When Hugh Acheson (now a James Beard Award winner as a chef and author) moved from Ottowa to Georgia, who knew that he would woo his adopted home state and they would embrace him as one of their own?
In 2000, following French culinary training on both coasts, Hugh opened Five and Ten in Athens, a college town known for R.E.M., and the restaurant became a spotlight for his exciting interpretation of traditional Southern fare. Five and Ten became a favorite local haunt as well as a destination—Food & Wine named Hugh a “Best New Chef” and at seventy miles away, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Five and Ten the best restaurant in Atlanta. Then came the five consecutive James Beard nominations.
Now, after opening two more restaurants and a wine shop, Hugh is ready to share 120 recipes of his eclectic, bold, and sophisticated flavors, inspired by fresh ingredients. In A New Turn in the South, you’ll find libations, seasonal vegetables that take a prominent role, salads and soups, his prized sides, and fish and meats—all of which turn Southern food on its head every step of the way. Hugh’s recipes include: Oysters on the Half Shell with Cane Vinegar and Chopped Mint Sauce, shucked and left in their bottom shells; Chanterelles on Toast with Mushrooms that soak up the flavor of rosemary, thyme, and lemon; Braised and Crisped Pork Belly with Citrus Salad—succulent and inexpensive, but lavish; Yellow Grits with Sautéed Shiitakes, Fried Eggs, and Salsa Rossa—a stunning versatile condiment; Fried Chicken with Stewed Pickled Green Tomatoes—his daughters’ favorite dish; and Lemon Chess Pies with Blackberry Compote—his go-to classic Southern pie with seasonal accompaniment.
With surprising photography full of Hugh’s personality, and pages layered with his own quirky writing and sketches, he invites you into his community and his innovative world of food—to add new favorites to your repertoire.
“Hugh is one of the small handful of truly great chefs working in the South today who understands the importance of building and maintaining a bridge between tradition and innovation. His dishes may seem a bit like R.E.M. songs in that they are thoughtful, geo-specific, crafty, smart, and all about pure pleasure. But the dishes, both new and old, all whistle Dixie in a way that honors the true magnificence of the last real regional cooking in the United States. A random selection of any twelve recipes in this book, from cocktails to mains, sides, and all the way to desserts, could easily make up a greatest hits of a fine chef. This book is simply a perfect way to understand and to make delicious and simple American food, refracted through the spectacular prism of the modern South. Hugh is a modern master and one of my heroes.”
“It’s rare to find a chef's cuisine and his place—Athens, GA—so in step with each other: unmistakably Southern and yet unlike anywhere else in the South. That A New Turn in the South brings Hugh’s extraordinary kitchen sorcery into our home kitchen is nothing short of a miracle!”
—MATT AND TED LEE
“Hugh shares his love for his adopted homeland in heartfelt stories and odes to favored ingredients. This beautifully designed book lives up to its name with new turns on classics and inventive riffs on regional favorites. It will have readers swooning and cooks inspired for years.”
“I love the way Hugh has articulated his South, which is all about the simple, tasty, friendly treasures in life, of a people and their culture. A beautiful book!”
“Hugh is one of the smartest and best cooks I know. I would happily eat his food every day.”
“A New Turn in the South will bring Hugh’s smart, delicious cooking and love of seasonal ingredients to any kitchen.”
“I love Hugh’s book because it shows that Southern food has evolved beyond the expected, into a new Southern food—embracing cultures from around the globe while staying true to the ingredients at the root of Southern cooking.”
“Hugh is an eloquent, intellectual spirit who cares deeply for food and its impact on a community. He combines classic French technique with a Southern sense of place, using unique Southern ingredients in a fresh, innovative style.