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Man of the Week: Chef Kevin Gillespie

Chef Kevin Gillespie
Photo: Elton Morris

If you’re a fan of Top Chef, you probably remember Kevin Gillespie as the season 6 contestant who, after beating almost all the other chefs to make it to the finale, lost out to Michael Voltaggio. He took his newfound fame and turned it into two successful restaurants, and now he’s taking things back to his roots with a new venture, called Revival, opening this month in Decatur, Georgia.

Kevin Gillespie

According to an interview with CNN, Revival will be a call back to the style of cooking of his Appalachian ancestors, with a focus on dishes featuring “meat and three sides.” Gillespie’s back to basics plan for Revival came from feeling that, by modernizing classic dishes, Southern chefs were “losing our grasp on the traditional cooking of the South.”

Kevin Gillespie in the kitchen

After Woodfire Grill, the restaurant he was running during his time on Top Chef, Gillespie decided to take a chance on something totally different, called Gunshow. The focus at Gunshow is on offering diners “medium-sized plates are delivered as they are ready and offered to the guests who may choose what they’d like.” Think down-home dim sum. His gamble paid off, with great reviews from publications like Bon Appetite, and a James Beard award nomination.

Revival will be a folksy take on southern dining – the yin to Gunshow’s yang. This will be the place to go if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience.

Want to see more of Kevin Gillespie? Catch him in this month’s installment of Culinary Journeys on CNN, follow him on Instagram at chefkevingillespie, or check out his website, www.chefkevingillespie.com.

Photos by Elton Morris on Flickr