ATLANTA — Red Beard Restaurants chef-owner Kevin Gillespie recently announced the hiring of Brian Baxter as chef de cuisine of Cold Beer, his new beverage-focused sharable plates concept. Set to debut this summer, the restaurant, with its multiple patios, will overlook the Atlanta BeltLine in Historic Old Fourth Ward.
Baxter, who was named one of Forbes magazine’s “Food & Drink 30 Under 30” in 2016 with the iconic business magazine praising his “nimble but comforting Southern cooking” for his work as chef de cuisine at Husk in Nashville, will relocate to Atlanta in May to join Gillespie’s growing culinary team. He will join culinary forces with Gunshow cocktail director Mercedes O’Brien, who will oversee Cold Beer’s ambitious libations program.
Gillespie and Baxter first met in 2014 when Gillespie’s Gunshow and Husk in Nashville both made Esquire magazine’s “2014 Best New Restaurants in America” list.
“As a fan of Brian’s food, I’ve been watching his star rise nationally so we’re super excited to welcome him to the Red Beard Restaurants family,” says Gillespie. “Brian’s focus on flavorful ingredients, paired with his attention to details and precise execution make him a great new addition to our team.”
As an indie hardcore rock fan, Baxter is no stranger to Atlanta, regularly road tripping here to catch his favorite acts at Masquerade, Drunken Unicorn and MJQ. In 2016, Baxter accepted Gillespie’s invitation to join him in the kitchen at Gunshow as a part of the restaurant’s popular Hired Guns dining series.
“Kevin’s passion for food has become a national model for innovative restaurateurs, and I jumped at the opportunity to come to Atlanta to join the Red Beard Restaurants team,” says Baxter. “We share a dedication for creativity, execution andattention to details, along with a quest to find the best basket of chicken wings in Atlanta!”
Envisioned as a beverage-oriented sister restaurant to Gunshow, Gillespie’s eagerly anticipated 7,000-square foot Cold Beer will feature creative, locally sourced and ever-evolving sharable plates, multiple patios and rooftop dining facing Atlanta’s popular BeltLine inside the new Edge retail and residential complex under the Edgewood Avenue Bridge near DeKalb Avenue. Cold Beer is scheduled to debut in July.
A 2007 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Baxter soon found himself working for the critically acclaimed chef Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston. Serving as a mentor to the young chef, Brock showed Baxter the culinary ropes, taking him along to his next critically acclaimed venture, Husk.
As chef de cuisine at Husk’s second outpost in Nashville, Baxter earned national accolades, including a spot on OpenTable’s “Five Southern Chefs to Watch” list in 2016 and a Young Guns nomination from Eater.
Of his latest culinary assignment, Baxter says: “What I love about Cold Beer is, like Gunshow, we’re not limiting it to Southern or traditional American. It’s about what we feel like cooking and what we feel like eating. It’s about inspiring people to say, ‘That’s the best taste of something I’ve ever had’ and creating shared plates that bring them back again and again.”
With Cold Beer’s chef de cuisine now in place, the Red Beard Restaurants team is looking to hire the rest of the forthcoming eatery’s kitchen and wait positions. Qualified candidates may check out the jobs posted on the hiring link on the Cold Beer Atlanta website.