Three for Washington on Top Chef

Bravo just posted the cheftestant bios for its hit cooking competition/Glad ad Top Chef, and there are not one but three players with Washington ties. That’s big for a show that in all its seasons has given us only caterer Carla Hall to root for as a hometown prospect. (Spike Mendelsohn was living in New York during his stint on the show.) And Bravo’s thrown in another twist of novelty: Two of those three are brothers. There’s Bryan Voltaggio, longtime chef de cuisine at Charlie Palmer Steak, now chef/owner of the Frederick destination restaurant Volt, and little bro Michael Voltaggio, who impressed as chef at the Greenbrier’s Hemisphere and is now chef de cuisine at José Andrés’s many-starred Los Angeles restaurant, Bazaar. Also competing is Mike Isabella, chef de cuisine at another Andrés restaurant, DC’s Zaytinya.

Besides seeing photos of the chefs’ Terminator-like stares, we learn that M-Volt’s favorite “simple” summer recipe is a soft-poached egg with morel mushrooms, fava beans, and jamón ibérico consommé (a snap!). By contrast, Isabella’s answer is “squash blossoms.”

So when does the fun begin? The Vegas-based season six will kick off August 26. Hang onto those knife rolls, guys.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.