Tastes of Passion...

"The Man" and I

That is what I experienced while dining solo at Kevin Gillespie's Woodfire Grill in downtown Atlanta. For those that are not in the know, Kevin was one of the final runner-up ass-kickers in this last season of Top Chef. Throughout the season, most everyone I know that was paying attention, commented on the fact that they all felt Kevin's cooking was honest, tasty looking, sincere, simple and full of his love of cooking and great ingredients. Although he did not win the final smack-down, many felt he should have. Each day of filming, he seemingly left the bullshit at the door and cooked his heart out. Sure, some others did, but it was truly evident in Kevin's cooking that he displayed much more of the passion, which ultimately is how I wound up eating at his restaurant just outside of the high fashion and falutin' Buckhead district, albeit in a bit of a risque and shady locale. But hell, it was all about the food, not what was going on the corner or in a parking lot. Passion, desire and craft exuding him, this is really what inspired me to dine there while visiting my new-found family in this huge metropolis in the south. It is all about working with local farmers, ranchers, artisans and fishermen practicing great sustainability and stewardship, and using the freshest ingredients in season for Kevin. That is how I roll as well. Since I only managed to land the last seat at the bar, as reservations were packed to the gills, I was not able to experience the ambiance of the full restaurant...no worries! Again, it was all about the food for me. I commented that I could be standing in the kitchen or leaning against the wall on the back loading dock to eat and have a great time so long as the food is stellar, which it did not disappoint. They have a nice ala carte menu as well as a nightly 5-course "blind" tasting menu in which the chef and kitchen team cook for you without you knowing what is coming next. I "sold" that to several folks around the bar who were a bit unsure and squeamish of that format but by the end of their meal, they were stoked! I told the server that I wanted the "treatment"...the full deal...the best! Since they would not tell me what was on the tasting, I simply said "make sure there is foie gras", and "I would like several other courses whatever the chef wants to cook and let's throw in a cheese as well". By the end, I also had added a signature octopus dish and a chocolate addition to dessert. 10 courses later and many great tastes, I was satiated, stimulated and mentally fulfilled. His and his team's cooking rocked. The beauty lied in the simplicity and execution of each dish with the utmost attention to perfection and taste. For those able to experience Kevin's cooking, I highly encourage you to to do so. You will not be disappointed. Here are the tastes of passion I experienced during the four hours of degustation that night...

Woodfire Grilled Pecan-Raisin & Rosemary Sourdough Breads
Herbs de Provence Butter
Carolina Rice & Black Eyed Pea Fritter, Collard Gribiche, Hot Sauce
(Elderflower-Herb Boisson)
Spice Braised Baby Organic Carrots
Sweet & Sour Cabbage, Currants, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, Carrot Coulis
Seared Georges Bank Scallop & Confit of Shrimp
Mixed Radish Carpaccio, Clementines, Olio Nuevo
Washington State Kushi Oysters
Pickled Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Cauliflower, Fennel Cream
"Liqueur Naturel"
Seared Sonoma Foie Gras
Toasted Brioche, Persimmons Puree, Braised Pistachios, Buckwheat, Chervil
(Grapefruit Juice, Cardamom Syrup, Bitters, Meyer Lemon Mocktail)
Woodfire Grilled Bobwhite Quail
Honey Glazed, Potato Emulsion, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Baby Fingerling Potatoes
Berkshire Pork "3 Ways"
Wood Grilled Loin, Fig Glazed Braised Belly, Pulled Shoulder & Cracklings
Anson Mills Farro, Caramelized Endive, Fig-Apple Puree
Chilled Octopus Salad Sous Vide
Hickory Grilled & Basted
Coleslaw, Crispy Shallots, Kevin's Own Terminus BBQ Sauce
New Zealand Windsor Bleu
Clover Honey and Honeycomb, Micro Greens
Apple Shortcake Bread Pudding
Roasted Lady Apples, Cinnamon Meringue, Apple Caramel
(Elderflower-Citrus Bitters Drink with Blis Maple Brushing)
Warm Dark Chocolate "Pain Perdue"
Pistachios, Cacao Nib Creme Fraiche, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Feuillatine


Anonymous Karen Zimmer said...

Incredible menu!! Would LOVE to see photos!

3:42:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

It was very tasty! Sorry, only photo was of him and I! You will have to use your imagination.

6:11:00 PM  

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