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Voltaggio brothers survive another 'Top Chef'

September 23, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

FREDERICK, Md. -- For the first time since the first episode of "Top Chef: Las Vegas," a Voltaggio brother did not win the elimination round.

Nor did Bryan or Michael win the quickfire of the sixth episode, which aired Wednesday night on Bravo.

After having his quickfire dish cited as one of guest judge Michelle Bernstein's least favorites, Bryan Voltaggio did get compliments for his elimination-round dish.

But it was his younger brother Michael who ended up with one of the best dishes of the elimination round, just not the victory.

Bryan Voltaggio, 33, of Urbana, Md., is chef and partner of Volt Restaurant in downtown Frederick, Md.

His younger brother, Michael, also a Frederick County native, is chef de cuisine at The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel in the Los Angeles area.

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So far Bryan has three elimination-round wins and Michael has one elimination-round win and one quickfire win.

The most recent quickfire challenge was to prepare a duo that represented the angel and devil on the chef's shoulders.

Bryan Voltaggio prepared a frozen coconut, lychee and vanilla dish to represent his angel and a dark chocolate mousse for his devil.

Michael Voltaggio's devil was a modern smoked salmon -- a confit of salmon and ice cream, and his angel was traditional smoked salmon -- rillettes of salmon.

Michael's salmons were one of Bernstein's three favorites, but he lost to Robin Leventhal, a chef, artist and teacher from Idaho.

Leventhal cited her desire to work with healthy foods after her cancer diagnosis and her desire to eat sugary foods that weren't good for her as her angel and devil. She prepared arugula, apple and fennel salad for her angel dish and a cardamom apple ginger crisp for her devil dish.

The elimination round challenge was to deconstruct a traditional dish with each cheftestant pulling a knife to determine what dish they would deconstruct.

Bryan Voltaggio deconstructed a Reuben, which traditionally consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, rye bread and dressing. Instead of using corned beef, he used tuna with a warm mayo, Thousand Island flavors, rye and gruyere cheese.

The dish didn't send him to the winners' or losers' tables, though Bernstein noted she thought it was delicious.

Michael Voltaggio's deconstructed Caesar salad did send him to the winners' table, however Kevin Gillespie's deconstructed chicken mole negro won the elimination round.

Gillespie had said he thought the Voltaggio brothers were his biggest competition in this challenge because they are so good at deconstruction.

When Bryan learned Michael was making his own bread for the Caesar salad, he called him a "show-off."

Bernstein said Michael Voltaggio did a beautiful execution of Caesar salad and Head Judge Tom Colicchio said it was the type of dish that makes you excited about food.

Sent packing was Ron Duprat, who is from Haiti and currently lives in Florida. Duprat's deconstructed paella received severe criticism from the judges.

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