June 12-13, 2016

Hired Guns with Kenny Gilbert


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The 2016 “Hired Guns” series at Gunshow has arguably featured the strongest lineup yet, with guest chefs like Brian Voltaggio and Vishwesh Bhatt already gracing our kitchen. That tradition of excellence continues in June, when chef Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, Florida, stops by on Sunday, June 12 and Monday, June 13. Gilbert, best known for his appearance on the seventh season of “Top Chef,” where he became one of the most likeable contestants in the show’s history, will mingle with diners and share his innovative take on tropical and traditional cuisine.

Chef Kevin Gillespie will be cooking alongside Gilbert both nights, along with executive chef Joey Ward and Gunshow’s renowned stable of “kitchen dudes.” A limited number of tickets are available for purchase via Xorbia. The cost is $95 per person (not including drinks, tax and gratuity).

“My passion for cooking and creating with local ingredients is a hallmark of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen, and that same kind of passion is evident in the approach Kevin and Joey take at Gunshow,” says Gilbert. “I’m thrilled they’ve asked me to take part in the unique Gunshow experience, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with them and the whole crew.”

Gilbert displayed an enthusiasm and curiosity for cooking as a young boy in suburban Cleveland, acquiring his own small Weber grill at the age of seven. By the time he was 11, Gilbert was cooking his family’s entire Thanksgiving dinner on his own. After high school, he earned a degree in culinary arts from The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and worked his way to chef de cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island by the age of 23.

Gilbert’s career has taken him from Florida and Sea Island, Georgia (where he oversaw four dining concepts at The Lodge Sea Island Golf Resort and cooked for the G8 Summit during President George W. Bush’s administration), to Colorado, New Jersey, Japan, Spain, France and the Caribbean. He has appeared on "The Today Show," written his own autobiography/cookbook and created a line of spice blends. He has cooked for the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party and celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Samuel L. Jackson and television personality A.J. Calloway, among many others.

“The best thing about these ‘Hired Gun’ events is the fresh energy and ideas that our guest chefs bring to the kitchen,” says Gillespie. “Kenny focuses on seasonal Southern cuisine, kind of like we do, but he comes at it from such a different and varied perspective. We’re all really eager to see what he’s got planned. This is going to be an exciting couple of nights.”

The remaining 2016"Hired Guns" lineup is as follows:

  • May 22-23: Brian Baxter of Husk Nashville (Just a few seats remain at Xorbia.)
  • September 11-12: Brooke Williamson of Hudson House in Redondo Beach, California (Tickets on sale August 11 at 8 a.m.)
  • October 23-24: Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina (Tickets on sale September 23 at 8 a.m.)


Organizer of Hired Guns with Kenny Gilbert
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