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Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking

Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking

4.0 2
by Kevin Gillespie, David Joachim

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Step into the kitchen with beloved chef and 2016 James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef Southeast, Kevin Gillespie, whose deep commitment, passion, and skill shine throughout this approachable cookbook. This is truly a book to be cooked from again and again.

"Cooking is figuring out the great qualities of any food and making those qualities shine." That's


Step into the kitchen with beloved chef and 2016 James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef Southeast, Kevin Gillespie, whose deep commitment, passion, and skill shine throughout this approachable cookbook. This is truly a book to be cooked from again and again.

"Cooking is figuring out the great qualities of any food and making those qualities shine." That's the inspiring message of Fire in My Belly by Top Chef fan favorite Kevin Gillespie. Fire In My Belly celebrates good ingredients with more than 120 hip, accessible recipes presented in a cutting-edge design. This book taps into our national obsession with knowing where our food comes from. Kevin’s southern charm, passion, and funny stories guide readers through one-of-a-kind chapters, like "Foods You Thought You Hated," "When I Want to Eat Healthy," "My Version of Southern Food," "World Classics Revisited," and "Junk Food." Fire in My Belly shows cooks what to do with fresh farmers' market foods while providing a backstage pass to the life of a rising culinary star.

Editorial Reviews

Just turned thirty, Kevin Gillespie is already being tapped as a culinary star. Atlanta's Woodfire Grill, where he serves as the executive chef, has received stellar reviews and Gillespie himself reached the finals of Bravo's sixth season, winning "Fan Favorite" honors as well. His debut cookbook will garner plaudits for the same "solid and straightforward' cooking that earned him praise on the show. Like its author, Fire in the Belly sports a blend of great recipes and winning information. In chapters with titles like "Food You Thought You Hated," "Junk Food," "World Classics Revisited," and "When I Want to Eat Healthy," Gillespie dishes out treats like Smoked Trout Puffs with Bacon Jam, Cucumber and Almond Gazpacho, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Spicy Raita. A nice combination of informality and Southern food savvy.

Publishers Weekly
Gillespie, the executive chef at Atlanta’s Woodfire Grill, makes an impressive cookbook debut with this inspired collection of more than 120 recipes, based on his restaurant creations but modified for the home cook. In a clever chapter entitled “Foods You Thought You Hated,” he arms himself with garlic, spices, and cream to make palatable dishes like brussels sprouts gratin and haggis with caramelized turnip. The chapter entitled “World Classics Revisited” offers famous mainstays like Welsh rarebit and coq au vin, as well as re-imagined treats like cucumber and almond gazpacho, and smoked trout puffs with bacon jam. He preaches the use of local and sustainable foods, but that does not mean he cannot own up to a chapter entitled “Junk Food,” with such entries as deep-fried candy bars. Gillespie’s intelligence and creativity (he turned down a scholarship to MIT in order to attend culinary school) is apparent in his writing style. Each chapter is prefaced with a brief, compelling tale from his past that is heartfelt without cloying. And each recipe is prefaced with commentary that is just off-color and honest enough to be quite funny (“I’ve always liked ramen noodles. I know they’re total crap, but I like them”). (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Named one of the "8 Best Southern Cookbooks" (Amanda Waas, Community Table, a division of Parade Magazine)
Library Journal
Gillespie, co-owner and executive chef of the Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, was a finalist and fan favorite on Top Chef season six. His debut, written with food writer Joachim (The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment, and Techniques), has informal chapters (e.g., "Foods You Thought You Hated," "My Version of Southern Food," and "When I Want to Eat Healthy") that contain a balance of familiar and worldly favorites, from Haggis to Halibut en Papillote to Deep-Fried Candy Bars. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a disjointed design; constantly shifting colors, fonts, layouts, and images make this difficult to cook from and impossible to browse. VERDICT Top Chef fans will drive demand for this unconventional cookbook.

Product Details

Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.32(d)


Meet the Author

Chef Kevin Gillespie, nominated for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast, true passion lies in incorporating fresh, organic, and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. After graduating with honors from the Art Institute of Atlanta, the Georgia native worked in top restaurants in Atlanta and Oregon before opening his first restaurant, Gunshow, in May 2013. His goal as executive chef of his restaurant Gunshow is to redefine the restaurant experience. He along with his two sous chefs compete for diners attention and stomachs by circulating through the dining room and presenting different dishes to choose from. The diner picks what they want to eat from the 3 options based on the story behind each dish.
Gillespie was one of the final three cheftestants on season six of Bravo's Top Chef and was voted Fan Favorite, nominated for Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef, and named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 for his outstanding accomplishments in the restaurant industry. As a rising young culinary star who was bringing more than just good food to the table, Gillespie was named one of Mother Nature Network’s top 40 Chefs Under 40 in November 2009 for linking farms to forks and promoting better health for people and the planet. In February 2010, he was honored as one of Gayot.com's Top Five Rising Chefs. His debut cookbook, Fire in My Belly, was selected as a James Beard Award Finalist. Gillespie is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative, Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board, Georgia Organics, and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue. He owns three restaurants: Gunshow in Atlanta which also operates a BBQ catering business called Terminus City, and a second restaurant called Revival in Decatur. It is based on the Southern concept of meat-and-three; just like going to Grandma's for Sunday dinner, but available every day. For more information, please visit chefkevingillespie.com.

 When he is not at the restaurant, Gillespie can be found participating in culinary events around the country, including the Charleston Food and Wine FestivalSerenbe Southern Chef SeriesCharlie Palmer’s Pigs & PinotHigh Museum Atlanta Wine AuctionMusic to Your Mouth Festival, and Top Chef: The Tour. Additionally, he has partnered with Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream to open a second location of the shop in Atlanta, and creates a selection of seasonal sundaes for the shop. Gillespie resides in the Ormewood Park neighborhood of Atlanta, with his wife, Valerie.

David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals award–winning The Food Substitutions Bible and the New York Times best-sellers A Man, a Can a Grill and Mastering the Grill, coauthored with Andrew Schloss. His book The Science of Good Food was an IACP award winner, a James Beard Award finalist, and a World Food Media award finalist for Best Food Book. His latest book is Rustic Italian Food, written with James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri. He is the cofounder of Chef Salt, a line of artisanal salt seasoning blends. He is also a pyromaniac from birth and owns more than 10 grills. His Web site is davejoachim.com.


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Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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