He was a chef-testant (that's a word, right?) on Bravo's 2009 Top Chef competition when he first came to our attention. In the three years since then, Kevin Gillespie's gone on to become executive chef and co-owner of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta and co-write a cookbook called Fire in My Belly. Through it all, Gillespie has been a down-home Georgia boy, and Fire in My Belly reflects his simple but elegant approach to food. Both the book and his demonstration today are filled with commonsense hints (''bigger shrimp are better for grilling and smaller ones are better for ceviche and salads'') and adaptable recipes that reflect his commitment to making the most of the best food available in your specific location (''I firmly believe that good cooking starts with good ingredients''). He also spends a bit of time deciphering what he calls Kevin-speak (''just above 'below room temperature''' and some-thing he calls ''the washing machine method''). During today's session, Gillespie whips up buttermilk-marinated fennel with satsumas and jalapeños; sage-battered mushrooms with cheddar fonduta; pan-seared shrimp; slow-roasted pork chops with apples and red-eye gravy; and warm banana pudding.
6:30 p.m. Central Market, 3815 Westheimer. $70 (includes a copy of Fire in My Belly).
Wed., Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m., 2012