• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Kevin, Top Chef

Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

If you don't think Top Chef can change lives, you should stop into fan favorite Kevin Gillespie's Atlanta restaurant, Woodfire Grill.

"I had a woman last night who broke being kosher for the first time in her life to eat at my restaurant," Kevin tells me. "It's amazing the outpouring of support that I'm getting. I think it's because I make food that can be sophisticated, but it's also food that you want to eat."

That's not all I have for you from Kevin. Read on to find out about shaving his beard, Michael Voltaggio's insults and why he went public about his divorce...

Are you ever going to be allowed to shave your beard?
I actually shave my beard three or four times a year. I always get peculiar reactions, even before I was ever on TV. So nowadays, I might just have to keep it trimmed.

I wonder if you could trademark a beard.
I don't know, but according to a commercial, you can put it on your organ donor's list. I should probably do that.

@blusugie on Twitter wanted me to ask you if you're getting your own show on Bravo.
I would love to have my own television show. If they make that happen for me, that'd be great. I like being in front of the camera. I never really did this to be a celebrity by any means. On the other hand, I really wanted to make a difference, and I wanted people to hear the message that I had about food.

What did you think when you heard Michael Voltaggio say that he makes your type of dishes on his day off?
I actually texted him and asked what we were having for dinner on his next day off. It doesn't really bother me. I'm not one who has issues of confidence.

I was surprised to see you talked to USA Today about your divorce. Why did you?
Honestly, the main reason I did that is because locally here, a lot of rumors were starting to surface about what was happening. They weren't good. There were people accusing me of being an adulterer because they would see me out without my wife...so I went ahead and just told people what was going on.

How were you able to still compete while that was going on?
It was extremely difficult. Those last two challenges were almost impossible. And then my mom showed up! It made it even more complicated because the last thing I wanted to do was think about Top Chef. I wanted to talk to her about what was happening in my life.

Did the Top Chef producers know?
No. I didn't let them know until after it was all said and done. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I didn't want anyone to make any exemptions.

________

Find out why Michael Voltaggio told us that winning Top Chef kinda sucked.