American Queen Steamboat Company continues its tradition of offering extraordinary culinary experiences by welcoming Chef Kevin Gillespie to the American Duchess for select 2021 sailings. One of the Southeast’s leading chefs of Atlanta-based Red Beard Restaurants, which includes Gunshow and Decatur’s Revival, the James Beard Award finalist and Bravo “Top Chef” season six finalist will showcase his modern, southern style of cuisine on board for guests to enjoy.
Chef Gillespie is currently sailing on American Duchess and will join an American Culinary Experience sailing again May 9-17, 2021 and the sold-out October 3-11, 2021 St. Louis to Memphis. With only limited availability remaining on the culinary themed May 9-17, 2021 itinerary, guests are encouraged to book soon to experience this special edition sailing and follow his current paddlewheel experience on American Queen Steamboat Company social media channels.
“As a chef inspired by the tales of Mark Twain, I have always been in awe of how the river connects regional cuisines, serving as a highway for transporting culinary traditions throughout America’s heartland,” explains Chef Gillespie. “I look forward to embarking on the American Duchess, diving into the cuisine of iconic ports, like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Louisville, while sharing stories, recipes and techniques with guests on board.”
Guests can look forward to intimate cooking demonstrations in the Show Lounge, regionally inspired Grand Dining Room dinners in collaboration with American Queen Steamboat Company’s Food & Beverage Director Paul Wayland Smith and signings of Chef Gillespie’s acclaimed cookbooks “Fire in My Belly” and “Pure Pork Awesomeness.” Foodies and paddlewheel aficionados not sailing are invited and encouraged to follow along Chef Gillespie’s first U.S. riverboat experience on American Queen Steamboat Company social media platforms beginning with his first sailing on April 18 from St. Louis.
“American Queen Steamboat Company continues its rich tradition of hosting well-known chefs on board for cooking demonstrations and special dinners, from the Natchez Biscuit Queen herself, Regina Charboneau to New Orleans’ icon, Dickie Brennan,” explains Food & Beverage Director Paul Wayland Smith. “We are thrilled to welcome Chef Gillespie on board and provide our guests with an extra special culinary experience.”
Kevin Gillespie grew up on Sunshine Circle in Locust Grove, Georgia and wanted to become a nuclear engineer. Gillespie was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a high school senior; however, he eventually told his parents that he no longer wanted to attend MIT and instead wanted to study culinary arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta.
With numerous accolades to his name, Gillespie was a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef Southeast in 2016 and Southern Living magazine named Decatur Revival one of “The South’s Best New Restaurants.” In addition, and unique to Revival, Gillespie built a beer garden in the restaurant’s backyard that serves Terminus City BBQ and is a place where friends and neighbors can meet and share a drink, order a snack from the food truck or play a game of cornhole together. Gillespie is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board, Georgia Organics and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue.