Kevin Gillespie
Born (1982-09-30) September 30, 1982 (age 39)
EducationArt Institute of Atlanta
Culinary career
Current restaurant(s)
Television show(s)

Kevin Gillespie (born September 30, 1982) is an American chef, author and former Top Chef contestant. He is a former co-owner and executive chef at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta.[1] He opened Gunshow, a restaurant in Atlanta, in 2013[2][3] and Revival, a restaurant in Decatur, Georgia, in 2015.[4] Gillespie also started Red Beard Restaurants, allowing Gillespie to expand and provide consulting services to other start-ups.[5] Kevin Gillespie's Gamechanger opened in August 2017 on the 200 concourse western end zone of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.[6]

Top Chef

Gillespie was a finalist in the sixth season of Top Chef, Bravo's cooking competition show[7][8] and was voted as the "Fan Favorite" contestant for the season.[9] As a prize for winning one of the Top Chef episodes, Gillespie was invited to compete in the Bocuse d'Or USA cooking competition, for the opportunity to be the U.S. representative in the 2011 international Bocuse d'Or,[10] but later withdrew due to not having enough time to prepare.[11] Gillespie returned to television to compete on Bravo's "Top Chef Duels," advancing to the high-stakes finale.[12]

In a 2012 interview, chef Wolfgang Puck stated that Gillespie is his favorite Top Chef alumnus.[13]

Gillespie also competed in the 2020 All Stars LA season of Top Chef. He was eliminated in the Restaurant Wars episode. Gillespie was team captain for Restaurant Wars. When his team lost in Restaurant Wars, Gillespie took responsibility for his team's loss and accepted elimination after being chastised by the judges for his concept, which was inspired by the “plantation South”.[14]

Following his elimination, Gillespie fought hard to return to the competition via Last Chance Kitchen. Gillespie returned to the Top Chef All Stars LA competition in episode 11 having won Last Chance Kitchen.


On November 6, 2014, Gillespie was awarded the GRACE Innovator Award by the Georgia Restaurant Association.[15] Gillespie was nominated for Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef[16] and named Forbes' 30 Under 30.[17] In 2014, Gunshow earned a spot on GQ magazine's list of "12 Most Outstanding Restaurants"[18] as well as Esquire magazine's list of "Best New Restaurants of 2014."[19] Eater included Gunshow in its annual "The National 38" list of places to eat in America in 2015 and 2016.[20]

Gillespie reached the semi-final stage of the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year awards four consecutive years in a row.[21] In 2013, Gillespie was named a James Beard Foundation Award Finalist in the Cookbook: American Cooking category for his debut cookbook, Fire in my Belly.[22] His 2015 follow-up, "Pure Pork Awesomeness," was devoted to Gillespie's preferred protein. Gillespie was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award Best Chef: Southeast in 2015,[23] finalist in 2016[24] and a semifinalist in 2017.[25]

In 2022, Gillespie was named a James Beard Award finalist in the Outstanding Restauranteur category.[26]


Kevin Gillespie married Valerie Combs on September 4, 2011.[27]

In May 2018, Gillespie was diagnosed with a rare form of renal cancer. This was discovered after an unrelated back surgery follow-up in 2017, at which time the MRI displayed an abnormal kidney. On May 24, 2018, one of his kidneys was removed.[27]

In other media


  1. ^ "Atlanta Business Chronicle - Atlanta's culinary status rises". Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Look Around Gunshow, Opening Today". 8 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Kevin Gillespie's Revival opens July 23 in Decatur, accepting reservations soon". 17 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Kevin Gillespie Launches Red Beard Restaurants". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  6. ^ "At Kevin Gillespie's Gamechanger, you can get a "Closed on Sunday" chicken sandwich with a half-pound of fries". Atlanta Magazine. 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  7. ^ Jean, Jenna (8 December 2009). "Catching Up With Top Chefs Kevin Gillespie". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  8. ^ "Reality TV is entrepreneurs' friend". CNN. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  9. ^ "Kevin Gillespie wins Top Chef Las Vegas fan favorite". Reality Blurred. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  10. ^ "LA Times - Bocuse d'Or semi finalists announced". 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  11. ^ Paolo (2010-01-22). "Eater National - Top Chef's Kevin Gillespie Out of Bocuse d'Or USA Competition". Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  12. ^ "Kevin Gillespie". Bravo TV Official Site. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  13. ^ The Braiser blog, Wolfgang Puck: Young Chefs Today Don’t Know How To Cook An Egg Correctly November 1, 2012. Accessed January 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "Padma Lakshmi: 'We have been in rooms for so much of our lives where every face but ours is white'". Retrieved 2021-05-22.
  15. ^ "8th Annual GRACE Award Winners Announced". Georgia Restaurant Association. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  16. ^ "The People's Best New Chef: Southeast". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  17. ^ Le, Vanna. "Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef, Woodfire Grill, 29 - pg.6". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  18. ^ "GQ praises Gunshow, The General Muir and King + Duke". Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  19. ^ "Gunshow Makes Esquire's 'Best New Restaurants' List". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  20. ^ "Gunshow Is One of Eater's 38 Essential Restaurants in America". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  21. ^ "James Beard Foundation". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  22. ^ "Kevin Gillespie, Steven Satterfield, Holeman & Finch Are James Beard Foundation Award Finalists". 18 March 2013.
  23. ^ "Atlanta's Semifinalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  24. ^ "Atlanta restaurants, chefs named James Beard finalists for 2016 | Atlanta Restaurant Scene". Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  25. ^ "James Beard Awards Atlanta: 2017 semifinalists | Atlanta Restaurant Scene". Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  27. ^ a b Laura, Rosenfeld (12 December 2019). "Top Chef's Kevin Gillespie Battled Cancer Prior to Returning for All Stars Season 17". The Daily Dish. Bravo TV. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2013-04-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Kevin Gillespie Was on Archer Last Night".