Meet the team

Chef Kevin Gillespie


Kevin Gillespie grew up on Sunshine Circle in Locust Grove, Georgia surrounded by his large extended family where he watched his granny, Geneva Gillespie, cook each day. He fell in love with food and cooking at an early age but didn’t decide to become a chef until high school. Wanting to become a nuclear engineer, Kevin applied to and was accepted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a high school senior. Once he got over the initial shock of being accepted, he hid the acceptance letter from his parents, friends, and college placement counselors so he could rethink his ambition to become a nuclear engineer. He eventually told his parents that he didn't want to go to MIT but instead wanted to go to the Art Institute of Atlanta and study cooking. His parents supported his decision and his mother told him it was good that he knew what he was meant to do early in life.

Kevin began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta and 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 after Michael Tuohy departed, Kevin was promoted to executive chef at Woodfire Grill and was subsequently offered partnership in the restaurant. During Kevin’s time at Woodfire Grill, the restaurant was featured on CNN, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and Men’s Health as a dining destination for visitors to Atlanta.


Chef Marco Shaw


A native of Washington, D.C., Marco’s career path wasn’t always headed for the restaurant industry.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon College, he decided to take a year to work in a restaurant before beginning medical school. During that year, he fell in love with the business and then began a three-year American Culinary Federation apprenticeship at the Tobacco Company Restaurant in Richmond, Virginia, while also pursuing a second degree, this one in culinary arts and hotel/restaurant management. He went on to cook at restaurants in New Orleans, New York, Santa Fe and Portland, Oregon.

Marco opened his first restaurant, Fife in Portland in 2002 where he hired Kevin Gillespie as a sous chef in 2006. When Kevin left Portland for Atlanta, he and Marco remained good friends. In 2010 Marco and his family moved to Durham, N.C. partnering in his 3rd and 4th restaurants where he was the chef at Piedmont Restaurant. When Kevin decided he wanted to expand his company, Marco was his first call.

Marco joined the Company at the launch of Red Beard Restaurants in 2015. With 20+ years of experience in all facets of the restaurant industry, Marco is able to relate to all of the company’s employees and works hard to help them determine the roles for which they are best suited. As the Vice President of Red Beard, Marco is tasked with helping steer the company and making the visions of the Chief Ideas Man come to life.

Favorite tv show: the law & order franchise- all of them

What time period would you visit in history: medieval Britain

The food you could eat the rest of your life: Maryland blue crabs

Something weird about you: I know all the lyrics to garth brooks’ greatest hits

Happiest moment in your life: the days my children were born-equally ecstatic, in awe and in love