Showing his support! Chef Michael Voltaggio hasn’t watched Top Chef since he competed on season 6 of the reality show in 2009, but he’s making an exception this season to cheer on his older brother, Bryan Voltaggio, who competed against him over a decade ago and is currently a contestant on Top Chef: All Stars L.A.
“I haven’t watched that show in years,” Michael, 41, told Us Weekly exclusively on Friday, April 17. “I actually haven’t watched it since we were on it together last time and I didn’t even watch the last time Bryan was on it.”
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed the award-winning chef’s television viewing habits, and he now tunes in each week with his girlfriend, stylist Sami Miro. “But now that we’re quarantined at home, it’s our Thursday night ritual. My sister was actually on it with him [on April 16] apparently,” Michael added.
The brothers previously competed against one another in season 6, which Michael won. Bryan, 44, placed second that season and later went on to become a runner-up once again on season 5 of Top Chef Masters in 2013. To date, Bryan is the first and only chef to compete on both iterations of the popular Bravo show.
When asked if he is rooting for his brother, Michael joked, “Yeah. I mean, I guess I kinda have to.”
However, Miro, 32, set the record straight. “Oh my God stop! He’s such a proud brother. He’s totally playing,” she told Us. “We’re both so gung-ho about it and excited.”
Though tensions between the siblings ran high when they competed against one another in 2009, the fashion designer added: “Michael is a very supportive younger brother.”
While Michael wouldn’t divulge whether or not he thinks his brother will take home top honors this time around, he indicated that he’s impressed with what he has seen so far, telling Us: “I feel like he’s doing really well.”
The Maryland native said Bryan will likely feel validated if he finally wins and is ready to be crowned Top Chef once and for all. “It’s definitely been a pot with a lid on it, kind of simmering, you know?” Michael explained. “Like, he’s been waiting for his moment and I think that he’s definitely represented both of us really well right now, for sure.”
Added Miro: “This is his third time and he got second place both times before. So he’s going all the way to the end. He’s killing it!”
When the couple isn’t at home watching Bryan on Top Chef, they’re doing their part to help the city of Los Angeles amid the coronavirus outbreak. “[On April 16] we went to a local hospital and brought over 115 meals to medical professionals because they’ve been living off of vending machines,” Michael said. “We went to a nonprofit hospital and they’re, like, living off of Diet Coke and Doritos and because they’ll work 12, 14, 16 hour shifts. And so we brought food to them and things like that.”
The restaurateur continued: “We’re trying to do something at least once a week to where we could help out in the community too.”
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe
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