December 11, 2009 11:00 AM by Britteny Elrick
The Top Chef: Las Vegas finale was a surprise to almost everyone, including the winner Michael Voltaggio. Assuming that his brother had it in the bag, Michael told PEOPLE that he was completely shocked when he was announced as the winner. Keep reading to hear more about his journey to become Top Chef…
PEOPLE: So why were you so sure your brother Bryan was going to win?
Michael: All season long we tasted each otherâ€™s food basically by the way it looks. We donâ€™t get to eat the other oneâ€™s food, and that night we saw each otherâ€™s food course by course by course. And Bryanâ€™s food to me consistently looked better than both Kevin and mine. So hands down, Kevin and I were both like, â€œDude, you won!â€ [In the end] I think it just came down to the flavor of the food.
PEOPLE: What do you want people to know about you now as a person and chef?
Michael: Obviously as a chef you want to show them what youâ€™re capable of: Iâ€™m an artist and I think I portrayed that. I cooked what I wanted to cook at the moment I wanted to cook it, and thatâ€™s me. As a person, people get to see a small fraction of who you really are. Get to know me a little better because there are probably some people out there who would mistake confidence for arrogance. I watched myself on the show too â€” and Iâ€™m like, â€œWow, that guyâ€™s cocky. That guyâ€™s kind of an aâ€“hole.â€ But then Iâ€™m like, â€œWait a second, thatâ€™s me.â€ So you see yourself in that scenario and I was watching it and thoroughly entertained and wondering whatâ€™s that guy going to say next.
PEOPLE: Whatâ€™s next for you now that youâ€™re Top Chef?
Michael: Iâ€™m going to stay put. Right now Bryan and I are working on a Web site where we can work together and brand ourselves together. What that means in the future, Iâ€™m not sure. Certainly books and things like that â€” weâ€™re talking about. But weâ€™re going to do it slowly. We donâ€™t want to remove ourselves from our kitchens too fast. Youâ€™ll find Bryan and I both behind the stove where we belong.
To read the entire interview, please visit People.com.
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Photo Credit: Bravo