So the cat is officially half out of the bag. After a lot of public maneuvering, the powers that be finally went “on the record” and announced that Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie is all but wrapped at Woodfire Grill (you didn’t know he was a TC contestant until I told you … right?). Gillespie is being supplanted by E.J. Hodgkinson, the longtime #2, who has often been the guy cooking your food.
What they’re not exactly telling you right now is his next step. Even though Gillespie saved the Cheshire Bridge restaurant from the brink after Michael Tuohy departed for Sacramento, the writing has been on the wall for this move for months (and some might say years). So you can buy Fire in My Belly … that cookbook thing; but, he also has plans for a new restaurant (which I already alluded to in a kind of snobbish/roundabout way).
Time’s a little short so pardon the lack of elaboration … but so far, the deets are as follow: the name of the restaurant is slated to be Gunshow. As of now, the location is in earshot of The Shed at Glenwood, but that *might* still change. It’s supposed to be porktastic. More elaboration if/when I have more than a moment.
Forbes Magazine just published their 30 Under 30 award winners. As the name implies, it’s an award that recognizes youthful excellence in a variety of disciplines. Atlanta’s Kevin Gillespie, who is often times mistaken for Yukon Cornelius, landed a spot on the food & wine section of the list.
It’s not much more than a quick shout, as Forbes didn’t put much more than a sentence of two up about each winner. Gillespie’s did of course mention that he’s 29, the executive chef at Woodfire Grill, and that he appeared on season six of Top Chef. It reads as follow:
The Atlanta native was a fan favorite on Top Chef’s sixth season. Currently working on two cookbooks.
For those unfamiliar with said event, here’s the lowdown. Basically, a bunch of chefs, farmers, and mixologists get together and put out their best tomato inspired food and drink. Think of it as the most kid appropriate orgy you will find.
It’s a get it while you can type of event, so I suggest you arrive early and buy your tickets even earlier. Tickets currently stand at $60 for non-members of GO and $55 for those that do subscribe. After July 1st, all tickets are $70.
Though prices have gone up since last year, this festival, in my humble and honest opinion, is the best festival in town, bar none. If that isn’t enough to wet your whistle, check out my recap of last year’s event and/or the Flickr set!
Answer: Jay Swift, Anne Quatrano, Hugh Acheson, Chris Hastings, Kevin Gillespie, Bruce Logue. Question: Who are just a few of the awesome chef’s showing up at this years Attack of The Killer Tomato Festival?
Yes ladies and gents … it is that time again. Thanks to the good folks over at Georgia Organics, the Killer Tomatoes are back. Just like last year, the event will land at the Westside Urban Market, home to places like JCT Kitchen and Star Provisions. From 1pm – 5pm on Sunday August 8th, you’ll be able to indulge yourself in a sea of all things red.
Nestled amongst Atlanta’s stretch of tasseled "thingies” and institutional eateries is one of the best examples of contemporary American cuisine this side of the Mason-Dixon. Chef Kevin Gillespie, still shy of 30-years-old, has taken Woodfire Grill from the brink of EXtinction to the point of DIStinction. If Atlanta’s hopes of international culinary fame are to ever come to fruition, Woodfire Grill will be one of the handful of establishments dragging our restaurant scene into that arena.
Some two-years ago, the highly regarded Michael Tuohy departed the helm of Woodfire. When that happened, Gillespie took over the Cheshire Bridge hideaway and continued Woodfire’s thematic direction. In the 20 plus months since, the restaurant has exploded and our favorite Yukon Cornelius impersonator has made the place distinctly his own. With that in mind, and motivated by a truly inspirational family event, four of us set out this past Friday looking for a little peace in the midst of our chaos.
Kevin Gillespie is easily one of the most talked about culinarians in Atlanta. His showing on Top Chef is a big reason why droves of people now lineup at Woodfire Grill to sample his cuisine. Meanwhile, his delicious grub keeps people coming back for more. He’s so popular that I get a near daily report of a Kevin-sighting (the latest being at my beloved Gato Bizco – thanks Lilly!).
Yes, it’s true … people can’t get enough of Kevin. In fact, exactly one-month prior to this posting, Jennifer Brett interviewed KG on her AJC blog. In that postification of insights, innuendos, and implications, Kevin confirmed what many in the foodie circles had already heard: he’s hell bent on opening a barbecue inspired restaurant. As these things tend to go, information has oozed out like jelly from your favorite doughnut.
The winners will be announced in May, so for now all we can do is wait. You can find the full list on the JB website (warning: that’s a pdf). However, we’ll highlight the Atlanta standouts right after the jump!
You could easily go your entire life and never hear the phrase “Bocuse d’Or.” However, if you spend any time in the restaurant world – you’ll inevitably come across this mysterious phrase. Bocuse d’Or is actually the name for a biennial chef contest. Named for Paul Bocuse, the 2-day cooking extravaganza is almost always likened to the Olympic Games.
Those of you who watch Top Chef probably remember the episode from a few weeks ago inspired by Bocuse. Sure enough, Atlanta’s loveable Kevin Gillespie took the challenge and earned his spot on this list. The Woodfire Grill leader will try and take down eleven other hopefuls for a chance to represent our country. Just a few minutes ago, they announced the entire list of US semi-finalists. Here they are in all their glory:
Jennifer Petrusky, Chicago, Charlie Trotter Christopher Parson, Winchester, MA Mark Lieberman, Florida James Kent, New York, Eleven Madison Park Luke Bergman, New York, the Modern Kevin Gillespie, Atlanta, Top Chef finalist Percey Watley, California Michael Klauss, Vermont Danny Circada, North Carolina Andrew Weiss, Las Vegas Jeremy Thomzac, New York, instructor at the French Culinary Institute John Rella, New York
One heck of a weekend if you ask me … lots of football, lots of food, and lots of food news. What else is there? Here are just a few of the rumblings and grumblings that got tossed around this weekend.
Top Chef: Las Vegas Reunites In The Dirty South
Several of the contestants on Top Chef: Atlanta Las Vegas were seen in town this weekend. The group, comprised of ATLiens Kevin Gillespie and Eli Kirshtein, included out of towners Jennifer Carroll, Bryan Voltaggio, and Mike Isabella. The gang was spotted at the Falcons game sucking down some buzztastic grub from the new “it” barbecue joint … known round these parts as Community Q. Speaking of which, I grabbed a meal there last week, and I’ll definitely share in the next day or so (if not sooner).
The fun didn’t stop watching our beloved birds get tarred and feathered. To get the full Atlanta experience, the kiddos spent a good amount of time sampling ATL’s food. They took a trip to Flip Burger Boutique to see TC alum Richard Blais, to Holeman & Finch for some libations, to Pricci, and to each of TC:LVC Atlanta restaurants. UPDATE:Atlanta’s best BBQ blogger was kind enough to recap the events on his blog, pictures and all! Enjoy!
Holeman & Finch To Open Liquor Store
Speaking of H&F, long-standing rumors seem to be getting a little more traction. Several “reliable foodies” have mentioned that the group behind ATLs most notable “gastro bar” are going to expand into the liquor store business. All signs point to Bottleneck as the name of the establishment. Andy Minchow, one of the proprietors of H&F, is scheduled to take the reigns. For all you mixologists-in-training, this will most certainly be your store of choice. The former Repast barista will be there to help you with recipes, ingredients, and drinking gadgets. Atlanta’s masked videographer Rowdy just posted a clip of Andy … check it:
Some Bar In Some Place Opened
Some people just don’t “get it.” They somehow take the idea of underground coolness and screw it up by going the snobby/elitist route. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Everyone wants to be “Milk & Honey” but no one has the balls (or apparently the brains) to actually pull it off the way M&H did. A bar hoping to copy take inspiration from the NYC underground destination is doing its best to do everything Milk and Honey did not. It starts with the press release.
In this waste of digital paper, the owners were kind enough to provide the name of the bar. Then, they told you what area of town to find it (no specific information – just a generic address – it’s a phone booth of sorts btw). Oh, last but not least, they were nice enough to give out the name of their master mixologist (which everyone in the foodie circle already knows). The cherry? There’s a password to get in. However, they won’t give it out.
One of the reasons why M&H succeeded is because they played the game. They weren’t pretentious about what they were, and they didn’t try to have their cake and eat it too. This establishment seems to want its feet on both sides of the line. Not gonna happen here … You want to put out something in a press release … than do it … but don’t half ass it. As such … not even a name mention from yours truly. If you’re reading this and don’t know the story behind Milk and Honey … feel free to email me and I’ll elaborate. And if you’re dying to know what I’m talking about … search some of the more notable food blogs here in town … you’ll find the 205.5 without too much difficulty. They have a website already and … of course … A FACEBOOK PAGE!!!!!! The website actually tells you where it is. Grrrr …
Little could pull me away from my television on this day of “Win and You’re In.” However, 10-year-old Grace … who rocks it with her parents in Morningside, did just that. Apparently, the young fan of Top Chef took a trip to Woodfire Grill this past evening. Ya’ll know that’s where Kevin Gillespie hides out and cooks up hella killer food. Anywho (I love that non-word), after enjoyed her tasting menu meal, the young foodie in the making presented chef Gillespie with a little treat.
To show her support for ATLs last man standing … she put together one hell of a collage, complete with a fantastic little poem that basically says: SUCK IT VOLTAGGIOS, but in super nice and cute terms. ENJOY! Grace, if you’re out there … please contact me!! (for serious!!!)