August 31, 2009
Two degrees of "Top Chef" separation

Last week we told you about a Sacramento connection to "Top Chef." That would be Jesse Sandlin, a "Top Chef" contestant who's a Baltimore native but cut her proverbial cooking teeth at such Sacramento restaurants as Esquire Grill, Spataro Restaurant and Lucca Restaurant and Bar.

Well, turns out she's not the local tie to "Top Chef." I received an e-mail from Michael Tuohy, executive chef at downtown's Grange Restaurant. Before coming to Sacramento last year, Tuohy was owner and executive chef of Atlanta's Woodfire Grill. Back then, "Top Chef" contestant Kevin Gillespie served as Tuohy's chef de cuisine, and has since risen to Woodfire Grill's executive chef and partner.

Tuohy's rooting for his former chef de cuisine, and thinks he's got a great shot at emerging as the "Top Chef."

"Kevin is a very talented young man with solid technical skills and a good sensibility about food as well as a great palate," says Tuohy. "It's fun to watch him grow as a chef, and I like his chances very much."

BTW, check out chef Tuohy's very tasty "Frontburner" blog

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