Hugh was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada and started working in restaurants at the age of 15. Today, Hugh has spent almost 15 years cooking food inspired by the Southern United States. Five & Ten is Hugh’s flagship restaurant, started from scratch in 2000. “The menu,” says Hugh, “has always been an open interpretation of Southern food, melding Georgia cookery with French and Italian influences I learned growing up. It’s been a very fun restaurant over the years.”
Acheson’s fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef (2002), the Atlanta Journal Constitution Restaurant of the Year (2007), a James Beard winner for Best Chef Southeast in 2012, a 2007 Rising Star and 2012 winner of the Mentor Chef award from StarChefs.com.
In 2012, the James Beard Foundation awarded Hugh’s first cookbook A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, published by Clarkson Potter, Best Cookbook in the field of American Cooking.
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Jason Zygmont is a well-traveled chef, a fact that’s reflected in his food. After graduating from UGA in 2007 with a philosophy degree, Jason began a period of cooking and globe-trotting that took him to kitchens in some of Europe’s great cities. After stints in Chapel Hill and New York, Jason took a six-month sabbatical in Barcelona, reaching out to restaurants such as Drolma and Alkimia for the opportunity to come and learn in their kitchens.
Feeling the call of the South, Jason then returned to Atlanta, where he spent time at Woodfire Grill, Restaurant Eugene and Empire State South. At ESS, he caught Hugh’s eye with his skill set, breadth of experience and leadership. Keeping an eye on Jason’s progress as he moved on to a half-year in the kitchens of Noma in Copenhagen, followed by a 10-month stretch at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, Hugh fixed on Jason for the executive chef at his flagship restaurant.
From UGA to the kitchens of 5&10, Jason has taken a winding path back to where he started, bringing with him high-level technique, an expansive palate and a respect for locality, no matter where he’s cooking.
Mike Sutton is a Georgia native with an appreciation for southern food culture as well as a passion for creativity in the kitchen.
Sutton experienced the joy of harvesting and eating fresh produce while helping his father in the family garden as a child. He has carried the fresh, seasonal approach to cooking to 5 &10. He got his first chest-bump from Hugh while working part time as a busser at Five & Ten during college at the University of Georgia. After graduating, he spent a couple of years working in New York City as a landscape architect.
Familial roots led Sutton back to Georgia in 2009. The tight community convinced him to stay in Athens, and the creativity and focus drew him into the kitchen. Sutton started working full time at Five & Ten, and discovered the immense world of pastry; with Shae Rehmel in charge of the program. They worked together for two and a half years. Mike Sutton finds passion in using local, seasonal ingredients to create an experience for patrons that will not be forgotten.