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Voltaggio brothers even in elimination rounds

September 02, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

FREDERICK, Md. -- The brothers Voltaggio are even in elimination rounds as Frederick County native Michael Voltaggio won Wednesday night's elimination round of "Top Chef: Las Vegas."

The judges liked both brothers' dishes, but only one brother made it to the winner's bracket.

Neither brother was singled out during the quickfire challenge as having a terribly bad or good dish. The quickfire challenge was to make an "out-of-this-world" potato dish.

For Wednesday's elimination round, the cheftestants were asked to prepare food for 300 servicemen and servicewomen at Nellis Air Force Base. They had limited equipment, lots of canned foods and few fresh proteins to work with as they cooked against the clock.

"My sister was in the Air Force and I think she would be proud that my brother and I got to participate in this challenge," Bryan Voltaggio said during the episode. Bryan Voltaggio, 33, of Urbana, Md., is chef and partner of Volt Restaurant in downtown Frederick.

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For the challenge, the cheftestants split into teams of two.

After Michael Isabella teamed up with Michael Voltaggio, Bryan Voltaggio paired up with Mattin Noblia, who is from France and owns a restaurant in San Francisco.

The Voltaggio-Noblia team prepared roasted beef strip loin with mushroom demi-glace and cauliflower gratin, a dish that was Voltaggio's idea.

The judges said the strip was well-seasoned and a nice medium-rare.

The Voltaggio-Isabella team had two dishes with Michael Voltaggio preparing the winning dish, braised pork belly with soy-mustard sauce and peanuts.

His teammate, Isabella, went from the winner's bracket to the loser's bracket with a bland Greek salad with cucumbers, chickpeas, olives and olive oil-poached shrimp that were underdone.

But Preeti Mistry was eliminated at the end of the night for a pasta salad that lacked creativity.

So the brothers are even in elimination-round victories. Michael Voltaggio, who lives in California, has won one quickfire competition.

"Top Chef: Las Vegas" airs on Bravo at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

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