'Top Chef' runner-up says Obama could win TV cooking competition

Bryan Voltaggio says there’s at least one Washingtonian who could blow away the competition on “Top Chef" even if his culinary abilities are unknown to the general public. 

"I would think if the president rolled in, it would be kind of hard to kick him off. I mean, how would you tell the president that his food isn’t any good?” said Voltaggio with a laugh. 

“I wouldn’t be able to do that. I’d be like, ‘That’s great,’ ” the chef said, puckering his face in mock horror.

The 36-year-old kitchen whiz, who was the runner-up (his brother was the winner) on the sixth season of Bravo’s cooking competition series, is now aiming to win the presidential seal of approval for the food at his soon-to-be-opened Washington restaurant, Range. The Friendship Heights eatery, which will serve Mid-Atlantic regional cuisine, is poised to open on Dec. 18

While then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was a guest when Voltaggio served as executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak, just blocks from the Capitol, he has yet to sample Voltaggio’s dishes as president.

But Voltaggio, who also owns the uber-popular restaurant Volt, in Frederick, Md., says he’s ready to run to the fridge if he gets the call about an upcoming presidential visit to Range. “We can please any palate here. I’ve been kind of researching a little bit about what his likes and dislikes are — so we’re ready for him.”

Photo: Ken Goodman Photography / (From left) Range Chef de Cuisine John Miele, Range Chef de Cuisine Matt Hill, and Chef Bryan Voltaggio.


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