It is almost time for the
2011 Charleston Wine + Food Festival. This year is going to be fantastic. It seems like the event organizers have outdone themselves this year with more events and guest chefs than ever.  One of the most exciting chefs for me this year is Bryan Voltaggio of Volt Restaurant in Fredrick, MD.  Bryan came to fame in Season 6 of Bravo’s Top Chef.  His younger brother, Michael, won the title of Top Chef and Bryan made it all the way to the finale.  Those are huge accomplishments especially since season 6 was arguably the best season ever. 

I have had the privilege of eating at Bryan Voltaggio’s 2009 James Beard nominated Volt Restaurant last spring.  It was great. I was able to catch up with Bryan and ask him a few questions ahead of his appearance at the Wine + Food Festival Dine Around event.

According to Bryan this will be his first visit to Charleston.  He will be paired up at Anson Restaurant with Anson’s chef Jeremy Holst.  Tickets for this dine around sold out right away.  Bryan did give us a hint to something the diners might be treated to!!!!!  Bryan tells us that currently his favorite dish at Volt is “Mock oyster, it’s a salsify sphere with malt vinegar powder, (and) oyster leaf”.  He said he is hoping to feature this as one of the items he does at Anson.  I remember when we ate at Volt one of our favorite dishes was a Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Soy Air, Yuzu Vinaigrette, Avocado, and Wasabi-Infused Tobiko Caviar.  YUUUMMMM.  Bryan definately uses modern techniques and molecular gastronomy but the beauty and  then the taste of the dishes make you forget everything about the plate except the amazing flavor!

We asked Bryan if there were any restaurants or chefs in Charleston we was looking forward to.  He said, “I want to try and eat at Husk. Sean (Brock) is bad ass and I know he pours his heart into his food. Mike Latta (Fig), who I also have hung out with plenty of times, but have never tried his food.”  I know Bryan will not be disappointed.

I think pretty highly of Bryan, his food, his palate, and his demeanor.  So we wanted to know who in the Baltimore/DC area he thought was doing top quality food. “Spike Gerde of Woodberry Kitchen – that guy has a gorgeous restaurant and a team that puts out some fantastic food” says Voltaggio.

I was not lucky enough to score tickets to that dine around but I guarentee those that are going that it will be dinner to remember. I will definately be heading back to Volt the next time I head through Maryland. Bryan, I hope you enjoy Husk and Fig!!