If you’ve driven through or live in Georgia and haven’t stopped in at one of Celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson’s 4 restaurants, your taste buds are missing out! Southern Chef Speaker and Top Chef judge Hugh owns and operates two restaurants in Athens called Five & Ten and The National. He opened Empire State South in Atlanta in 2010 and his most recent eatery The Florence in Savannah in the summer of 2014. His southern cuisine with a European flair has created an infusion of tastes and dishes that have made him one of the most popular chef’s in the southeast. In 2015, Hugh began a charity initiative to reevaluate and remake home economics course in his home state of Georgia and eventually nationwide.
Southern Chef Speaker Hugh is a Canadian native whose love for the culinary arts brought him to the United States.
He worked in several establishments in Ottawa before moving to Athens to manage a local eatery. He soon moved with his wife to San Francisco to hone his craft under renowned chefs Mike Fennelly at Mecca and Gary Danko at his signature restaurant. He worked in the kitchens in San Francisco for 2 years. It was in 2000 that he moved back to Athens and opened his first venture, Five & Ten. Food & Wine Magazine named him one of the best new chefs in 2002.
After opening Empire State South in 2010, Hugh competed on season 3 of Top Chef Masters where he came in 5th out of 12 competing chefs. He was a hit on the show and became a regular judge in seasons 9 of the cooking competition series. In addition to his TV appearances and restaurants, Hugh has published his delectable recipes in 2 cookbooks with a 3rd on the way. His first titled A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen won the James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in America Cooking in 2012. He also took home the James Beard Award for best chef, Southeast that year. His 2nd cookbook titled Pick a Pickle: 50 recipes for Pickles, Relishes and Fermented Snacks was released in the spring of 2014.