Did Padma make a mistake again?
That was newly crowned Top Chef Michael Voltaggio's first thought bubble when he heard his name as the new Top Chef, lording it over older brother Bryan and fan favorite Kevin. Apparently, he wasn't as confident as he sounded throughout the Top Chef season, especially on the triumvirate's final four-course meal.
"Throughout the whole season, Padma was calling me Bryan and calling Bryan Michael," he tells us. "So I was standing there, like, "Did she just do it again? This is a sick joke." Because I honestly thought Bryan had won... I think Kevin put up a great tasting, and I put up a great tasting, but based on looks alone, Kevin and I both thought Bryan had won."
What happened to his I-just-want-don't-want-Bryan-to-win pronouncements? Michael said it "sucked."
"That feeling right there was probably one of the lowest moments of my life. Because he would have been the first person I would have called and been like, "Hey Bryan, I just won Top Chef!" But he was standing right next to me. It didn't feel as good as I thought it should have."
The brothers, in fact, are launching VoltaggioBrothers.com, an interactive site with recipes and videos and future projects of the two. Also on his post-Top Chef agenda is securing bank accounts for his two daughters. But the most important realization he got on his stint on the Bravo cooking show?
"We learned we can work together in the kitchen. I think we became closer in the process."