Friday, January 30, 2015

Foodie Friday: Kevin Gillespie's New Cookbook and Restaurant

I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Ivory Owl Reviews: Foodie Fridays
Each Friday I will be featuring a review of a food-themed book, cookbook, or a recipe. 
Today's post is a spotlight on chef Kevin Gillespie. I reviewed his first cookbook, Fire in My Belly, for Buckhaven Lifestyle magazine in 2013. 
My review of Kevin Gillespie's new cookbook, Pure Pork Awesomeness, which releases at the end of March, appears in the February issues of Perimeter North Lifestyle and Buckhaven Lifestyle magazine. Below I've repeated the review and added the press release announcing his newest restaurant.  

Title: Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World
Author: Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
ISBN: 9781449447076
Number of Pages: 240
How I Got It: Amy Geismar at Melissa Libby& Associates
Format: PDF

Loved locally since his early days at Woodfire Grill, Kevin Gillespie won America’s hearts and stomachs as a finalist and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef in 2009. Since his appearance he has received numerous distinguished national and local awards as well as opened Gunshow in Glenwood Park in the summer of 2013. Gillespie’s first cookbook, Fire in My Belly, introduced readers to his passion for cooking and provided personal background into his culinary past and his recipes. Returning now with his second cookbook, Pure Pork Awesomeness, Gillespie continues to promote his farm-to-table agenda, this time specializing in pork. Beginning from a wish to have a pet pig as a child, Gillespie has always had a preference for a particular protein, pointing out how “everyone who knows me knows I am crazy about pork.” Wanting to share his knowledge and inspire others, he compiled his latest cookbook because “to be able to put it all down on paper was really important to me. I’m really proud of it, and I hope it’ll inspire people to try new things with pork.” In Pure Pork Awesomeness, Gillespie educates readers on making informed choices when selecting pork, such as the differences between commodity pork and pastured pork, explains the difference in breeds, and gives advice for selecting different cuts and types of pork. But this cookbook is not just packed with every aspect of porcine information, it also features 100 mouth-watering, pork-praising recipes from across the globe, You’ll learn how pork is prepared and enjoyed in China, Germany, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Thailand, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Scotland, and the United States with recipes including: Coca-Cola Glazed Pork Shoulder, Sour Orange Carnitas, Slow-Cooked Pork Barbacoa, A Really Good Cuban Sandwich (including a recipe for mojo mayonnaise), Cottage Bacon Croque Monsieur and Grilled Pork Banh Mi. Divided into chapters specializing in different cuts, this cookbook covers everything any cook would ever need to know about pigs, from snout to tail. Gillespie explains that Pure Pork Awesomeness “is the culmination of my passion for pork and an exciting opportunity to share all I’ve learned about it over the course of my career.” He shares the personal backstory for several of his recipes, just as he did in his first cookbook, with his trademark friendly and engaging style. Reading this cookbook will make you feel like you are in the kitchen swapping stories and cooking secrets with a buddy…it’s just that your buddy is Chef Kevin Gillespie, The Professor of Pork. 
Gillespie is opening a second restaurant in 2015, Terminus City, which currently offers onsite catering and pick-up from the Gunshow location. Visit to keep up to date with all of our city’s most beloved chef’s activities or to order a signed copy of Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World ($30)  releasing March 31, 2015.


Melissa Libby & Associates Official Press Release Announcing: Kevin Gillespie's Newest Restaurant: Revival

New Decatur Meat-and-Three to Serve a Fresh New Take on Family-Style Dining

ATLANTA (January 20, 2015)–Atlanta-based chef, restaurateur, and author Kevin Gillespie, the man behind the nationally recognized Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow, is taking aim at a beloved Southern institution with his newest project. Revival, located on the site of the former Harbour House Pub in Decatur, promises a fresh take on the traditional, family-style Sunday dinner, with a focus on farm-raised and artisan-prepared ingredients.

“I have fallen back in love with the traditional dishes I grew up eating, and those that represent the beautiful culinary traditions of the Deep South,” Gillespie says. “Inspired by the cooking of my grandmothers and the history of our region, I want to breathe new life into that classic family-style restaurant, or ‘meat and three.’ We hope to showcase the dishes with a passion and precision that is largely unavailable currently.”

Revival’s menu will offer a blend of meats, fish, and fresh vegetables, with seasonal options that change daily. Lunch will be served a la carte, while supper, Gillespie says, “will more closely resemble a classic Southern family-style spread served in your grandmother’s home. Revival will be like going to your grandma’s on Sunday—except every day.”

The setting even promises to echo a visit to your grandmother’s house, with a lush garden in the front and a spacious yard in the rear. Revival will be located at 129 Church Street in Decatur and is scheduled to open in early June.

About Chef Kevin Gillespie
Chef Kevin Gillespie's 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. Gillespie was one of the final three cheftestants on the sixth season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and was voted “fan favorite.” He has been named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award for three consecutive years, nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef and named 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’s “Top Five Rising Chefs.” In February 2014, Gunshow earned the seventh spot on GQ magazine’s list of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants” and in October 2014, Gunshow was honored as one of 12 restaurants on Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants of 2014” list. Gillespie is set to release Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World on March 31, 2015, a follow-up cookbook to Fire in My Belly, which 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. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel

Title: The Other Shakespeare
Author: Lea Rachel
Publisher: Writer's Design Press
Publication Date: 2015 (first published November 12, 2014)
ISBN: 9780990861607
Number of Pages: 197
How I Got It: Direct from publisher
Format: paperback

Goodreads Description:
What if Shakespeare had been born a woman? What would have happened to her? And, what would she have accomplished?
Virginia Woolf first posed these questions in her acclaimed novel A Room of One’s Own…and now maverick author Lea Rachel steps up to tell the rest of the story.
The Other Shakespeare carries readers back to the sixteenth century to follow Judith Shakespeare, the older sister of William, as she tries to make a name for herself in a male-dominated society that consistently denies women their independence. Born with as much talent, creativity, and drive as her younger brother, she is stifled by the world around her and ultimately resorts to extreme measures to get accepted and have her talent recognized.
Judith’s story is rich with history, conflict, and drama and is sure to appeal to fans of Virginia Woolf, William Shakespeare, and character-driven fiction.

My Review:
I love books like this, alternate histories that position women into the story. Author Lea Rachel is able to weave Virginia Woolf's struggle with being taken seriously as a female writer into her character, Judith. She points out the strict gender roles restricting women from most pursuits outside the home as well as the scoffing at of "unnecessary" skills, such as reading. As a strong, independent woman myself, I always wonder how I would have survived such stagnant conformity. It is easy to empathize with Judith and when a traveling play mesmerizes Judith, readers will feel their hearts ache as she yearns to be one of the players. A perfect combination of Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and example of how society's gender roles have thwarted all but the greatest and most stubborn minds, Lea Rachel's "The Other Shakespeare" is a must-read for any historical and women's fiction lover.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Talk with R and T: The Magician's Lie (Spoilers)

What a week! Tamara and I have been talking about THE MAGICIAN'S LIE this week. In case you missed our reviews, be sure to check out mine and Tamara's on each of our blogs. Tamara also hosted a great interview with Greer Macallister and we are giving away a copy of the book
So much fun!
Now today we are talking spoilers on our blogs and movie cast on Twitter. Who would you cast in the movie? Tweet us: @IvoryOwlReviews or @Rockstar1023 and tag your tweet with #BookTalkwithRandT

Ok. So let's talk about some spoilers.....
(Stop reading now if you don't want to read any spoilers)

Ok. Tamara and I usually DM each other on Twitter as we are reading our selections. We want to know which page the other one is on and what part they have already read so we can talk about it. This usually results in lots of tiny messages consisting of a page number followed by lots of exclamation marks. We try to read at around the same pace but we are busy ladies and that isn't always possible. Below are some of my DMs to T. I finished a little before T this time and was dying for her to finish so we could talk about the ending. Even though this is a spoiler section, I'm just not going to give it away because I think everyone should experience that for themselves.'s what I am going to dish on:

Ray: oh boy is this character a doozy! "I'm only 9% in / Chapter 4 and 16 year old Ray is a creeper." "Ch. 7: Ok I didn't think Ray could get creepier, but he thinks he has healing powers?" What's amazing is that no one seems to notice he's absolutely out of his head crazy on the farm? He's so super psycho that he becomes one of those "love to hate" characters.

Ada practicing in the barn: "I can't believe she put herself in that situation with Ray in the barn! Seriously, in a house the size of Biltmore, the barn was her choice? Stupid!"

Ada's mother: I know that this was the late 1800s but I can't believe that her mother pretty much tells Ada to just accept anything Ray does in order to keep the peace. I give her a little credit for trying to get her away from the farm through ballet but not much. Why wouldn't she send Ada back to her parents?

and to end with, just a random thought: I guess women carried different items in their purse back then because Arden had a strange assortment.