Sac’s top chef, twice removed

Illustration by mark stivers

Last week’s premiere of Bravo’s Top Chef: Las Vegas saw Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta’s Woodfire Grill winning the first elimination challenge of the season with a dish of poached Arctic char with salsa verde. Sacramentans, though they may not know it, have ample reason to root for the early front-runner: Gillespie was the longtime chef de cuisine for our own chef Michael Tuohy of Grange. Said Tuohy, who was the executive chef of the Woodfire from its opening until leaving Atlanta last year to open the Grange, “I’m very proud of Kevin. If I were a betting man, which I’m not, I would bet on him.” Tuohy called Gillespie “technically a very sound cook,” and notes his “very good sensibility of food and flavor.” And about that elimination challenge winning dish? “I’m glad one of my dishes of olive-oil-poached fish with salsa verde stuck with him!”