. It’s old-school hip-hop from when I was growing up.”