Top Chef, Bryan
It came down to brother vs. brother on the Top Chef finale, but despite losing to his little brother Michael, Bryan Voltaggio, 33, says he is still full of pride. Find out what he felt the moment he lost, how their mom handled her sons' competition and what they were like as kids.
Top Chef's Michael dishes on his victory
TVGuide.com: What was it like having your brother win the competition?
Bryan Voltaggio: The one big emotion was pride. When Kevin left — as sad as that moment was — and it was just the two of us, it was a proud moment right there. It was pretty incredible what we accomplished because Michael and I set out to do that. We knew only one of us could win, but you know what, we said we are going to both get there and we did. And not to take away from Michael, because he did win the whole thing, but I feel like we both won at that moment.
TVGuide.com: What did you think of the judges' critique about your dishes being too conservative?
Bryan: I've heard that a couple times throughout the season. I believe I cook for my guests and not for myself, so I may be thinking about that too much. I cook for multiple palettes and sometimes I hold back a little bit and use familiar flavors presented in a more modern way. Michael sometimes creates new flavors and interesting combinations, which is where he sometimes prevails. But if you fail at that, you can fail pretty horribly.
TVGuide.com: Both Kevin and Michael said they thought you were going to win. Did you?
Bryan: I did at one point too, with the plates I put forth and the comments coming back from the judges' table. There was a time when we were sitting in the room and they both mentioned that they thought I won, but I think it was just a tough decision for [the judges]. I think there were some things Michael did that trumped my dishes which made him the winner.
Top Chef's Kevin: Fans wanted my beard to win!
TVGuide.com: How did your mom deal with having both her sons in the competition?
Bryan: She wanted Kevin to win, are you kidding me? [Laughs] No, it was really difficult. She knew for six weeks she was coming out there and we had no idea. She obviously is very proud of both of us and that she could be a part of it. At least it wasn't her decision!
TVGuide.com: What was your relationship like with Bryan when you were kids?
Bryan: We were close, but obviously very competitive. I think Michael looked up to his big brother and followed in his footsteps. He started in the same kitchen I was in. I started as a busboy and soon became a cook and Michael followed the same footsteps. That's the last time we cooked professionally together. But we were out there trying to accomplish more [than the other], which pushed us.
TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Bryan: I want to stay focused on my restaurant and see what comes of this. Michael and I have a lot of ideas and we launched a website called VoltaggioBrothers.com. I think our next moves will definitely be together, so we'll see where it goes.
A new Top Chef winner is crowned