'Top Chef' Winner Michael Voltaggio Shares Quarantine Meal Hacks

Michael Voltaggio knows a thing or two about good food! The professional cook is not only a Top Chef winner, but he’s also run several successful restaurants across the country.

That’s part of what makes him a great source of culinary know-how, especially when it comes to elevating at-home meals amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s been pretty endless. We eat, like, three meals a day obviously from the house now,” Voltaggio, 41, told Us Weekly exclusively last month. He’s currently quarantining with his girlfriend, fashion designer Sami Miro.

“The dynamic has definitely been a lot different. Sami’s definitely learning how to do dishes pretty well,” he added. “The meals themselves are interesting. That’s probably the best word to describe it.”

The “interesting” dishes the duo has feasted on range from everything including a “cured fish ramen dish” to “slumming it” with hot dogs. “We’ve repurposed a lot of things too and I think that’s the part that’s kind of interesting.”

In Voltaggio’s case, the repurposing involved a bunch of leftover enchilada sauce, but he wants home-cooks to know that they can repurpose just about anything, including condiments to upgrade a frozen pizza or alcohol to create a tasty sauce.

The reality star is also not above getting creative by mixing and matching certain meals. “We’ve been cooking pretty interesting stuff every day,” he told Us. “For breakfast we created this cacio e pepe oatmeal. We’ve been taking oats, cooking it, finishing it with pecorino cheese and black pepper and then putting in soft boiled eggs.”

Since grocery store trips are now few and far between for many of us, Voltaggio recommends getting “real creative” with the items you purchase or buying things that you can use in many different ways. “I came home one day with canned jackfruit and Sami’s like, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ We haven’t had to eat that yet. It’s still sitting in the cabinet. But [we bought] four packs of ground turkey and then figured out how many different things we could make out of ground turkey so we’re not eating the same dish. We’ve had anything from meatballs to meatloaf to tacos to chili.”

Scroll down for more of Voltaggio’s quarantine meal hacks!

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