In 2008 he became the executive chef at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta.  In
2009 he came to fame on Season 6 of Bravo’s smash hit TV show Top Chef. 
Just this month he was announced as a semi-finalist for the James Beard
Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year.  In March he will be
here in Charleston as a guest chef at the Wine and Food Dine Around at
Fig.  Wow.  How did he get so far so quickly? PORK!
     After watching Kevin braise, roast, slow cook, BBQ and even pate
pork you want to get in the car, drive to Woodfire Grill, and
immediately order anything that came from a pig.  I know I did. Well
that drive to Atlanta for Kevin’s pork is getting a lot shorter for one
weekend.  He will be paired up with Mike Lata of Fig (James Beard Award
Winner),  Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL
(James Beard Award Winner) and Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta .  This dinner will be part of the Friday night Dine Arounds at
the Charleston Wine and Food Festival in March.  This dinner is going to
be unbelievable. 
    We caught up with Kevin and asked him since he was born and raised
in Atlanta if he spent much time in Charleston.  He says he has been to
Charleston “probably 30 times, ever since I was a kid”.  Kevin did
participate in last year’s festival where he says he got to meet Bob
Waggoner and Robert Carter. He says he currently keeps up with Mike Lata
and Sean Brock quite a bit too. 
     I am planning a vacation to Atlanta in March and we asked Kevin who
else (Top Chef alum excluded) in Atlanta is doing great food right
now.  He says, “There are so many talented chefs in Atlanta. A few are Linton Hopkins , Steven Satterfield , and Billy Allin
“.  That got us thinking.  There are always many good chefs doing
dinner. The trickier part of eating on vacation is finding amazing
breakfast, lunch, and after dinner dessert.  All of you out there
planning on heading to Atlanta this summer write this next part down and
save it to plan your trip. Kevin says the perfect day of dining in
Atlanta would start with Breakfast at Thumbs Up Diner , lunch at HomeGrown , dinner at Woodfire Grill , coffee at Octane , dessert at Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream , and late night snack…(4th meal!) at Holeman & Finch
That may sound like a lot of food for one day but its vacation right?
Right?  I will report back after that day of vacation. It might be
interesting to weigh myself before I go and the after that Holeman &
Finch 4th meal.
     If I am visiting the Woodfire Grill on my trip I wanted a little
guidance on what else to try on the menu besides anything pork.  Kevin
says many people would be shocked if they knew that he was really good
at cooking……vegetables.  That is a good thing. I have a feeling my
body will need a little extra fiber after my long day of eating.
     Lastly,  I always like to ask musicians, actors, and chefs that I
have a fond appreciation for who it is that they like.  It is usually a
TV show, an actor, a movie, or an artist. For Kevin, he says right now
he is really into the punk rock group Against Me!. The exclamation point
is actually in their title for those of you unfamiliar with their
work.  The group was formed in Gainesville, FL where I spent many years
in college.  In their song “I Was a Teenage Anarchist
the chorus says “Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to
set world on fire?”  Kevin’s career can relate to that line.  His
passion for setting the culinary world on fire at a young age is coming
through one plate at a time, usually pork, sometimes veggies.  Pigs
beware.

-Scott, Charleston Food Bloggers