Mr. Gillespie's Neighborhood

Staff Writer
One of Atlanta’s most successful homegrown chefs, Kevin Gillespie’s star continues to rise nationally

Paste Magazine

“Sustainable,” “organic,” “local,” and “fresh” are ubiquitous terms: used a lot in the culinary world, they are bywords for quality, and have become necessarily associated with chefs who really give a hoot about what they make. In any given case, it can be debatable how committed to such qualities a chef is. But take a glance at chef Kevin Gillespie’s pedigree, and you’ll see that his commitment towards quality foods is akin to that of a mother’s love.

Gillespie has been stationed in Atlanta for his entire career, except for a brief stint in Portland, Ore. in 2006. He is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, and worked part-time at various restaurants in the city while a full-time student there. But one of his most significant qualifications may be the position he held on Bravo’s “Top Chef” series, voted “fan favorite” by viewers and rising to be one of the final three contestants in the show’s sixth season.

The reputations of his restaurants precede them: for one, at the Woodfire Grill, at which he served as executive chef from 2009 to 2012, he earned a hefty load of accolades, and it is generally recognized as one of the finest restaurants in Atlanta. Today, Chef Gillespie is the owner and executive chef of Gunshow, the restaurant that he opened in May 2013. The restaurant features an unconventional dining style in which the chef prepares a selection of dishes that are sent into the dining room to be chosen by guests. According to Gillespie’s bio on his website, Gunshow’s “menu is ever evolving with wonderfully delicious food that is seasonally rooted, locally focused and unlimited in its stylistic boundaries.”

So what else is new for Chef Gillespie, and what’s in his future? Interestingly, in February, he made an appearance on the animated FX series Archer as a cross-dressing truck driver who looked suspiciously like Gillespie himself. He also remains active in a slew of culinary events in Atlanta and elsewhere, such as the Charleston Food and Wine Festival. Finally, to add to his 2012 debut cookbook Fire in My Belly, he’s working again with David Joachim on his next one, due out in 2015. A Georgia guy to the bone, he lives just outside Atlanta with his wife.

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