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Woodfire Grill announced today that chef Kevin Gillespie will be leaving at the end of the year to open a new restaurant. In his place, Chef de Cuisine E.J. Hodgkinson has been promoted to the position of executive chef. Earlier this year, Gillespie left his role as co-owner at Woodfire to focus more on two upcoming cookbooks "and other ventures," which led to some speculation about his plans to leave the restaurant.
White Oak Pastures, the pioneering sustainable farm based near Bluffton, GA, will open a restaurant on the farm this weekend. To kick off the establishment’s opening week, Woodfire Grill chef and Top Chef celebrity Kevin Gillespie will be cooking a dinner sourced entirely from the farm’s grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, ducks, turkey, rabbits, and organic vegetables.
Last year, Richard Blais got back in the kitchen with the Spence, Fifth Group opened a sustainable seafood spot (Lure), and the Optimist was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire Magazine. Giovanni Di Palma drafted plans for a miniature Little Italy near Georgia Tech (see Bar Antico below), Shaun Doty got into the fast-casual chicken market with the opening of Bantam and Biddy, and numerous local chefs appeared on Chopped.
Born and raised about forty miles south of Atlanta in Locust Grove, Woodfire Grill's Kevin Gillespie learned to cook by watching his paternal grandmother prepare gargantuan smorgasbords of humble South Carolina Appalachian fare for an army of relatives who wandered in and out of her house daily.
Talented, tattooed Kevin Gillespie is still plotting his barbecue restaurant (the potential space near Woodfire Grill fell through) and is now thinking the restaurant will specialize in both barbecue and ice cream.
Every week, we give you a detailed calendar of upcoming dining events to help you navigate the weekend’s culinary festivities. Friday, December 11 HANUKKAH AT ALON’S The Jewish Festival of Lights begins at sundown today, and to help celebrate, Alon’s will offer traditional noshes during the holiday season, including braised beef brisket, potato latkes, noodle kugel, rugelach, and M
Woodfire Grill on Cheshire Bridge Road has undergone many changes in the last year, but its most essential trademark endures. The sweet, smoky aromas drifting from the open kitchen at the dining room's entrance still tranquilize as if a lullaby had dissolved into fragrance. Borrowed from the playbook of California cuisine, the layout places the focal point of cooking directly in the path of newly arrived guests, who inhale scents evocative of campfire and barbecue en route to their table. Those first wafts anchor the meal. They communicate the tone and ambitions of the restaurant more effectively than words on a menu ever could. And now they act as an aromatic through-line that connects the restaurant’s past with its recent and remarkable reinvention.
This just in from the press release files: Kevin Gillespie and the other partners of Woodfire Grill will throw a wine dinner benefit to help Love Is Love Farm, run by dedicated local food advocates Judith Winfrey and Joe Reynolds. Their farm sustained heavy damage during last week's floods.