by Brandon Fox
Pasture and Comfort’s Jason Alley is hitting the road next week. He’ll head down to Atlanta to take a few of his Richmond specialties with him for the Hired Guns series at Top Chef finalist, cookbook author and chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant Gunshow.
Its website says Gillespie was inspired by dim sum restaurants and Brazilian churrascarias. How does that translate to a restaurant in Georgia? Chefs push carts or carry trays with different menu items that they’ve created, offering details and telling the story behind their dish, and diners can choose what’s in front of them or wait until something else even more intriguing comes by. Choices might include a risotto of smoked chicken thighs or roasted asparagus with crunchy chicken skin and duck. You never know. Even cocktails are made from a table-side cart.
Last year Gillespie asked several Southern chefs to spend a couple of nights in his kitchen cooking what they knew best. Some of the chefs that came included John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, Mississippi, and Jeremiah Bacon of Macintosh and Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, South Carolina. Gillespie has widened his focus this year, inviting chefs from across the country.
He and Alley met at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and no doubt Gillespie was drawn just as much to Alley’s ability to spin a tale as he was to Alley’s ability to cook, an invaluable skill when trying to persuade diners to choose your dish over someone else’s.
The Richmond chef will kick off the 2015 series March 24 and 25.