When America’s favorite (only?) animated redneck North Georgia Mountain squid Early Cuyler seemingly succumbs to a fatal exposure to asbestos in the Season Six premiere of the Adult Swim series “Squidbillies” this week, his Atlanta creators/caretakers had the perfect send off for him. The cartoon’s creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier asked Woodfire Grill chef Kevin Gillespie to lend his voice to the episode where a ‘toon version of himself would prepare Early a last meal arranged by the Make a Miracle Network.
“‘Top Chef’ and Bravo in general just seemed like something that Early wouldn’t give two craps about,” Fortier explains. “It was great for us because it was obvious right away that Kevin likes the show and he totally gets the show.” Adds Willis: “But before any miracles can happen, Early kind of kills Kevin with a sawed off shotgun. “It’s pretty violent. But Kevin was so into it, he actually came back to see his animated head get blown off. He laughed the hardest out of everybody in the room. He’s a totally cool guy.”
“He even came up with his line, ‘A new twist on a Southern classic, skillet fried chicken with pickled watermelon,'” says Fortier. “He came in with four of his sous chefs who all looked like linebackers. They’re all Adult Swim fans. We find that we have a lot of fans in the restaurant community. Chefs watch us. Valets watch us. Bartenders. Bailbondsmen. Pretty much anybody who gets off of work when our shows start to air.”
Gillespie was so excited to guest on “Squidbillies,” his Adult Swim animated self is now his Facebook profile picture. He’s even mused online about coming back for a second appearance, despite his missing head. “In the ‘Squidbillies’ universe that’s really not much of an obstacle,” says Willis. “If Kevin’s game, we could totally just sew his head back on.”
And like any good and twisted employee of Cartoon Network’s insomniac division, Willis and Fortier had an ulterior motive for casting Gillespie. “We’ll be completely honest with you,” says Fortier. “We were thinking about throwing a party for the show and thought it would be really cool to get Kevin Gillespie from ‘Top Chef’ to cook a pig in the ground for us. Then we thought, ‘How do we make that happen? Well, we could put him in the show!’ But he’s so popular now we’re worried we would have to schedule the party for 2014. So far, we haven’t asked him about it. But if you could write the article in a way that shames him into contacting us first, that would be amazing.” The Gillespie episode, “Asbestos I Can” is now available for download via iTunes for $1.99.
Tennis pro Andy Roddick and his model/actress wife Brooklyn Decker enjoying the samosas, charred chicken and short ribs at Spice Market. According to staffers, Decker’s presence in the restaurant attracted about 20 gentlemen fans to the bar area while she was dining.
BRINGING THE WET TO RED LIGHT CAFE
Veteran music fans will want to don their water wings and head to the Red Light Cafe in Midtown Saturday night. The Swimming Pool Q’s and their old DB Recs labelmates Right As Rain are on a double bill together. What’s more, Q’s frontman Jeff Calder tells us the band will play their legendary 1981 debut album, “The Deep End” in its entirety. The iconic act is currently readying a new single “System of Love” for release later this fall. On Saturday night, fans can also expect rare selections from the Q’s two 1980s-era albums for A&M Records. “Thankfully, the other guys have much better brain muscle retention,” cracked Calder. “They’re basically carrying me on those songs!” Right As Rain hits the stage at 8 followed by the Q’s at 9 p.m. Saturday.
“Trying to come up with an appropriate response to my husband mistakenly tweeting a picture of my bra to his 125K followers. Hmmmmm.” — Jazmin Zepeda Blais on Facebook Thursday after her Atlanta chef hubby Richard Blais tweeted a photo of their daughter Riley sampling licorice on Twitter with Jazmin’s undergarment dangling on a railing in the background.
WE HEAR THAT. . .
In addition to more than 200 artists, music from The Whiskey Gentry and Sam Thacker, sips of SweetWater brews and Barefoot wine bubbly, attendees at the 5th annual Atlanta Arts Festival in Piedmont Park this weekend can score some cooking lessons via the new Art of Cooking Stage. For us, the most intriguing personality on the stage’s weekend menu is Jennifer Hill Booker, who is the Atlanta owner of Your Resident Chef. In addition to cheffing, writing and radio appearances, Booker has also worked as an executive celebrity chef for Food Network stars Paula Deen and The Neelys. You read that correctly. Celebrity chefs now hire other celebrity chefs to cook for them. For details, go to the festival’s website.