Bravotv.com: Charlie Palmer as guest judge: What was that like for you?
The first thing that was on my mind was the fact that the other chefs all know that both Michael and I worked for him. I was concerned that the chefs might be indifferent about the judging. That, however, was motivation for me to be sure that I brought my best game. I also wanted to be sure that I did not let my Chef down. I worked for him for almost 10 years; he gave me plenty of opportunity to grow in my career. He gave me the tools, inspiration, and confidence to open my first restaurant, VOLT. Having all of that on your mind also made me pretty nervous during those challenges.
Bravotv.com: You said you thought Michael thought Charlie didn’t like him — why do you think that is?
Michael has always has said that. I think it is a little of the sibling rivalry showing. Michael worked for Charlie at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. Michael's style is a bit different than Charlie's so I know that they had many discussions about menus. There may have even been a "Hey, why don't you be a little more like Bryan?" every once in a while. However, Michael may be reading this for the first time, there were plenty of compliments from Charlie regarding the work Michael did in Healdsburg. I heard it a lot when he came to town in D.C. Michael is a good cook and Charlie saw that in him. Michael is just pretty stubborn sometimes and Charlie does not put up with a lot of crap. That can also sometimes create great things; differences of opinion breeds ideas. Hey, a Michelin star was awarded. Not to speak for Charlie, but I am sure he is proud to see both Michael and I here and where we have gone with our careers.
Bravotv.com: Pigs and pinot — how comfortable are you with pairing? Why did you choose the pinot you did? Michael shook his head at your choice; why did he do that?
I am very comfortable pairing wine and food. I had the opportunity when opening Charlie Palmer Steak D.C. to work with Keith Goldston. He is one of few Master Sommeliers in the country and we worked together on many dinners featuring wine makers where we paired multi-course menus. I am a student of wine as well. I spend a good amount of time researching, if you know what I mean. At my restaurant wine plays as much into our menus as the food; both have equal importance and are respected as so. So when we sit down to plan the Kitchen Menu where we pair beverages we put a lot of thought into the process. My Sommelier Neil Dundee has a knack for finding both fun and very food-friendly wines. We even keep a somewhat regular after-service blind tasting challenge between the two of us. Keeps us in tune and also sometimes lightens one or the other's wallet!
Bryan, You are so mature and thoughtful. You are also a very good brother. I appreciate that you didn't become part of the gossip monger pack against Robin as most of the rest of the cast has. So far, you dishes have seemed inspired and fabulous. (I wish I had a taste-o-vision set)... Best of luck to you!!!
I must say Bryan, your comments at the end of the previous show when your brother was on the chopping block also showed a great deal of maturity when you listened to someone's comments; asked if they had actually tried it and then said that as someone hadn't tried it, not to comment upon them. I agree that it's good that you didn't join in to badmouth Robin whom I can understand can be very annoying.
I've enjoyed this season much more than previous seasons and you have been a big reason why. You are a very mature & thinking type of chef as opposed to blaze of flash that lets their mouth do the work for them. You let your food do it instead. It is also appreciated that you are not getting drawn into a Robin bashfest like the more immature chefs are. No one really wants to see that. It's been done on previous seasons and it actually turns people off more than draws them in. Speaking for myself I watch to see the food and see different techniques not the drama
"Why is Kevin so caught up in what we're doing?"
Your approach is to keep your eyes forward and not worry about the competiton. It's a good strategy. But not everyone is that disciplined. Or maybe it's boredom. Either way, Kevin is analyzing his toughest competition, and you and Michael represent two third of that group (with Jen being the other third). That "focus on the toughest competition" approach seemed to serve Hosea and Stefan well last season, so I don't think it will hurt Kevin too much.
"Why is Kevin so caught up in what we're doing?"
Kevin is not caught up in what you're doing. He was merely answering a question that was asked of him by a producer for the interview.
I love this season of Top Chef. I think everyone is awesome, but Ash it was your time to go. I do think that Robin or Laurine are next on the chopping block, bring your A game because you never know what can happen. Brian and Michael your both Fantastic Chefs, and so handsome :-) your cooking is exquisite. Kevin and Jen your also Fantastic chefs, I think your work is awesome, and may the best Chef win !!
You and your brother are both so talented and very creative chefs. I really don't envy the judges this season.There is so much talent in the Top Chef kitchen.Even though you, Michael V.,Jen and Kevin seem to be the front runners and all of you have really shown how good all of you are, don't forget the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.
Bryan, My daughter lives in Frederick Md and recently had the opportunity to visit your resturant there. Unfortunately, they had no reservations and couldn't be seated however, she did get to see you sitting on a couch talking to someone. she was thrilled as she always watches Top chef and of course is rooting for you. Thank you for sticking to cooking and not competition bashing. You and your brother both seem to be very nice gentlemen.
Bryan and Michael, I have had the pleasure of working with your father for the past six years at the Sheriffs office. I have never seen a prouder father. He loves to talk about you both as well as his grandkids. I feel like I know you guys as your dad has told me so much about you both, myself as well as my wife and children have not missed an episode and are your biggest fans. Good luck to you both!!! Keith
Bryan you are thoughtful, and measured in your responses to a very heated battle. You're a great chef , but your competition are heavy hitters. Best of luck.Your consistancy is feaky !
I, PERSONALLY THINK YOUR MOTHER SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF BOTH OF YALL. You are both amazing chefs.. and, YOU ARE BOTH SOOO HOTT !!
You should have shown your usual grace in accepting your brother's classy gesture. It di not look nice. He is your brother at the end of the day.
Bryan, I'm impressed by your cooking on the show and recently had the pleasure of dining at your restaurant. Your brother is also quite talented, and I'm rooting for both of you. I would actually love to see a tie and have 2 Top Chefs this season. Regardless of whether you win (or rather have won!) the competition, I have no doubt you'll go far. It's been a real pleasure watching the show and seeing you work your magic! All the best, Tinkerbell
Bryan, both you and Michael belong in the finale, skill shines brightly in both, but i have to say you show much more maturity the Michael, he does seem to want to push your buttons, and has shown a rude attitude at times, Robin should be treated like all others, the judges will decide when she leaves, and i liked that you did not join in with the Robin bashing, best season to date
I am addicted to this show and can't wait for each new season to see what new talent awaits us. I was dubious at first with so many"self-taught"..I thought it would be boring. but with each competion I wonder who will pull it out of the hat. Kevin, Jen Bryan and Michael are the top dogs and this could go down to the wire-pending any serious blow ups. Good luck to all it will be a pleasure to see who ends up as "Top Chef"