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Voltaggio brothers survive another week on 'Top Chef'

October 15, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

Seemed history didn't help the Voltaggio brothers clutch another win during this week's "Top Chef: Las Vegas" episode.

Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, both Frederick County natives, could have had an unfair advantage going into Wednesday night's episode because both had worked alongside guest judge and American cooking pioneer Charlie Palmer.

Bryan Voltaggio, 33, of Urbana, Md., is the chef and partner of Volt Restaurant in downtown Frederick. Michael Voltaggio is chef de cuisine at The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Los Angeles.

Bryan Voltaggio said he had worked with Palmer for 10 years. In fact, he said Palmer has been one of his biggest influences since graduating the Culinary Institute of America.

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Michael Voltaggio was Palmer's executive chef for year.

In the quickfire challenge, the "cheftestants" had to pair a dish with one of the Alexia Crunchy Snacks. Bryan Voltaggio's seared rib eye with pickled onion, sauteed mushrooms and chive puree got him a spot in the top three dishes for the quickfire challenge.

Palmer called his dish "spot on."

But chef Eli Kirshtein won the quickfire competition.

For the elimination round, Palmer put the chefs to the Pig and Pinot challenge. Each contestant drew a knife containing a certain part of a pig. Chefs had to prepare the pork and also choose the correct pinot to pair with the dish.

Bryan Voltaggio's pork spare ribs paired with a 2007 Rochioli pinot noir and Michael Voltaggio's root beer-braised pork cheek paired with 2006 Cuvaison point noir landed them both in the top spots for best dishes for the evening.

But it was chef Kevin Gillespie who won the elimination round.

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

o On the "Top Chef" Web site, read an interview with the Voltaggio brothers and their work with Palmer at www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/burning-questions/bryan-voltaggio-the-good-son

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