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Top Chef Names one of the Brothers, Champ

Top Chef Names one of the Brothers, Champ

Host of Top Chef Tom Colicchio (photo by ZagatBuss via Flickr)

Laura Vozzella | The Baltimore Sun

Frederick had two hometown boys in the running for Top Chef, but one was clearly the favorite son.

Bryan Voltaggio, the older one with the swishy restaurant in town and the good sense to hold his tongue on TV, had nearly all of Frederick rooting for him Wednesday night in the finals of Bravo’s reality cooking show.

Even family members who joined a dolled-up crowd of 300 at Volt restaurant to watch the last episode over fine cheeses, olives and wine said they were pulling for Bryan over his kid brother, Michael Voltaggio, who lives in L.A., and the third finalist, Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta.

“I think Michael’s won enough,” said Ruth Voltaggio, 88, the contestants’ grandmother, referring to his haul in previous episodes. “He won $15,000 and he won the car.”

So when the judges seemed toward the end of the show to be heaping the most praise on Bryan, the crowd in the huge tent set up in Volt’s courtyard whooped and whistled.

When one of the judges said Bryan’s food was the “most restrained” and “most sophisticated,” the chef who’d given the brothers their start in the Frederick Holiday Inn kitchen predicted victory for Bryan.

“There you go!” chef Michael Aleprete called out. “Hands down.”

Bobbie Voltaggio, an aunt pulling for Bryan, started dabbing away tears.

The judges announced, “Kevin, you are not top chef,” and people screamed.

And then came the moment of truth: “Michael,” interminable pause, “you are Top Chef.”