Known globally as the chef that stared down the fabled Voltaggio Brothers on television’s foodie favorite Top Chef, Kevin Gillespie is one Atlanta’s leading stewards of local, sustainable eating. He’s truly a top chef, serving up some of the most ridiculously delicious seasonal and organic cuisine you’ll find- ITP or OTP– at his much-loved restaurant, Woodfire Grill. Now that he’s dealt with Colicchio and Hardy, it’s time that he talks Atlanta…
Q. Anthony Bourdain wants to shoot an episode of No Reservations in Atlanta, and he’s asked you to be his guide around town. Where are you taking him?
A. I’d take him to Carver’s Grocery for country food. And he’d have to go to the Varsity because you just have to go and see it. Then we’d go to the Clermont Lounge and wrap up with a trip to the Waffle House. It’s a southern based institution and the only way I know to wrap up a great day.
Q. You’re building your dream home kitchen, and money’s not an object. What’s it going to look like?
It would have a wood-burning oven and a really nice stove, like a Morice or Molteni. There would be tons of open counter space, very similar to what most professionals want. There would be plenty of sinks for clean up and a dedicated area for appliances. Oh, and a coffee maker.
Q. Favorite Atlanta road trip?
Q. You’re asked to give a recruiting pitch to a chef considering a move to Atlanta- what do you tell them?
A. Atlanta has much better chefs than we get credit for. You’ll get to work in a cosmopolitan city that’s still growing. You still have the opportunity to set/shape the cuisine here and you can work with talented people who don’t have a chip on their shoulders. It’s less expensive to live here and there is amazing product to work with. We are so close to the farmers and they even still deliver to us. Plus, we have the busiest airport so you can get whatever you need.
Q. Guilty food pleasure(s)?
A. Hot wings!
BONUS QUESTION: What is Woodfire Grill, and why is awesome?
Q. Woodfire Grill is a true farm-to-table restaurant serving cuisine that is seasonally influenced and organically focused. I cook from my heart. I’m very lucky. We make a conscious effort to simply cook the food we want from day to day. I’m not boxed in to a set menu. We focus on quality, flavor impact and what’s fresh. I have more freedom than some others and I think our guests really get my best.
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Photo Credit: Atlanta Wine Guy (Kevin Gillespie), Road Food (Buckner’s)