Chef Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten - Biography

Athens, GA

November 2011

A self-taught chef who studied political philosophy in college, Hugh Acheson started his culinary career as a dishwasher and line cook in his hometown of Ottawa, Canada, eventually moving up the ranks to work with Chef Rob MacDonald at Henri Burger, a traditional French restaurant in Ottawa. He then spent time working with Mike Fennelly at Mecca in San Francisco and served as opening sous-chef with Gary Danko at Danko.

In 2002 Acheson opened Five and Ten in his wife’s hometown of Athens, GA. His menu changes every day, and draws from the region’s culinary traditions and variety of produce; according to Acheson, Athens has a great food history and a large local vernacular to pull from, plus a growing local farming community.

Acheson was recognized in Food and Wine’s 2002 “Best New Chef” awards, and won the James Beard Award: "Best Chef Southeast," in 2012. He opened his own wine shop Gosford Wine with Sommelier Ben Giacchino, a 40-seat, casual restaurant called The National in the front of an art house cinema in the heart of Athens, and Empire State South, in Atlanta. He won a StarChefs Rising Stars Mentor Chef in 2012. 

In 2011, he competed on season 3 of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters," and was featured as a judge on "Top Chef" seasons 10 and 11. He opened Spiller Park, a coffee shop in Ponce City Market, in 2015. His latest venture, Achie's, opened in the Omni Hotel at the Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park in 2018. He also is the author of three cookbooks: the James Beard Award-winning A New Turn in the SouthPick a Pickle: 50 recipes for Pickles, Relishes and Fermented Snacks , and his latest, The Chef and the Slow Cooker.