Atlanta native Gerry “G” Garvin has managed to turn his love of Southern food into celebrity chef status through his work on TV One, the Cooking Channel and, most recently, the Travel Channel, where he is the host of “Underground BBQ Challenge.”
Garvin is returning home to the Buckhead Theatre Aug. 7 for a live cooking show in which he’ll create multiple dishes and weave tales about his life and how those foods relate to him. V-103’s DJ Trauma will spin hip-hop, jazz, gospel and Latin tunes while Garvin prepares his dishes.
Before the show, ticketholders will get to sample foods from several of Garvin’s favorite local eateries, such as the Fickle Pickle, Davio’s, Watershed and Local Three Kitchen & Bar, plus the new LowCountry, Garvin’s own Southern restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. (Those with VIP tickets also will get to eat food prepared onstage by Garvin.)
The venue where Garvin is appearing means something special to him.
“I saw D.L. Hughley when the Buckhead Theatre was the Roxy when I was a kid,” Garvin said. “This is going to sound corny, but I always dreamed of doing a live show there. I want to share my passion and love for cooking.”
He said he likes to make “comfort food” and plans to offer his own take on Southern staples such as shrimp and grits, pork belly, mac and cheese and poundcake.
Garvin’s background in cooking dates to his youth in Atlanta. He was raised by a single mom who worked as a cook at a local nursing home, where he hung out and learned his way around the kitchen. He began picking up jobs at local restaurants to help his mom pay the bills. Eventually, he landed a gig at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Atlanta, where, as a teenager, he became a line cook.
Out of high school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he eventually ran his own restaurant and caught the attention of TV production companies. He landed his first show in 2002 on TV One.
Rochelle Brown, executive producer of Garvin’s TV shows for the past 12 years, has worked with luminaries such as Rachael Ray and Emeril Lagasse. “G and I have great chemistry,” she said. “It’s like yin and yang. We are each other’s TV husband and wife. I know what makes him tick. He knows just how much to push back so I don’t hurt him!”
She said the idea of doing a live show came while they were taping the third season of “Road Trip With G. Garvin” for the Cooking Channel last year. On the show, they travel the country seeking restaurants in places as wide ranging as Hawaii, New York and Chicago that serve dishes with Southern influences.
“G can be invited into anybody’s neighborhood, walk into a room and demand respect,” Brown said. “He’s contagious. His drive and passion always comes through.”
G. Garvin Live. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7. $70-$145. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825, ticketmaster.com.