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Kevin Gillespie leaving Woodfire Grill to open new restaurant

kevinThis afternoon, Bernard Moussa and Nicolas Quinones, co-owners of Woodfire Grill, announced the upcoming departure of Chef Kevin Gillespie and promotion of Chef de Cuisine E.J. Hodgkinson to Executive Chef.

In a recent review of Woodfire Grill, John Kessler noticed that Gillespie was rarely in the kitchen these days, those duties already executed by Hodgkinson.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, the transition period will be complete and Gillespie will leave Woodfire to open a new restaurant. No details have been released on plans for Gillespie’s new spot.

Back in March, the restaurant restructured so that Gillespie was no longer an owner. At that time, assurances were given that the former “Top Chef” finalist would remain at Woodfire Grill.

In a press release, Gillespie said, “I am very proud of the wonderful restaurant that Nicolas, Bernard and I were able to create,” said Gillespie. “It’s now time to usher in a new era for Woodfire by passing the torch off to the person who has been there from the beginning. E.J. will continue to make wonderful food and lead the restaurant into a bright future.”

Hodgkinson has been at the restaurant since 2008 and has served as Chef de Cuisine since 2011.

As for Gillespie, he’ll also be busy promoting his new cookbook, which will be released on Oct. 16.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

10 comments Add your comment

Jim S.

August 30th, 2012
5:03 pm

Great! I look forward to Kevin’s new spot and expect Woodfire to continue to thrive.


August 30th, 2012
5:39 pm

Went two weeks ago, food was great & the overall experience was wonderfu – with no Gillespie in the kitchen that night either. Only thing about the place is the prices in that sketchy setting on Cheshire Bridge. The restaurant could definitely use some updating, but otherwise the food was excellent


August 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

Decent, but not worth the money. It’d help if they’d add at least *some* spice – the fish I had was buhh-land.
I agree with the above post about the sketchy setting. Either you valet, or you risk your life.


August 30th, 2012
7:45 pm

meh has it right. I had an overly expensive, small (tiny) bland meal there a few years ago, the whole time having to listen to the server say “Chef requires, Chef suggests, Chef…..” The now departing Chef was working that night. Don’t know if the new guy was associated then – I hope not.


August 30th, 2012
11:29 pm

What is a “Chef de Cuisine?” How does it differ from a “Sous Chef?”


August 31st, 2012
8:01 am

Kat: I found these “definitions” for various levels of Chefs. The Sous Chef usually works as second in command to the Chef de Cuisine in actual food preparation. Whereas an Executive Chef is really just an inflated Chef de Cuisine, or someone who provides overall direction and leadership, but is a figurehead and not so much in the kitchen.

Executive Chef – Highest level possible. Usually with diploma or certificate, often more time spent doing organization and paperwork than actually cooking. Coordinates all kitchen functions

Chef de Cuisine – Manager of the kitchen and kitchen staff.

Sous Chef – Second in Command. Responsible for the physical operation of the kitchen, including supervision as well as preparation.

Head chef – The person in authority in the kitchen. Title refers to those who have professional cooks working for them.

Working chef – In charge of the kitchen in smaller establishments. Does the duties of a chef as well as being responsible for part or all of a station.


August 31st, 2012
12:02 pm

Gee Food Fan…is that really a sketchy area of Cheshire Bridge? About as sketchy as Alpharetta in my book

Healthy food

September 2nd, 2012
9:47 am

Kevin Gillespie thanks for your post. i like your post so much.


September 5th, 2012
4:28 pm

normal, you need to get out more to Alpharetta. Dont know of anything quite like that section of the Bridge.

Krystle Meyer

September 6th, 2012
2:24 pm

Forgot one:

Celebrity Chef – responsible for getting pictures taken with diners while forgetting about food quality and execution. Often spends more time doing interviews and endorsing crap than cooking. Coordinates franchising efforts.

(and before anyone gets their aprons in a bunch, I am not saying Gillespie fits this mold.)