From InsideTV.AOL.com: In a stunning 'Top Chef' upset,
Los Angeles-based chef Michael Voltaggio came up big in the season 6
finale of Bravo's highly-rated reality competition series. Known throughout the season as the gambler, Michael often made risky
decisions with his culinary visions. But in the end, the gambling paid
off, as he edged out his brother, Bryan, and Atlanta native, Kevin
Gillespie. Michael took home the grand prize of $125,000 -- and surely enough work to keep him busy over the next several years.
Michael spoke with reporters earlier this afternoon about what
motivated him to appear on 'Top Chef,' the meanings behind his tattoos
and the on-set mix ups between him and his brother.
On the idea to do 'Top Chef' with his brother Bryan:
I think it was more my idea. Marcel from season 2 was my Sous Chef, and
Hung, who won season 3, was one of my cooks somewhere else. And the
three of us were hanging out together and I was making fun of them for
[being on] 'Top Chef.' And they were like, "Why don't you go do it?" I
was like, "No, no," but then [I] thought maybe I should do it. Then the
James Beard awards came out and Bryan and I had both been nominated for
"Best New Restaurant." I called him and said maybe we should do this
On saying he cooks the food that Kevin cooks on his day off:
Here's the deal about that quote -- and a lot of stuff seen on that
show. We only judge each others food by the way it looks. And that's
where that comment came from. I put everything into a dish every single
time -- the look of it, the taste of it. So naturally, I think I did
more work than he did. So, that's where that comes from. That being
said, Kevin's food is some of the tastiest I've ever had. His potato
salad that he made on the Air Force episode is literally the best
potato salad I've ever eaten in my life. So, he's a great cook. I think
everyone got a part of what I said and didn't get the tail end of my
On being the gambler of 'Las Veags':
The way I decided to do it, I thought it was going to be easy. I have
to be honest with you: I've watched past seasons and I think everyone
did a good job and the people that won were great. But you could pick
them out at the very beginning. So I thought for me, it was going to be
the same case. But then I realized there were five, six, seven people
here that were very talented. I thought I'm going to have to do
something more to stand out from the pack.
On having Mom eat the first course in the final elimination:
I think I was more worried about her than me at that point. She had to
sit there and experience what actually happens on the show: critiques.
And as a mom, I'm sure it's hard to sit there and listen to other
people talk bad about your children. I'm sitting there hoping that Mom
doesn't jump across the table at someone who says the wrong thing.
On the final moment when Padma announced his name:
I was actually really confused, because Padma mixed our names up the
whole season. There were a lot of times where Padma would say "we have
to re-shoot that." So when she said it, I was like, "Oh, crap, is this
one of those moments where Padma mixed us up?" Because I really thought
Bryan had won. Turns out, she was looking at me and saying my name at
the same time ... I was overwhelmed and shocked. Honestly shocked.
On his tattoos:
Tattoos all tell a story about your life and who you are as a person. I
think some people might get one just to get one. I've done that myself.
At the end of the day, you should tell a story with the art that's on
your body. I don't have pieces of meat or anything like that on my
body. I have a knife and fork on one of my hands which I use to plate
food with. It reminds me that people are about to eat this. So many
chefs out there just throw food on the plate and don't realize that
they're cooking it for someone to eat. And that's what the knife and
fork is all about.
On staying where he's at:
I need to have a job; I'm not independently wealthy yet. Right now, our
first focus will be maybe a book together. We just launched a website
called Voltaggiobrothers.com, and we'll build and brand our work together.