I used to love "Top Chef". I wouldn't miss it! But then it was too much drama and not enough food, for my taste anyways. Then we cancelled cable, so I can't watch it anyways!
But when I did watch, Season 6 was my favorite. Aside from the tasty Voltaggio brothers, this season featured fan favorite, Kevin Gillespie. Known for his wicked tattoos and even more wicked beard, he is REALLY known for winning the most Quickfires and Elimination rounds! His food was always so inventive yet accessible. And he was never about drama--just great cooking skill and a passion for food.
When I saw that he was going to do a demo at my local Publix Cooking School, I quickly snatched up a pair of tickets for J and me.
It was one of the best events I had attended!
Kevin is extremely laid back, funny, unpretentious, and honest. He demonstrated four recipes, featured in his new cookbook "Fire in my Belly" (it is awesome, by the way). During the demonstration, he would shared stories from his family, his career (he turned down a scholarship to MIT to attend culinary school), and whatever else people wanted to ask him. While he may have had some idea on what he would talk about, it felt very real and unscripted. It felt like we were hanging out in a friend's kitchen.
Back to the food. Well, it was just fantastic! He prepared:
Marinated Turnip Salad (The first time I had something purposely raw food diet compliant!)
Crispy Green Beans with Salsa Fresco
Tomato stuffed with Savannah Red Rice, topped with Creamed Shrimp
And dessert, which was a mash-up for Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee and Peach Melba
It was so delicious that I ate it before I remembered to take a picture :)
After the demo, he answered more questions, including where did he have the best meal in the US (Eleven Madison Park in NYC).
He took the time to sign books and take pictures. It was great as he did not rush us and we got to have a nice conversation with him about food magazines.
Kevin was already a favorite "cheftestant" of mine. After this event, I really gained a new level of respect for him. He is a man of integrity who cooks food that his family can enjoy and be proud. He is extremely articulate and engaging. J and I definitely plan to make the drive up to the ATL to dine at his new restaurant, Gunshow.
And the beard and tattoos are even more epic in person!