Celebrity Chef Tour

Wednesday November 12, 2014

Featuring national, leading James Beard Foundation

Award-Winning Chefs!

Location: 700 Drayton, The Mansion on Forsyth Park

6:00 pm: Reception;  7:00 pm:  Dinner

Tickets: $195 per person

Again this year, the Savannah Food & Wine Festival will be hosting the Celebrity Chef Tour, benefiting the James Beard Foundation, at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.  The James Beard Foundation award-winning and recognized participating chefs confirmed to date include Katie Button, Curate, Asheville, NC; Steven Satterfield, Miller-Union, Atlanta, GA; Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta, GA; and Jay Swift, 4th & Swift, Atlanta, GA and host Executive Chef of the Mansion on Forsyth Park, Rich Beichner.  Several local chefs will be preparing hors d’oeuvres, including Roberto Leoci, Leoci’s Trattoria and Kirk Blaine, Cohen’s Retreat


Responding, Savannah Food & Wine Festival President, Michael T. Owens, says “The Celebrity Chef Tour is the festival’s most epic culinary event with award-winning and recognized James Beard Foundation chefs bringing their diverse talents together for a magical, memorable and interactive dining experience. This year’s Celebrity Chef Tour dinner exemplifies some of the Southeast’s leading chefs. It will be an amazing combination of culinary talent.”


For the 2014 dinner, the wines for each course of the Celebrity Chef Tour dinner will be carefully paired by a Master Sommelier. The CCT dinner was one of the first events to sell-out for the inaugural festival in 2013 and according to Owens, “It will most definitely be one of the first of the 2014 events to sell-out again with its limited ticket availability.”

The Chef's of the 2013 Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner

The historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village is maintained as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. The Celebrity Chef Tour, which benefits the James Beard Foundation, brings the Beard House experience to cities all over the US, delivering once-in-a-lifetime multi-course dining experiences to food lovers, www.celebritycheftour.com.


The Celebrity Chef Tour showcases the culinary artistry of James Beard Foundation Award winners and celebrity chefs in restaurants, resorts, and other exclusive venues around the country. Like dining at the James Beard House, guests have the rare opportunity to interact with the participating chefs throughout the evening and savor specially designed tasting menus complete with wine and beverage pairings.

2014 James Beard Foundation Chef Participants

Katie Button

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    Katie Button

    Executive Chef / Owner: Cúrate and Nightbell, Asheville North Carolina


    Chef Katie Button draws her inspiration from an unconventional path that began in a science laboratory and led her to the kitchen. Now, as executive chef for Cúrate bar de  tapas and its around-the-corner bar neighbor, Nightbell in Asheville, North Carolina, she inspires others to take the road less traveled.


    After earning a BioMaster’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from L’Ecole Centrale in Paris and before entering the Neuroscience PhD program that would launch her on an academic research career, she stopped and took a detour. That path led her back to her roots as the daughter of an accomplished caterer in the metropolitan New York area. It was then that Chef Button decided to embark on a culinary career.


    Along the way, she worked in José Andrés’ restaurants in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, CA, and with Chef Johnny Iuzzini at Jean Georges in New York, before heading to Spain and the world-renowned elBulli where she completed a seven-month internship in the kitchen of Ferran Adrià. It is this unique world view that infuses Chef Button’s creations at Cúrate, where her work as executive chef has earned national acclaim for its Spanish authenticity and creativity, and at Nightbell, which opened in February 2014 featuring a menu of innovative American bar cuisine complimented by choice selections of cocktails, wine, beer and spirits.


    Her already distinguished culinary career includes being named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award (2012-13), and a finalist in 2014. In 2012, Master Chef José Andrés selected her as his nominee for the “Top New Artist of the Next Generation” for the Robb Report Culinary Masters Competition. That same year she was also a 2012 and 2013 nominee for Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef of the Southeast. National coverage of Cúrate includes feature stories in GQ Magazine, Afar, Garden & Gun, Departures, Southern Living, Food Arts, Charleston Magazine, The Charlotte Observer, Local Palate, Robb Report, and The New York Times. In 2013, Cúrate made GQ Magazine’s list of “Twelve Most Outstanding Restaurants,” and Open Table named it one of the “Top 100 Best Restaurants in America.”


    With all of this to her credit, it is no surprise that there is a cookbook in the works. Chef Button’s first cookbook, which is being issued by Flatiron Books in 2016, will celebrate the broad appeal of Spanish cooking and show readers how to re-create and adapt classic dishes in the home kitchen using seasonal local ingredients.


    Chef Button continues her culinary education taking a few weeks each year to travel, learn and seek inspiration from world renowned chefs. Her most recent trip included a visit to Copenhagen’s Noma, ranked the number one restaurant in the world for three-consecutive years. In addition to furthering her own education, she has served as a culinary demonstrator to The French Culinary Institute and Johnson & Wales University, receiving that institution’s Distinguished Visiting Chef Award in 2012. In 2013, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs presented her with the Golden Whisk Award for her excellence in the kitchen and inspiration to the culinary world.

  • Connect with Katie

Kevin Gillespie

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    Owner:  Gunshow, Atlanta Georgia


    Chef Kevin Gillespie’s true passion lies in serving his guests quality food every day. This enthusiasm means incorporating the use of fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. In May 2013, he opened his restaurant, Gunshow, in the Glenwood Park neighborhood of Atlanta. The restaurant features a unique dining style where Gillespie prepares both refined and rustic dishes and sends them out to the small dining room for guests to choose from. The menu is ever evolving with wonderfully delicious food that is seasonally rooted, locally focused and unlimited in its stylistic boundaries. In February 2014, Gunshow earned the seventh spot on GQ magazine’s list of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants.”


    Gillespie recently finished up a national book tour to promote his debut cookbook Fire in My Belly, which was released in October 2012, and was named a 2013 James Beard Award Finalist in the Cookbooks: American Cooking category. For his next book, Gillespie will again team up with best-selling cookbook author David Joachim, who worked with him on Fire in My Belly. The second book is scheduled for release in spring of 2015.


    Fire in My Belly includes more than 120 recipes that celebrate quality ingredients and mirror the kitchen at Woodfire Grill but were developed specifically for home cooks. The book provides a glimpse into the formative years of a rising culinary star while showing readers what to do with great seasonal ingredients through one-of-a-kind chapters like “Foods You Thought You Hated” and “When I Want to Eat Healthy.” Publishers Weekly calls it “an impressive cookbook debut...with commentary that is just off-color and honest enough to be quite funny.”


    An Atlanta native, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta where he was able to apply several scholarships he had previously earned from cooking competitions and other academic success. During school, Gillespie was determined to gain the experience he needed to become a successful chef. While carrying a full course load at the Art Institute, he worked part time at various restaurants perfecting his craft. After graduating with honors, Gillespie went on to hold different positions at several well-known Atlanta restaurants including chef de partie at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, sous chef at TWO Urban Licks and chef de cuisine at Woodfire Grill. He enjoyed his time at each of these places but found a true connection at Woodfire, where he originally stayed for two years. In August of 2006, Gillespie headed to the West Coast where he went to work as executive sous chef at Fife Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. After a year and a half there, he missed his family and friends in the South and returned to Atlanta. Gillespie came back to Woodfire Grill to continue to work for his friend and teacher Michael Tuohy.


    In 2009, Nicolas Quiñones and Bernard Moussa of Five Senses Restaurants, LLC purchased Woodfire Grill and promoted Gillespie to executive chef. They felt that in order to carry on Woodfire Grill’s reputation and mission, he was the most qualified for the position. During Gillespie’s time at Woodfire Grill, the restaurant was featured on CNN and in Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Men’s Health as a dining destination for visitors to Atlanta. Through his training, skill and passion, Gillespie maintained the restaurant’s values and ideas until his departure in December 2012.

    In addition to the partnership he achieved at Woodfire Grill, Gillespie also earned a spot on Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series “Top Chef” for the show’s sixth season in Las Vegas in 2009. Proving to be a top contender by winning the most “Quickfire Challenges” and “Elimination Challenges” in the history of the show, he stood out as one of this season’s final three chef-testants who competed for the “Top Chef” title in Napa Valley. Gillespie was also voted “fan favorite” by the viewers of “Top Chef.”


    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 of 2010, he was honored as one of Gayot.com’s “Top Five Rising Chefs” and named as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award. A few months later, in June, Gillespie was invited to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in New York City and was also featured on “Cooking with Emeril” on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. In 2010, Gillespie was selected as a Celebrity Chef Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and also received The Art Institute of Atlanta’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding accomplishments in the restaurant industry. Gillespie accepted this alumni award in December 2010 at the school’s graduation ceremony where he also served as the commencement speaker.


    In 2011, Gillespie was again named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award and nominated for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef.” Gillespie has even been honored in cartoon form; in September 2011 he performed the voiceovers for his own character on the season premiere of “Squidbillies” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. In this episode, the main character is dying from asbestos exposure and gets three wishes granted, one of which is to have a meal prepared by Chef Kevin Gillespie. In November 2011, Gillespie served as a keynote speaker for the international conference of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. In December 2011, he was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the magazine’s listing of tomorrow’s brightest stars.


    2012 was another successful year for Gillespie, as he was named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award again in February and “Best Local Chef” by Georgia Voice in July. Gillespie was also chosen to join Leadership Atlanta’s LEAD Atlanta Class of 2013, a prestigious leadership development and community education program, and hosted Co+op, Stronger Together’s video series celebrating the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives. In this series, Gillespie traveled to food co-ops across the country to share their passion for delicious food and their local communities. In addition to his fall book release, Gillespie was the featured chef in a Fine Food and Wine Cruise to French Polynesia in September, giving travelers an exclusive culinary travel experience.

    Gillespie was included on Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s list of “10 Under 40” for 2013. The magazine’s list featured local tastemakers who continually make a positive contribution to the Atlanta community and make the city a better place to live. In May 2013, Gillespie appeared as a judge on the Destination America show SMOKED, where barbecue pit masters compete for ultimate bragging rights. For the second year in a row, he competed in the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival chef competition and won. He will return in 2014 to defend his title. In 2014, Gillespie was a contestant on Esquire Network show Knife Fight.


    When he is not at the restaurant, Gillespie can be found participating in culinary events around the country including the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, Serenbe Southern Chef Series, Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot, High Museum Wine Auction, Music to Your Mouth Festival and Top Chef: The Tour. Additionally, he has previously partnered with Morelli’s Ice Cream to create a selection of seasonal sundaes for the shop.

    Gillespie currently resides in the Serenbe Community, southwest of Atlanta, with his wife, Valerie. He is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative, Georgia Organics, Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, playing music and barbecuing.


  • Connect with Kevin

Steven Satterfield

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    Steven Satterfield

    Co-Owner, Executive Chef:  Miller Union, Atlanta Georgia


    Through his 20 years of experience in restaurants, chef Steven Satterfield has developed strong relationships with local farmers – a connection that came to fruition in his and co-owner Neal McCarthy’s exciting restaurant venture, Miller Union. Named after the Miller Union Stockyards once located on the property, the restaurant inhabits a refurbished mid-century warehouse space in Atlanta’s former West Side meatpacking district. Satterfield believes in an authentic approach to farmstead-inspired cooking. His trademark style is simple yet refined, and the dishes he creates focus on updated regional classics with fresh produce-driven ideas.


    A Georgia native who spent his childhood in Savannah, Satterfield moved to Atlanta to attend the architecture program at Georgia Institute of Technology, with his final year of design studying abroad in Paris. After graduating in 1992, Satterfield was lured to music. Picking up the guitar for the first time, he began writing songs and formed Seely, the first American band signed to the UK label Too Pure. Within a year, Seely rocketed to the top 15 on college radio charts and toured various clubs all over the United States before disbanding in 2000.


    During Seely’s band years, Satterfield found himself working in kitchens to supplement his income, which led to a passion he had not yet discovered: cooking. Between gigs and tours he landed a job at Floataway Café, part of the family of Atlanta restaurants owned and operated by heralded chef Anne Quatrano. His appointment to Floataway’s kitchen proved a turning point for his culinary career; it was here he discovered his fascination with fresh local ingredients. He began taking cooking seriously as an art form, eventually rising from the ranks at Decatur’s acclaimed Watershed under the tutelage of celebrated executive chef Scott Peacock.


    As a child, Satterfield spent summers in Asheville, N.C., with his grandmother, Hilda, who taught him everything from stringing pole beans to making the perfect biscuit. Her simple approach to cooking, canning, preserving and using local ingredients is a philosophy that he references daily. Satterfield continues to develop deep connections with local growers, dairies and producers to curate the best ingredients the South has to offer. Miller Union is a testament to Satterfield’s commitment to cook with local and seasonal ingredients while employing as little manipulation as possible.


    Satterfield is a leader in the progressive culinary community as an active member of Slow Food Atlanta, Georgia Organics, Community Farmer’s Markets, Chefs Collaborative and the Southern Foodways Alliance. He was also nominated for Food & Wine magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef,” following Miller Union’s placement on the “Best New Restaurants in America” lists from Bon Appetit and Esquire, as well as Atlanta magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year”. The James Beard Foundation chose Steven as a top five finalist for Best Chef: Southeast in 2013 and 2014. Miller Union was recognized as a semifinalist for the national award of best new restaurant in 2010.


    Satterfield lives in the historic neighborhood of Inman Park in Atlanta. An avid cyclist, he also enjoys exploring the Georgia coast, listening to new music, teaching people to cook, and researching cocktails with the bartenders of Miller Union.





  • Connect with Steven

Jay Swift

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    Jay Swift

    Chef and Owner: 4th & Swift, Atlanta Georgia


    His name notwithstanding, Swift’s rise in the culinary field has been methodical and covers 30 years. A Baltimore native, Jay started out in the restaurant business at the age 14 and financed his high school and college English education through restaurant work. After two and a half years of college, he decided to follow his passion and palate and he switched gears to head back to the kitchen. Jay enrolled in the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program and graduated first in his class. During his apprenticeship, he worked under Certified Master Chef Rudy Speckamp. Upon graduation, Jay worked at the venerable Mayflower Hotel and in the kitchen of noted restaurateur Bob Kinkead's 21 Federal in the nation’s capital.


    Boston was the next stop in his carefully crafted culinary career where he worked as Line Chef for Lydia Shire at Biba. Jay eventually returned to his native Maryland, where he worked at both the Polo Grill and Windows at Baltimore’s Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. His next move was to New York City to become the opening chef for Foley’s Fish House at Times Square. Jay then headed south and took the reins at South City Kitchen in Atlanta. He won raves for his successful overhaul of the restaurant’s contemporary Southern menu and South City Kitchen was designated one of the top twenty restaurants in Atlanta by the Zagat Guide during Jay’s tenure.


    As a member of Georgia Organics and the Southern Foodways Alliance, Jay remains actively engaged with Atlanta’s progressive culinary community. In 2012, he was named Restaurateur of the Year at the 6th Annual Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) Crystal of Excellence Awards. In addition, Jay serves on the board of directors for the GRA. In recent years, Jay has participated in the Southface Visionary Dinner, a culinary event with the goal to raise awareness and funding for Southface's continued work in sustainable community development, high-performance building, affordable housing and green jobs training. Jay also supports Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger with his participation in Taste of the Nation and Give Me Five event. And he has been honored with two invitations to cook at the renowned James Beard House in New York City.


    Chef Jay Swift highlights seasonal and daily-changing market menus to utilize the freshest ingredients at all times. Located in a former engine room of the Southern Dairies, 4th & Swift serves modern American comfort food in a space indicative of the buildings rich past in Atlanta’s eclectic Old Fourth Ward.



  • Connect with Jay

Host Chef - 700 Drayton, The Mansion on Forsyth Park

Rich Beichner

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    Richard Beichner

    Executive Chef: 700 Drayton, The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah Georgia


    Richard is currently the Executive Chef at the Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah Georgia. Richard has most recently been honing his skills in Colorado for the last 10 years, before that he was based on the east coast working in New York city  and Philadelphia.


    With over 20 years in the hospitality field He has been fortunate to work with some of the leaders in the culinary field throughout the country. He shares a passionate for using the best and the freshest ingredients that are available locally. He has been successful at establishing lines of communication between the farmers, ranchers and fisherman to demand the finest product for his guests .


    He has also worked with multiple charities, such as taste of Vail Food and Wine Festival, the March of Dimes Organization and the Share our Strengths foundation using his skills to raise awareness for these charities and also help raise funds to help these organizations. Last year he received the level one certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers and was invited to Cook at the James Beard house in New York City. In his free time he enjoys alpine skiing, hiking, biking and enjoying dining out with friends enjoying wine and good conversation.

  • Connect with Rich


The Tourism Leadership Council is pleased to announce the 2014 Savannah Food & Wine Festival.   According to festival President, Michael T. Owens, “The overwhelming success of the inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival translates into an even bigger and better 2014 festival.


The Taste of Savannah will now take place in Ellis and Johnson Squares, the River Street Stroll will be in an expanded area and we’re in the process of finalizing plans on several new events and venues. We will have the full festival line-up of tickets on sale by June 1, 2014.”


Taste Wine Like an Expert at the Savannah Food & Wine Festival


For more information on the Festival contact us at:



At the Taste of Savannah, Savannah Food & Wine Festival’s signature event, on Saturday, Nov. 15, ticket holders will have the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines.


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The Savannah Food & Wine Festival  PO Box 10010

Savannah, Georgia 31412  ph: 912-232-1223; fax: 912-236-8821

©2014 Savannah Food & Wine Festival and The AdFish Group

*The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.