Subscribe
In Good Taste

Bryan Voltaggio Discusses What’s in Store for 2017

Celeb chef talks upcoming projects, working with his brother, and hosting The Supper.

By Lauren Cohen | February 22, 2017, 5:40 pm

Bryan Voltaggio (left) recently partnered with his brother Michael (right) to open a restaurant at the MGM National Harbor Hotel. -Courtesy of MGM National Harbor
In Good Taste

Bryan Voltaggio Discusses What’s in Store for 2017

Celeb chef talks upcoming projects, working with his brother, and hosting The Supper.

By Lauren Cohen | February 22, 2017, 5:40 pm

Bryan Voltaggio (left) recently partnered with his brother Michael (right) to open a restaurant at the MGM National Harbor Hotel. -Courtesy of MGM National Harbor

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

When we last caught up with Bryan Voltaggio in September, the chef was candid about making the decision to close a number of his comfort food-inspired Family Meal locations scattered throughout the region—one of which was situated on Pier V in the Inner Harbor.

“It’s unfortunate, nobody ever wants to close a restaurant,” he explained. “But on a business level, it just didn’t materialize the way we thought it would.”

Though the tail-end of 2016 was tough for the Frederick-based Top Chef alum, this year, things are looking up. With two up-and-coming restaurants, a newfound partnership with his brother, and multiple charity efforts in the works, Voltaggio has plenty on his proverbial plate.

“I’m staying busy,” he says. “That’s all you can do when you go through a period of time where a project wasn’t successful.”

Earlier this year, Voltaggio added to his restaurant empire—which currently includes two Aggio locations in Baltimore and Ashburn, Virginia; fine-dining den Volt and the Family Meal flagship in Frederick; and spinoffs Range and Lunchbox in Washington D.C.—when he unveiled Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse inside the brand new MGM National Harbor Hotel and Casino. The restaurant marked the first joint venture between Voltaggio and his brother, and former Top Chef rival, Michael.

“We share a lot of the same opinions and ideas about what we do, so it’s very collaborative,” Voltaggio says. “But it’s also really refreshing to work with someone who speaks the truth. If I’m showing a subordinate a dish they might have a tendency to go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the greatest thing in the world, chef.’ He’s not going to hold back his opinion.”

Since its opening, the steakhouse has generated buzz for its Maryland-inspired dishes including local oysters and blue crab imperial, as well as a variety of steaks paired with sides like potato gratin and broccoli with charred lemon.

But the duo isn’t stopping there—the brothers are joining forces to open yet another spot this summer. This time they’re moving south, targeting Florida’s new mixed-used railroad station development MiamiCentral, which will soon boast an express train from Miami to Orlando.

Voltaggio feels a strong connection to the area, saying that he often visits his parents (his mother lives in Orlando, his father in Tampa) and travels to Disney World with his children.

“There’s authenticity behind it,” he says. “We’re not just popping up somewhere that’s a destination. We’re going to be there frequently.”

The restaurant, named Monger, will anchor Central Fare, the district’s massive food hall, which Voltaggio compares R. House and Mt. Vernon Marketplace. Speaking of local spots, foodies might remember the announcement that Voltaggio would be introducing an additional Family Meal location at BWI Marshall Airport this year. While his team is still working toward the opening, Voltaggio says that the project has been halted indefinitely.

“Those things come and go,” he says. “Everybody puts their name in the hat for them and we thought we were finalized, but didn’t quite get all the way through.”

In the meantime, the chef continues to focus his attention on Aggio, his modern Italian concept in Power Plant Live. Voltaggio says that one of his favorite things about being a part of the Charm City food scene is the opportunity to gather with other area chefs to host events that benefit organizations like No Kid Hungry and Moveable Feast.

On the horizon is The Supper, a charity competition that pits local chefs against one another to raise money for the St. Agnes Foundation. During last year’s inaugural cookoff, Voltaggio enjoyed the experience acting as a host, rather than a competitor.

“I’ll be honest, I’ve kind of hung up my hat,” he says with a laugh. “It’s nice to be on the other side of the table.”

Voltaggio will return to emcee this year’s competition, which is scheduled for April 21 at Loyola Blakefield. This time around, the tournament-style cookoff will task chefs Chris Becker of Bagby Restaurant Group, Mark Levy of Magdalena, and reigning champion Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom with creating dishes using a mystery ingredient.

“Sometimes that’s what it takes bring the community together and get to know people a bit better,” Voltaggio says of local events like The Supper and Chefs Behind Bars. “It’s nice to be a part of something where you can see change happening in your own backyard.”




Meet The Author
Lauren Cohen is a digital staff writer for Baltimore, where she blogs about food, events, lifestyle, and community news.


You May Also Like

In Good Taste

Mt. Washington Teen Makes the Final Three on Top Chef Junior

Tune in to see whether Owen Pereira will head to the finale.

Food & Drink

Comfort Zone

Canéla brings the flavors of the Middle East to Southeast Baltimore.

On The Town

Best Valentine’s Day Parties for Every Relationship Status

Whether you’re celebrating with friends, family, or a significant other, here are our picks.


The Chatter

Proposed House Bill Would Reverse Craft Beer Law

HB1052 would repeal contract brewing, cap sale amounts, and alter sample sizes.

In Good Taste

Park and Perk Hits the Streets Offering Zeke’s Coffee

Matthew Fouse puts local spin on a vintage Italian coffee cart.

In Good Taste

Local Teen Owen Pereira Wins $50,000 Grand Prize on Top Chef Junior

We follow-up with the eighth-grader as he looks toward the future.

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Giada De Laurentiis Talks About Opening New Horseshoe Casino Restaurant : The celebrity chef takes us on a tour of her trattoria, GDL Italian, opening in April.

Review: Black Panther: Newest Marvel film is exciting, eye-popping, and thrillingly original—but can it stay that way?

The Land of Kush Opening Second Location in East Baltimore This Fall: Owners talk veganism, creativity, and building a new restaurant from scratch.

Super Bowl Champ Torrey Smith Back For Charity Hoops Game: Former Terps and Ravens star maintains connection to Baltimore.

The Gun Trace Task Force Case Challenges Ability to Police in Baltimore: Local legal expert explains what needs to be done to prevent further corruption.