As one half of the chef duo that has taken the culinary world by storm in recent years, Bryan along with his brother Michael have helped expand the limits of modern cuisine and the emotions it evokes in their customers. Bryan and Michael have tackled different culinary styles in their restaurants, but it’s safe to say that their daring approach to cooking is a common thread that unites the two brothers.
Like his brother, Bryan has taken a different tack in redefining what we consider modern cuisine; unlike his brother, however, Bryan has done it in the realm of American and Italian food. Bryan is the co-owner and executive chef of five restaurants: AGGIO, Lunchbox, Family Meal, RANGE, and VOLT, all in the Chesapeake Bay area of the mid-Atlantic United States. Bryan’s profile has certainly been helped by his second-place finish on Season 6 of “Top Chef” and his second-place finish on Season 5 of “Top Chef Masters” (the first chef to take part in both competitions). But the accolades don’t stop there: in 2010, Bryan was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” award, and in 2012, he was a semi-finalist for the same award from James Beard.
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Bryan considers himself a “true son of the Chesapeake,” which becomes clear when you view the menus at his establishments. At VOLT, Bryan puts modern twists on traditional American seafood, with offerings such as scallops with green tomato ceviche, cucumber, red onion and radish, yellowfin tuna with charred avocado, smoked beet and rose vinegar, calamari Bolognese with squid cavatelli, pepperoni and parmesan, and smoked pepper orecchiette with Maryland blue crab, tomato, coconut, curry and pepperoni.
At AGGIO, Bryan turns his sights to traditional Italian fare, injecting a modern flavor into longtime favorite dishes. The menu includes Tonnarelli Nero with blue crab, squid ink, uni, jalapeño and pepperoni crumb, lasagna with lamb ragu, basil and sheep milk ricotta, chicken cacciatore with peppadews, tomato, castelvetrano olives and cipollini onions, and branzino with zucchini, olive vinaigrette and capers.
Bryan’s continued drive to update what we consider “traditional” American and Italian fare is his strongest suit as a chef. And as long as his creations continue to challenge the way we view our classic dishes, we’ll be happy to try whatever he comes up with next.