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Kevin Gillespie’s BBQ plans on hold

I took this picture of Kevin a while ago in his kitchen

I took this picture of Kevin a while ago in his kitchen

“Top Chef” finalist Kevin Gillespie still plans to open a barbecue joint in Atlanta, but plans are on hold for the moment.

The executive chef of Woodfire Grill told us he and his partners had identified a possible location, had plans drawn up and everything, but then he decided it was too big.

“I would have had to do 800 (meals) a day to make it work,” he said. “The whole point was to keep it small. We really want to focus on Woodfire, and make it great.”

So, stay tuned.

The affable Gillespie mixed and mingled at the bar of the Midtown W Wednesday night at a slightly kooky event billed as the “Fans of Kevin Gillespie’s Beard” bash. Enjoying cocktails and proudly brandishing unique party favors – paper beards – were Krista Miller and Zachary Smith. The two set up the “Fans of Kevin Gillespie’s Beard” Facebook page during the “Top Chef” season, undoubtedly helping Gillespie clinch viewers’ choice honors at the end. Smith likes to cook, while Miller likes to bake, while both praised Gillespie’s dedication to fresh and simple during his run.

Gillespie, meanwhile, isn’t sure if he’ll watch the upcoming season of “Top Chef.” He said it took him a while to power down after the rigorous season.

“You wake up with a camera in your face, you never know what’s going on,” he said, describing life as a reality show contestant. Getting drawn in as a viewer might stress him out. So he’ll just keep cooking, instead.

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