ATL Food Chatter: January 25, 2010
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Atlanta Top Chef fave Kevin Gillespie has formally withdrawn from the 2010 Bocuse d’Or USA competition, citing time constraints that would not allow him to adequately prepare. Gillespie won his slot—one of a coveted twelve—as the prize for besting the other chefs in a Bocuse d’Or-like competition during Episode Twelve on Top Chef’s recent sixth season.
The fame Gillespie found through the show has kept him unbelievably busy. On ToqueLand.com, Gillespie’s publicist Melissa Libby said that “he didn’t have time to prepare, and didn’t want to let the country down. He felt like there was somebody else who deserved that spot. He’s a perfectionist and didn’t feel like he could do his best with everything going on.” Beyond his duties at the now-oft-booked Woodfire Grill, Gillespie is juggling two weeklong projects for Bravo, the Pigs & Pinot event in Healdsburg, CA, and an upcoming sold out event at Serenbe.
Libby says that Gillespie wrote to the committee asking to be considered for the next round of Bocuse d’Or USA competitions (which determines who will compete in the big Bocuse d’Or contest in Lyon, France that occurs every two years), and the committee accepted his deferral to the 2012 stateside competition. Jim Burke of James restaurant in Philadelphia will take Gillespie’s place this year.
If you’re interested in the Bocuse d’Or competitions, check out Knives at Dawn, a well-written account of just how grueling the process can be.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Buckhead. As of Friday, January 15, Bluepointe ceased serving lunch.
Look for a casual Italian concept from the owners of Baraonda, featuring pizza, pasta and sandwiches, to open in the former Wolfgang Puck location this spring.
Buford Highway. Tomorrow’s News Today reports that Pollo Campero is rumored to be opening their fourth Georgia location and first inside 285 in the former Popeye’s in Northeast Plaza.
Downtown. What Now Atlanta notes that One Cafe Blanc, a coffee and pastry shop, and Yoeshi, a Japanese street food and sweets spot, have opened in Renaissance Walk condominiums. Both are under the same ownership.
Inman Park. Parish Food & Goods is now closed on Mondays.
Midtown. Maris Saporta reports that the Old Spaghetti Factory closed Sunday, January 24.
Westside. Kessler is reporting that restaurateur/entrepreneur Lorenzo Wyche (the newly reopened Rare, Harlem Bar) has placed his “popular Westside Breakfast joint”, Social House, up for sale.
Question of the Week: What former Buckhead hotspot is rumored to be converting to an “upscale, local gastropub” this spring?
PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What midtown hotspot recently wowed a visiting Food & Wine magazine editor during a visit last month?—is La Pietra Cucina, which wowed editor-in-chief Dana Cowen.