Our local celebrity

For any of you Top Chef fans out there, you may be familiar with the Voltaggio Brothers (Bryan and Michael). They were the top two finalists in  Season 5 of Top Chef (Las Vegas) , and Michael ended up winning the title. The brothers are from my hometown, and Bryan lives and owns/operates a restaurant here. He’s a nice guy- I have talked to him several times and often run into him at places like the farmers’ market or car wash (our town is not that big). His restaurant, Volt, is located in downtown Frederick (right near my house) and has been a really big deal to foodies in the area. Greg and I literally started going to Volt the night it opened (before any of the Top Chef celebrity) and have always been big fans of Bryan’s, but when his season of Top Chef premiered, it was suddenly impossible to get a reservation. The big thing they are known for is “Table 21,” in which you sit right in the kitchen and are served 21 courses (they’re small!), and the waiting list is something like 2 years long. LUCKILY we got in there right before all the hype began- it was probably the coolest dining experience I’ve ever had.

Michael lives out in L.A. and just opened a new restaurant called Ink. The brothers also just released a cookbook titled Volt ink. It’s written by both Bryan and Micheal and contains stories, recipes and beautiful photographs. From a graphic design point-of-view, it’s really stunning.

ANYWAY. The brothers had a cookbook launch party last night at our local minor-league baseball stadium. They designed a menu and chefs from Volt cooked up the food and sold it at 3 separate concession stands. Items ranged from $2 – $7, which is a far cry from what the prices are like at Volt! Our local brewery, Flying Dog, was another sponsor, which of course made me and the hubs very happy. 🙂 We went to a similar event last year, when Volt catered food at a regular Keys home game, but they only had 1 concession stand, and the lines were hours long. They seemed to have their sh*t together a lot more this year.

Greg and I got there early, and got our food right away. Since it was SO cheap, we got a bunch of different stuff (and didn’t really care if we finished it all or not).

MD Blue Crab fries


Old Bay popcorn (we sure do love our Old Bay in Maryland!)


Bahn Mi sandwich (my favorite food of the night), sweet potato chips


Cheddar burger (Greg's favorite)


Chili pinapple- in a vacuum-sealed bag (awesome!)

And of course, the beer. This was a limited release called Backyard Ale that Bryan actually collaborated with Flying Dog to make. It was smoky- like bacon.

Man, I wish I had a 6-pack of this.

We were happy campers!

There was an 80s cover band playing too. What a beautiful night to be outside with good food, beer and music!

The line to get a cookbook was super long, and we were more interested in the food and beer anyway. The line to get your cookbook signed was even longer! I figured that if I really want a signed book, I can buy one and bring it by Volt. The brothers were signing books for a good 2 hours, at least.

I was also more interested in getting dessert- a caramelized banana sundae!

The brown, white and pink dots were ice cream (but tasted MUCH better than that  Dippin’ dots crap) and a big caramelized banana was underneath.


It was a really cool night, and we ran into a lot of good friends and people that we haven’t seen in a long time.

So today my tummy is a little upset from everything I ate last night, but it was worth it! You can easily make up for a big cheat meal by eating mostly veggies and lots of fiber the next day, right? 🙂

Are there any local celebrities from your town? Or have you had your own 15 minutes of fame?


12 Comments on “Our local celebrity”

  1. I am so jealous! Those two were my favorite Top Chef contestants ever. I loved the look of your Sundae.

  2. This sounds like such a fun day out! I haven’t seen Top Chef, but then I don’t have cable. I have to watch Anthony Bordain etc at the gym if I remember to go at the right times.

    So lucky for you to have done the “Table 21” thing before it got blown up by all the hype!

    BTW I have a fun food photography challenge contest happening at my blog tomorrow; come by and check it out! I think you might like it!

  3. you look so pretty in that picture!!

    I want some of those sweet potato chips right about….NOW. Yumm.

  4. Gil says:

    What was in his banh mi? I so love those things…but I haven’t gotten a hold of one since Hanoi! Do you know of anywhere in Frederick where you can get them regularly?

    • Lauren says:

      It had pork belly and shoulder (I think), crispy skin and peppers and carrots. Sooo good! I haven’t found a place in Frederick, but I’ll keep ya posted. 🙂

  5. Too cool!!!
    Apparently, one of my fave restaurants in town will be featured on a show on Food Network. That’s all the excitement lately 😉

  6. Wow, what an awesome evening!! It looks like SO much fun!!

  7. What an awesome night! I love the Volt brothers. Quite possibly my face season of Top Chef too! The food looks amazing!

    Living in Boston we have a few celebrities but I’ve run into more in NYC on visits there.

  8. […] was watching the Voltaggio Brothers’ Thanksgiving special last week, and Michael V. said the best […]

I love hearing your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s