Top Chef Kevin Gillespie names Brian Baxter as chef de cuisine for his upcoming Eastside Beltline beer garden and restaurant, Cold Beer, opening this July at the Edge complex in the Old Fourth Ward.
If Baxter’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because he’s worked at some of the best restaurants in the South — including for chef Sean Brock at McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston, and then as chef de cuisine at Husk-Nashville. He earned an Eater Young Gun semifinalist nod in 2015 for his work at Husk-Nashville.
Baxter, who participated in one of Gillespie’s “Hired Guns” dinners at Gunshow three years ago, plans to relocate to Atlanta from Nashville next month.
“I’ve been watching his star rise nationally, so we’re super excited to welcome him to the Red Beard Restaurants family,” Gillespie says. “Brian’s focus on flavorful ingredients, paired with his attention to details and precise execution make him a great new addition to our team.”
But, don’t expect Cold Beer to stick to just Southern or “traditional” American fare paired with what’s likely to be a whole lot of beer on the menu. Like Gillespie’s crew at Gunshow, Baxter says it’s also about “what we feel like cooking and what we feel like eating.”
Baxter joins one other key player at Cold Beer, Gunshow beverage director Mercedes O’ Brien, who takes on an expanded role within Gillespie’s Red Beard Restaurants group.
“Mercedes has been with me for five years. She’s incredible,” Gillespie told Eater Atlanta last March. “This is a big step up in the company, and we can’t wait to turn the reins over to her for Cold Beer.”
The restaurant’s 7000-square-foot space features a sizable dining room and three Beltline-facing patios, including a rooftop patio and another located under the Edgewood Avenue bridge. It joins Shake Shack, opening this weekend, and all-day cafe and wine bar Hazel Jane’s Wine & Coffee at Edge. Hazel Jane’s hopes to open before June.