Burning Questions

Michael Voltaggio elaborates on his feelings about Charlie Palmer ... and has some harsh words for Tyler Florence.

Oct 14, 20090

Bravotv.com: Charlie Palmer as Guest Judge: What was that like for you?
I have a lot of respect for Charlie so I was happy to hear his critique. He is a real cook at heart unlike past judges like Tyler Florence, who just plays one on TV.

Bravotv.com: Your brother said he thinks you think Charlie doesn’t like you. Is that true? What makes you think that?
I never said that. I only said that Bryan is his favorite. Kind of like kids jealous of a parent, I guess.

Bravotv.com: Pigs and pinot — how comfortable are you with pairing? Why did you choose the pinot you did? (For those viewers who might not understand why Charlie said he was surprised it didn’t go earlier.) Why did you shake your head when you saw your brother’s choice?
I love this concept. I hosted the first ever Pigs and Pinot event with Charlie. I was happy with my Pinot. It also showed that some of the others didn't know too much about Pinot. Bryan chose Rocchioli, which happens to be one of Charlie's favorite Pinots. Obvious selection if you know Chef Palmer.

Bravotv.com: Everyone is just sooo anti-Robin at this point, and there is even some tension between you two. What was your relationship like with her?
I don't really get caught up in the relationships. I do feel that some come to compete to win, and some come for TV. She can't actually be serious as a competitor, which means another great cook out there may have lost his or her shot at the TC title.

Bravotv.com: You say that your food is a little more risky than your brother’s — do you think his food suffers for it?
Food is an expression of a cook's soul. Every person here has a distinct style that resembles his or her personality in some way. At the end it just has to taste good and Bryan's food always does.

Bravotv.com: You said you know exactly what buttons to push with Bryan and Kevin thinks you manipulate him — do you think you did this in this competition?
No, it's a cooking competition not a mental game. I think none of the serious competitors have time or interests to play games.

33 comments
ML
ML

I was SO thrilled that Michael won...he was clearly the most creative and talented chef this season, and that's saying a LOT! I do feel that Kevin was judged on the last episode alone, while the brothers were judged based on their performance over the entire season, which wasn't fair. If Kevin had been judged based on the season, given all of his wins, he would have taken the gold. I don't think Michael was "an ass," like some other bloggers do...remember that he wanted to split his $10K elimination prize with his team members. I didn't see anyone else doing that kind of thing! Go Michael! Hope to visit your restaurant someday!

JoanneS
JoanneS

My favorite by far is Kevin. He not only cooks well, but shows grace and a nonjudgmental attitude towards his fellow competitors. Robin would not have made it onto the show if she hadn't been a talented chef in her own right. Perhaps you are not a fan of hers, but is it your place to second guess those that chose her as a contestant? Instead of competing and insulting others' skills, maybe you should have a show of your own where you can be judge. Then, you can decide who stays and who goes.

Al Cushing
Al Cushing

Micheal, Was pouting like a petulant child part of your second year apprenticeship as well? A true mark of one that is not worthy is making light of others accomplishments. Face it, you got outcooked in the vegetarian challenge. I have not seen the breakfast in bed episode as it has not aired here in Canada yet, however it appears you did win the elimination challenge on that episode. I highly doubt that any of your competitors were shown sullen faced and complaining that you won a challenge. Hopefully a challenge win will give you the humility that makes one a true champion. To find an example of that, take a page from Kevin, a true class act.

3D
3D

Under pressure, our personality flaws come center-stage. Michael's negatives are equal to his culinary genius. It was good to read Kevin's comments about agreeing to disagree on the subject.

Vei
Vei

I think your very talented in your domain; but are you equally talented when the odds are against you? I would love to see your creative culinary abilities in an everyday , hectic hell kitchen like the one I own.I'll see you in San Juan.P.R when your ready for some real competition.(no hard feelings when you loose to a 29 year old girl.) Anyway good luck in the competition.

greg m
greg m

sorry chef I believe kevin g. is the best.He has the best overall attitude with a natural love for cooking.He is very consistent and quite confident in his abilities. He brings his skills to the table.However u are no slouch in the kitchen.Please don't trash people anymore.It doesn't become u. Good luck .....

Steph C
Steph C

I think it's pretty obvious that Michael and Bryan are two of the best chefs on this season. That being said, I think it's also pretty obvious that Robin has gotten extremely lucky in some of these eliminations. I think it was a crime that Ash got eliminated this round! I think both Robin's and Lauriene's dishes were worse. How can you say someone's dish tastes like cat food and then eliminate someone else???? She didn't even properly make a rillette- Chef Palmer had to tell her how to cook one. I think Chef Colicchio was more disappointed that Ash was second guessing himself than in his food. I realize that Ash would probably not have made it to the end (no offense- I love you!), but come on!!! Robin has been way out of her league for basically the entirety of this show. Anyway, I love you Michael! Good luck!

amera11
amera11

I think you are a talented chef. However, to state that someone does not deserve to be there is not your call. I think that some of the younger chefs should be embarrassed that they are bulling Robin. She may be quirky but she does not derserve the disrespect that you all are displaying toward her. This is not junior high with cliques teaming up against one person it's a cooking competition.

PestoPat
PestoPat

I get the brothers confused, which is unfortunate. I think they're both really talented, but think they look so much alike and act so much alike that it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. It's pretty amazing that they're obviously so talented and so consistently in the top of quickfires and eliminations. They are among the best, with Kevin and (hopefully) Jennifer. I will say that watching the intense sibling competition has helped me 'get' the sibling rivalry my own kids exhibit with each other. I hope Mrs. V., Bryan and Michael's mom is managing all of this ok. I have a sense that her heart may be breaking sometimes.

Karla K.
Karla K.

Okay Michael Voltaggio why are you so HOT!!!

Pam J
Pam J

Hi I was so excited to see you on the show I have known you for along time since the Ritz and you are great!!!! Good Luck I keep watching every time it is on even the re runs! I think your great and have a definate chance with this... I have told everyone I know that knows ya Naples is behind ya I am sure.....

Courtney S.
Courtney S.

Michael, your food always looks so amazing, even to me, the pickiest eater in all of creation! I hope some day you come to Philadelphia or Penn State to cook for me personally ;)

I'm also glad that everyone across the board agrees that even if your food was awful you're still the sexiest man on TV!

I'm sure you'll make it far in TC, if not then you'll be winning it all! I love watching you and your cooking on the show and can't wait to see more!

Aly
Aly

So incredibly sexy. Watching Top Chef makes me want to hire Michael as my own personal chef....i'll be playing the lotto!!

SarahS.
SarahS.

Michael...lighten up! You and your brother look miserable. I've never seen you smile. Do you guys really dislike each other as much as it appears to the viewers?

Boonoo
Boonoo

The Voltaggio brothers are powerhouse chefs in their own rights. Don't know if the rivalry is punched up a bit for TV, but if these two guys ever decided to put down their pride and join forces, IMAGINE the impact on the culinary world!

Buddydave
Buddydave

It's obvious that Bryan is the diplomat of the family.

Melski
Melski

Michael--you are just way too hot for words, and are absolutely phenomenal in the kitchen. I also love your "explosive" nature, as MooBoo put it--not a downfall whatsoever!! It shows your passion for your craft. I know you will win it all...please come back East someday so we can all get a taste of your talent...preferably NYC;)!!

mmc
mmc

Hi Michael, In reference to your remark that Tyler Florence just "plays' a chef on T.V. , I was surprised to hear that coming from you.Maybe you didn't like some of his remarks, but to dismiss him as a real chef was uncalled for. I think all of you Chefs have your own talents this season and I wish all of you good luck. I do think you, your brother Bryan, Kevin, and Jennifer have stood out so far.That doesn't mean the others don't have some good dishes. To get on Top Chef you all have to be good in your own way.So I wish all of you good luck and may the best man or woman win!

manushace
manushace

I really enjoy watching the brothers.Just to see how far they will go.I can't fiqure who's cuter Michael or Bryan?Anyway I'll have either to cook for me.HOT HOT to Cook!!!!!!!!

PeachPie
PeachPie

Michael, Thanks for bringing some of the best cooking we've seen on Top Chef so far.

It's been a thrill seeing your dishes every week. Win or loose, you've got a great talent and I imagine you'll be someone to watch as the years progress.

Best to you, bro.

KensethFan
KensethFan

Interesting comment (stab) at Tyler Florence. Apparently your not a fan. Very gutsy Mike!!!

Bianca - Pittsburgh, PA
Bianca - Pittsburgh, PA

My favorite chef is Mike V!! No doubt you will win TC title! My absolute favorite thing about you (besides your cooking of course)is that you do not get involved in reality part of show and your demeaner is just sooo sexy. Good luck to you, keep chin up, you are doing very very well ;) Mwah

hs
hs

Obviously, you and your brother are very talented chefs. It isn't clear why Michael thinks Robin isn't serious. She may not be as talented as others, but she was skilled enough to be chosen for the show. I do believe that young men have a problem with competing with older women. This has happened on other episodes as well. It doesn't speak well for our culture.

Lt. Lurker
Lt. Lurker

I think, more than anything else, the contempt chefs have for the Tyler Florences etc hurts the effort to get more people cooking. Tyler Florence cooks well and he makes it accessible to people, so when a guy like Michael Voltaggio pans him so thoroughly, it's very nearly like a dig at regular people who don't cook.

Future and present contestants take note: There is no greater irony of calling someone just tv chef when you are not only on a reality tv show, but a competitive reality tv show in hopes of furthering your career.

Get a clue.

Souffle
Souffle

Michael, You are so handsome. I wish my chef looked like you. It would make the work day easier. Any one know if he is single?

stephanie17
stephanie17

I think you are the most talented and creative chef on the show. Your food sounds delicious and is always plated with such care to detail. I'm rooting for you! Good luck!

Jordan R.
Jordan R.

Michael... First off you are our favorite this season. Love watching your passion for food and admire your drive to always do better & try something new.

Random question. When watching last nights episode I noticed your awesome lightning bolt light blue trucker hat. I live in San Diego & am a huge Chargers fan...where can I get that hat? :)

Keep up the GREAT work!!! Good luck. Looking forward to next week.

CCNJ
CCNJ

Good cook I wish you would smile more.Come on have a little fun.

Bette
Bette

This makes me think Michael is going home soon ... he's his own biggest competition? Not keeping it simple enough? Interesting... but while originally I was rooting more for Bryan I actually think Michael is more direct -- less passive aggressive. He is what he is (which is sometimes grating, and yes, he's been rude to Robin, too, which seems like pulling wings off a fly). My ideal final would be Kevin, Jen and Michael with Kevin winning. Now, that and $3.50 will get me a cup of coffee ...

Hagerstown
Hagerstown

Good Luck Michael! I'm pulling for the boys from Western Maryland!

MooBoo
MooBoo

Michael you are the favorite in our house! Sometimes you make me cringe because you are just too explosive. That could be your down fall -- don't let it be! Good luck.

Lynda S
Lynda S

Mike V is high voltage! I enjoy your creations because they are so imaginative. You food looks interesting, and with the exception of the last elim challenge, gets high praise for taste. The most funny part of the competition, is your (& your brother's) own race. You each seem to care what each other thinks of your individual wins (either QF or elim). Good luck!!