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Kevin Gillespie on His First Cookbook, Fire in My Belly

On the heels of the announcement of his new restaurant, Gunshow, Kevin Gillespie celebrates the release of his first cookbook. Fire in My Belly comes out next month, and to commemorate the occasion, the chef is throwing a release party and book signing at Woodfire Grill on October 9 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $75 a person. Guests will take home a personalized copy of the cookbook, sample recipes from its pages, and mingle with Gillespie. For those who can't make the party, there will be additional signings in Alpharetta and Atlanta in November. About the October event, Gillespie says, "I just want it to be a party. It's the first day, and honestly, I'm going to be too excited to do anything other than just hang out and have fun." Below, he shares his thoughts on Fire in My Belly.

This is your first book. How do you feel?
I'm very excited about it. It's a very surreal moment— the first time you get a copy of a book you wrote, and you look at pictures of yourself, and you read the words that you've written. It's very strange, I can't even begin to explain it. For me, it was a very weird moment to read the story of my own life, but at the same time, it gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment because one of my largest goals with the book was to write something that changed a lot of opinions. I want to do things that are different— I don't mean reinventing the wheel, I just mean looking at things slightly differently, and this cookbook was very much a case of that. There are a lot of great cookbooks out there, but there are also very few books that become very real when you read them, and hopefully this one does that. Hopefully it gives people a very strong glimpse of who I am as a person and how I think about food. I think it makes my life and my career so much more clear to not just the readers but to myself.

Will recipes from the book make it to your restaurants' menus?
There are not very many recipes in the book that fit what Woodfire does. I wrote this book for regular people. I like to tell people that I wrote it for my mom and my sister and my wife, because in my mind, they're what I think of real life as being— my mother was a working mom, my sister has never really learned how to cook, my wife is a career woman. I wrote the recipes to be targeted towards them, so the recipes aren't refined enough to fit Woodfire Grill. On the other hand, there are about four dishes in the book that are straight from the Woodfire menu, and they have a good story and a good reason for why they made it. At Gunshow, maybe. Maybe more. There's a lot more room at Gunshow [for something like this]. There are a lot of really delicious things in the book that I hope we can put on the menu at some point, but we're going to let time make that decision for us.
· Fire in My Belly Release Party Tickets [Xorbia]
· All Coverage of Kevin Gillespie [-EATL-]

Woodfire Grill

1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324 Visit Website

Gunshow

924 Garrett Street, , GA 30316 (404) 380-1886 Visit Website

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