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Michael Voltaggio: Here to Compete

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

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock. 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. 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. 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. 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. Would it have meant more to you to win this challenge behind judged by Charlie?
It is an honor to win any challenge. The cooks are good here and much better than I expected. Winning with Charlie could be fun just to have some fun with Bryan, as Charlie is his biggest mentor. Also Charlie is an amazing chef with a very respected opinion. How upset were you to see that the chefs did not make “the right decision,” as you guys put it?
I don't remember the context of the conversation. If it refers to Robin, then perhaps we were thinking that it was just time for her to go. Who do you think your biggest competition is at this point?
Myself. I know that I'm the most rounded cook here, so sometimes I try to do too much and I lose to simplicity. 

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