Top Chef Viewing Party with Michael Voltaggio

Since it was announced that my client, The Langham Huntington hotel's edgy and talented Michael Voltaggio chef of The Dining Room was going to be on this season of Top Chef, I've of course been glued to the show. Each week, I kept hoping that he wouldn't be asked to pack up his knives and go, but thankfully his skill pushed him through to the finals and eventually to be the Top Chef.

At a viewing party at the hotel yesterday evening, we all watched the season finale anxiously. I'm such a geek that I got teary when they announced Michael as the ultimate winner as the competition was fierce. The whole place erupted into cheers and the Voltaggio brother was surprisingly shy off camera and smiled and shrugged a thank you to everyone and thanked everyone for being there. Of course he's probably known for some time that he won, but it was all hush hush up until this point.

He was very approachable as strangers at the party came up for a photo or autograph. With encouragement from Jo of My Last Bite who is Michael's #1 fan, I also asked him for his John Hancock on the November issue of Pasadena Magazine, which he is currently gracing the cover of.
Raphael and I also posed for pictures. I particularly liked his necklace that featured a butcher's knife, very cool. He also mentioned how his mother was treated like a cast member in the final episode and that they actually filmed the ending back in October.

At the party they were passing out some of his hors d'oeuvres, which included a pastrami crouton with jellied horseradish, pineapple wrapped in prosciutto, sushi (lots of wasabi, so hot!), short rib sandwiches and some sort of puff, which unfortunately never made it to me. Luckily, I had experienced his food before at a dinner in The Dining Room back in August just before Top Chef started airing. Raphael and I have already been talking about going back again soon.

Oh and Marcel, the second season runner up from the show, was also in attendance.


  1. Lucky Tara! It sounds like you and Ralphie had a lot of fun. I love the pics. BTW - I teared up a bit too!

  2. He's such a nice guy - glad he won.

  3. I'm happy for your client and Michael seems like a nice guy and is clearly very talented, but I was rooting for Kevin.

  4. I met him while I was staying there too. He was very nice and sexy in person. More quiet than I thought, but he was running a restaurant so I can understand.

  5. You most definitely have made this blog into something special.