Bryan Voltaggio, the Frederick chef and owner of Volt — one of my favorite restaurants on Earth — nearly won his season of “Top Chef” two years ago. He lost to his brother Michael. The result gave me a particularly painful episode of heartburn.
Since then, Bryan has appeared on TV only sparingly. He recorded a Thanksgiving cooking special with his brother, but he skipped “Top Chef All-Stars,” disappointing many of his fans hoping for revenge. He simply could not stomach leaving his restaurant for a six-week shoot.
“I really like to stay close to the stove,” he told me the other day.
Tonight, Bryan is returning to TV — to celebrate Maryland cuisine.
He’s hosting “Obsessed with Everything Food: A Living Magazine” on Maryland Public Television at 8 p.m. He’ll visit a local farm, pick up some Maryland crabs, dip his mouth into a snoball, and even cook his delectable “Chesapeake Bay Crab Summer Roll.”
“We have a lot of agriculture around here, a lot of of history, and a lot of terrific product to pull from in the kitchen,” Bryan said. “I thought it would be great to celebrate all of that.”
The half-hour show was created and produced by Christy Neale. She has Maryland roots, loves Maryland food, and hopes to take the show — with Bryan as host — around the country to celebrate other regional cuisines.
Bryan is game. The shoots only take a few days, not a few weeks.
“It’s fun to do these shows and go on these shoots,” he said, “but finding a balance is what’s important for me.”
Below is a trailer, which includes the rolling of crab summer rolls. Excuse my drooling. (Where’s my bib?) And enjoy.