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Hugh Acheson        

Celebrity Chef; Restaurateur; "Top Chef" Judge

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Hugh Acheson started cooking at a young age and decided to make it his career after taking a very long time to realize that academics weren’t his thing. At age 15, he began working in restaurants after school and learning as much as possible. Today, Acheson's experience includes working under Chef Rob MacDonald where he learned stylized French cuisine, wine and etiquette at the renowned Henri Burger restaurant in Ottawa, and in San Francisco as the chef de cuisine with Chef Mike Fennelly at Mecca, and later as opening sous chef with famed Chef Gary Danko at his namesake restaurant, where he found a love of the simple, pure and disciplined.

Taking these experiences, Acheson developed a style of his own forging together the beauty of the South with the flavors of Europe and opening the critically acclaimed Athens, GA restaurant 5&10 in March of 2000.

In 2007, Acheson opened The National with fellow chef Peter Dale. Adding to his list of dining establishments, Acheson opened Atlanta restaurant Empire State South in the summer of 2010 and coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee in November of 2015.

Speech Topics


If you can’t stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen. Hugh Acheson knows this better than anyone. As he moved up the Top Chef ranks, from contestant to judge to host, he’s learned a thing or two about what makes a great chef and a functional kitchen. And he’s ready to share it with the rest of us.

The official Food Blogger for Bravo, Acheson dishes out the behind-the-scenes turmoil and success of TV’s most exciting cooking contests. Writing about food, health, and the cultural significance of various dishes, Hugh unwraps more than just a few ingredients on his blog. In this speech, he examines what it takes to become a top chef on TV and at home by using the right foods, and how he brings this message from the table to your tablet.


A Canadian transplant living in the South, Hugh Acheson has made a conscious effort to immerse himself in all things Southern. Chef Acheson has learned all about the culture, lifestyle, and traditions behind his favorite recipes and values the time-honored history associated with the South and its cuisine.


Hugh Acheson’s mantra is: local first, sustainable second, organic third. He believes that food is the key to improving one’s community and making it sustainable. Chef Acheson advocates that taking small steps like shopping at your area farmer’s market, frequenting independent restaurants, learning to garden, and meeting the people who grow your food will make the world a better place, one community at a time.


Hugh Acheson believes in bringing life back to basics. Starting in his own back yard, he's working to revive home economics across the country to help teach today's youth practical skills like how to can and preserve, sew a button, and balance a checkbook. Additionally, Chef Acheson's focus on smart dietary choices that include lots of local fruit and veggies is vital to our future generations. His overall vision aims to instill community development along with skill building to yield healthy, productive members of society. Using his own personal and professional experience, Chef Acheson discusses how small steps will help achieve this big goal and encourage stronger, smarter citizens of the world.


Having made his through the ranks in the kitchen, Hugh Acheson moved on to be a fan-favorite contestant and judge on Bravo's "Top Chef." Currently the host of "Top Chef: Battle of Sous Chefs" and Bravo's official Food Blogger, Hugh shares stories from his well-rounded career in the kitchen, his rise to "Top Chef," and the full flavor of his talent and passion.


At Hugh Acheson’s restaurant 5 & 10, there are no managers; every employee takes equal responsibility for customer experience and the restaurant’s success. As the visionary force behind the restaurant, Chef Acheson worked to build a trustworthy team, carefully staffing and training each position to encourage ownership and authenticity. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, Chef Acheson explains his unique approach to management.


Award-Winning Chef Hugh Acheson's Snack Creations Make ...
PLANO, Texas, Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Award-Winning Chef Hugh Acheson's Snack Creations Make Gourmet Snacking Easy as 1-2-3!. Acheson ...
Hugh Acheson Wants to Make Sure No Kid Goes Hungry | Food ...
The National Governors Association met this weekend to discuss child hunger, and restaurateur and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson was on hand to motivate ...
Hugh Acheson joins Punch Bowl Social as 'culinary partner' | Atlanta ...
Hugh Acheson -- the man behind Empire State South in Midtown, 5 & 10 and The National in Athens and The Florence in Savannah -- is adding another job to ...
'Top Chef: Seattle's' Hugh Acheson on Belgian Knights, Being a ...
You won't get warm and fuzzy from Hugh Acheson, the debonair Top Chef: Seattle judge who can corrode the cool exterior of any chef with his acidic insights.
THE Dish: Chef Hugh Acheson's roasted pork tenderloin - CBS News
Chef Hugh Acheson shares his recipe for his ultimate dish on "CBS This Morning: Saturday"

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