Known for his inventiveness in the kitchen, his commitment to local farmers and fishermen and women, and his passion for his hometown of Frederick, Maryland, chef Bryan Voltaggio has made his six restaurants an ode to the Chesapeake. He captured the public eye when he and his brother, Michael, appeared together on Season 6 of Top Chef, in 2009, out-inventing each other episode after episode, all the way to the finals.

As chef-owner of restaurant VOLT, Voltaggio expanded his reach in Maryland and Washington, D.C., to include RANGE, Italian-inspired AGGIO, and the less formal Lunchbox and Family Meal. With VOLT and dishes that sing of Maryland, like a stinging nettle conchiglia with blue-crab broth and kosho, and rockfish with bok choi, kimchi, and beech mushrooms, Voltaggio has twice been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. He and Michael (chef-owner of Los Angeles restaurant ink) co-wrote the cookbook and are planning to open their unique version of a steakhouse at the MGM National Harbor casino, on the Potomac River waterfront, later in 2016.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Voltaggio found a mentor in chef Charlie Palmer when he staged at Palmer’s Aureole, in New York City. After taking time to cook in the kitchen of famed chef Anne-Sophie Pic at her restaurant Pic, in Valence, France, he rejoined Palmer in Washington, D.C., this time as executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, for 10 years. When he went out on his own, with VOLT, he took the lessons of Palmer’s quiet elegance and meticulously sourced ingredients with him.

Giving back is also a big part of Bryan Voltaggio’s world. He’s committed to fighting childhood hunger through organizations like Share Our Strength and the No Kid Hungry programs.