Though Harry Grove Stadium is typically known for the sights and sounds of baseball, the stadium played host to something completely different on Tuesday evening — a cookbook launch party.
The book, “VOLT ink.” was penned by Frederick natives Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, and the launch party included a signing by the brothers. A line of about 75 people had already formed 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the doors were set to open, waiting for the event kicking off the release of the pair’s book.
The 350-page cookbook is filled with recipes from the brothers who both competed on season six of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and the name combines the pair’s restaurants: Bryan’s Volt in downtown Frederick and Michael Voltaggio’s Los Angeles-based ink. and ink.sack, a takeout restaurant serving sandwiches.
“Anything in ink is permanent,” Michael said. “I started thinking about incorporation, and permanence with ink, and Bryan started Volt based on our name. It was a logical combination. Although we’re on different casts, we think alike.”
Bryan Voltaggio said the book took about a year of collaboration, and that working with his brother on the project was a logical step in their cooking craft.
“We each individually worked on recipes,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on it. It’s not like we needed this, but we felt like we owed this to our craft. We’ll continue to go down that path.”
On Tuesday, they brought that cuisine to the stadium’s concession stands, taking over and adding items such as lobster rolls, blue crab French fries and smoked brisket in place of the typical ballpark staples such as hot dogs and hamburgers. The dishes were inspired both by the book’s recipes and their respective restaurants.
Though the brothers are known for their high-end cuisine and filled their book with recipes of that style Michael said his favorite dish in the book is for pigeon pastrami they grew up eating simple food, something Michael said he tries to carry through to the dishes he creates at ink.
“She made mom food,” he said, laughing. “She made pork chops and mac and cheese, all the comfort stuff people crave. But people are becoming more food savvy. [At ink.] we make mashed potatoes, and try to do something different, mixing in seaweed butter.”
Frederick residents David Benavides and Michele Paul were the first two in line at Tuesday night’s signing, and said they got to the event a little after 5 p.m. The self-described “foodies” were excited to be a part of the event.
“The food’s great,” he said. “We’ve been to the restaurant before. It’s awesome. And of course, the cookbook.”
Paul agreed, and said she was excited to try out the new ballpark menu.
“Vegetarian stuff too,” she said. “They do great vegetarian food.”
And it wasn’t all Frederick residents who turned out for the event. Westminster resident Irene Bain attended for the chance to meet the brothers and get her cookbook signed.
“I saw them on ‘Top Chef’ and I’ve been a fan ever since,” she said. “I’ve eaten at Volt. The chance to meet these guys is great.”
And Bain wasn’t shy when picking a favorite of the duo, either.
“Michael is a fabulous chef,” she said. “They’re both good, but I think he’s better. I’m excited to meet them.”