Richard Blais on Top Chef Las Vegas: Second Helpings - Oh Brother!

Mild-mannered. Good looking. Naturally gifted. Team players. Both capable of winning it all.

Their lack of emotion, an almost robotic composure -- which I recognize as focus -- during competition and interviews only emphasizes this parallel. If one of them, after winning a future elimination challenge, praises God solely for the victory or thanks their offensive line (maybe Kevin, Eli and Ron) don’t be surprised.

One brother plays in a mid market. He is an extremely confident leader who can call his own offensive plays. A bit older, and perhaps therefore wiser.

Peyton, meet Bryan.

One brother gains much through the experience of his brother. He plays in a big city market. Has a bit more spunk (he wears his cap backwards!), and a slightly different skill set.

Eli Manning, meet Michael.

Both sets of brothers play down the importance of competing against each other. To the probable chagrin of producers and possibly even viewers. Certainly the epic battle of the good seed versus the bad is brewing.

Instead of a cordial Super Bowl, ending with congratulations and hugs all around. Instead of them possibly exclaiming, “We’re both heading to Disneyworld.”

Wouldn’t it be nice from a viewers’ perspective to see the pair migrate a bit more towards Cain and Abel or Issac and Ismael, even. Let’s hope there isn’t a future challenge revolving around sacrificial rites.

World peace could be at stake.

Check out my blog on the new episodes of “Top Chef” at

This week’s Top Chef certainly clarified that the cast’s brothers, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, are more than just a slick casting call exploited by the show to infuse more drama. Of course, if they were gay, well, that would have been network gold, I’m sure! Happily though, they are short on controversy and big on talent.

Our industry has some significant brother combinations. There are the Adria brothers, and the famed Troisgros family, even though the latter is more like a Jackson family phenomenon. And even as you’re reading this I’m sure you’re noting many more from your own local scene. Here in the Southeast, the Rathbun brothers come to mind.

I started to think about who they collectively remind me of, and lo and behold, it was made clear on Sunday. The Voltaggio boys are seemingly on a course to become the Mannings of the Top Chef universe.

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