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Stadium event preps Voltaggio brothers for cookbook's release

By Nicholas C. Stern

Wednesday - 10/19/2011, 11:55am  ET

In the kitchen, Bryan Voltaggio is more cautious and responsible, while his brother, Michael, is a little crazier and his dishes don't always seem to make immediate sense.

But both bring a deep respect for quality of ingredients, and while they use some of the latest gadgets and methods to manipulate their culinary creations, they try not to let technique overshadow any dish, Michael and Bryan explained Tuesday night at Harry Grove Stadium.

The two celebrity chefs and competitors for the title on Bravo's "Top Chef" Season 6 prepared "ballpark" food and signed copies of "Volt Ink.," their cookbook set for an Oct. 25 release, at a prerelease party that drew hundreds of fans and hungry patrons.

The book, whose title is a combination of Bryan's Frederick restaurant, Volt, and Michael's flagship Los Angeles restaurant, Ink., features two recipes from each brother over a series of ingredient families, with titles ranging from avianto grain to saltwater fish.

The two spent about six months choosing the recipes, Michael said. The chefs said not everyone who buys the $40 book will likely choose to prepare every dish -- such as the pigeon pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss and rye -- to completion. Readers may, however, pick and choose parts of recipes -- how to make the juniper berry brine, for example -- and use it elsewhere in their cooking.

"We feel like we owed this to our careers, our craft," Bryan said of the book.

While details have yet to be worked out, he said the two plan to continue collaborating.

"There will be more to come," Bryan said.

Dana Zajko skipped class at George Mason University to attend the event. She watched the two on "Top Chef" and said she enjoys meeting celebrity chefs. Last week, she met Bobby Flay at an event in Washington.

She chose blue crab fries ($5) and a pulled-pork sandwich ($5) from the ballpark menu and enjoyed both, she said. Below her on the baseball field, the Regal Beagles Yacht Club Band and the Blatant '80s belted out tunes.

"The prices are reasonable," she said.

Beth Belden, a frequent Volt patron, drove from Hanover, Pa., to have her "Made in America" cookbook signed by Michael and her newly purchased copy of "Volt Ink." signed by both brothers. Forgoing her choice of food from the snack bars, Belton waited in an autograph line the stretched nearly half the length of the stadium walkway.

"They bring attention to local products and traditions, and they bring attention to the beauty of the area," she said.

Copyright 2011 The Frederick News-Post. All rights reserved.