I had the privilege of getting into this lecture at the Atlanta History Center for free. It pays to know people! :o) Kevin Gillespie is the executive chef at Woodfire Grill. You may also recognize him from Season 6 of Top Chef. In short, he is a local celebrity. ;oD
The moderator was the photographer (and now friend) who did the photography work for his latest book, Fire in my Belly. Gillespie basically talked about his upbringing and how that translates into what he cooks today. He's soon to leave Woodfire Grill to open a new restaurant called Gunshow in Glenwood Park. It's supposed to open in February 2013 - we shall see. I'm glad I recorded some of the dialogue; it tells a better story than I ever could. There was a Q&A at the end of the discussion, and I managed to ask him a question. Hopefully, I'll get that video in this post soon-ish.
He seems like a very down-to-earth and humble guy. I haven't been to Woodfire Grill as of yet; I will also add Gunshow to my list. So thankful I was there! Fortunately, the audience was quite small so there was an intimate feel to the evening. He answered people's questions at the signing table and didn't rush to dole out his opinions, he really took the time to explain his rationale. Nice.
Of course, I bought a cookbook, had it autographed, and got a picture with him. For whatever reason, I really like autographed books. I have signed books from Alton Brown, Jimmy Carter, Truett Cathy, Mo Willems, and now Kevin Gillespie. I like how half the people I just listed are involved with food in some way, haha.