Before audiences voted for him as a fan favorite on Bravo’s "Top Chef Las Vegas," Kevin Gillespie was executive chef at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, where he continues to design ingredient-driven seasonal menus that incorporate the best local, organic, and sustainable foods available. The philosophy behind Gillespie’s cooking and the one that informs Fire in My Belly is that when the season changes, the menu changes. Therefore, most of these recipes are original, created from scratch, and developed with home cooks in mind.
An Atlanta native, Gillespie grew up learning to cook at his grandmother’s knee and started helping with meals in the kitchen at age ten while watching PBS cooking shows. Rather than accept the scholarship he was offered from MIT, Gillespie chose to attend culinary school. After cooking at a number of top restaurants in Atlanta, he headed to Portland and eventually returned to Atlanta where he took over at Woodfire Grill. Gillespie has been named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award from 2009 through 2012 and was recognized in 2010 by the Gayot guide as one of the Top 5 rising chefs in the U.S.