Ah, the joys of being an independent blogger with no editor, no boss, no financial obligations, and nobody to answer to but myself … let’s embrace it!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, let me tell you that I am indeed a fan of Top Chef. While there is plenty of bullshit that goes on behind the scenes, it seems to be one of the only (if not the only) reality show with some actual street cred. That it’s about food is just an added bonus. Actually, scratch that – because it’s about food AND since it seems at least quasi legit – I like it. Because it’s “usually” well done means I really like it.
As luck would have it, it seems that I’ve stumbled upon a little bit of information about the upcoming season. Before we begin, let us get a few things straight. A) I’m not going to tell you how I found out. B) I will tell you that this information did not come from anyone in the restaurant biz nor from one of my fellow bloggers. C) I wouldn’t be writing this post if I was completely full of crap. That said, I may be wrong here. So proceed at your own risk. If it turns out I’ve been misinformed, well – I warned you.
Keeping that in mind, if you want some “off the record dirt,” then read read on. If you like surprises, well, I suggest you stop reading now.
Okay, so here’s what I’ve been told. This information has been corroborated by at least two people … and I’m comfortable sharing it with everyone.
From what I hear, two Atlanta chef’s have made it onto the upcoming season of Top Chef, which is/was in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chef 1: Eli Kirshtein
First up, we have 25-year old Eli Kirshtein. Eli currently works at Eno, a popular Mediterranean eatery in Midtown. Eli, who I’m about 99.9% sure has no idea who I am, has always been super cool to me. He’s young, approachable, and has a passion for cooking. I have a particular soft spot for the guy, he’s one of the few people I know of who was actually born and raised inside the city (as I was). A lot has been written on him since he showed up at Eno late last year, so rather than regurgitate, I’ll just point ya’ll in the right direction.
In March, Eli got a brief mention over on Atlanta’s favorite wine blog. Meanwhile, The Sunday Paper did a piece on Kirshtein back in December ‘08, shortly after he set up shop at Eno. Even better, Rowdy put together a video … worth a watch.
You can also find Eli over on FB … if ya’ll are into that sort of thing. To sum it all up … let me put it to you like this … is it any surprise that Eli was recently scene on stage with one Richard Blais (who spent time on TC)?
Chef 2: Kevin Gillespie
If I’m wrong about any of this, it’s probably Kevin that I’ve missed the mark on. That said, if I have missed the mark … it’s probably not by much. A long time ago, in a galaxy not far away, Kevin Gillespie served under Michael Tuohy as the chef de cuisine at Woodfire Grill. When Tuohy split town and headed out west, Kevin was brought back from Portland to head up the kitchen.
Now when I heard about Kevin, I didn’t actually hear his name mentioned. Instead, I was told that it was the executive chef at Woodfire. Now, that is most certainly Kevin. However, the corroborator also confirmed the “executive chef” part, but not the Kevin part. What that may mean is that it is someone from Woodfire’s kitchen … and not Kevin.
So even if I am wrong, let me use this opportunity to affirm Kevin’s talents and encourage ya’ll to shoot on over to Cheshire Bridge for some grub.
Thanks again to Rowdy for posting this video:
Unlike Eli, Kevin doesn’t appear to have a FB page. Thankfully, Woodfire Grill does!
PS – here’s a link to a video of him from when he was in Spokane.
Alright folks … that’s all she wrote. Congratulations to both Kevin and Eli. They are both very good at what they do, so kudos.