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Good news: more details have surfaced on Hugh Acheson’s next restaurant, the Florence. The chef/owner is expanding to Savannah in a historic building at One West Victory Drive with an Italian restaurant. Acheson hopes to open in May, and Kyle Jacovino, previously of Acheson restaurants Five & Ten and Empire State South, will be the executive chef.
As the saying goes, you win some, and you lose some. This year we saw famed mixologists leave their longtime outposts, award-winning chefs open new “it” spots, and the restaurant community band together to help one of their own. As we welcome in the new year, we pause to take a look back at what happened in 2013.
Who is Georgia’s most enterprising chef? I’d say Hugh Acheson, whose career has proliferated faster than a zucchini patch over the last two years. In April 2011 Acheson, who’d opened Empire State South in Midtown eight months earlier, appeared on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, only to be voted off in the first episode after a salty scallop debacle.
Whitney Otawka, former executive chef of the now shuttered Farm 255 in Athens, will helm the kitchen at Hugh Acheson’s Mexican restaurant, Cinco y Diez, opening this winter. Cinco y Diez takes over the space previously home to Acheson’s Five & Ten, which recently moved from Lumpkin Street to Milledge Avenue.
I have cried only once at a culinary event: the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards, when a towering man in a tuxedo and a ruffled shirt bounded onstage, collected the medal that honored his restaurant as an America’s Classic, and opened his mouth. “I want to thank God, R.E.M., and the University of Georgia,” Dexter Weaver said with the booming voice of a preacher. The crowd went wild. All that love for Athens, Georgia, and Weaver’s place overcame me.
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