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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Originally from Pennsylvania, Kyle began his culinary career at 17 when he excelled in a high school apprentice program for culinary arts. He moved to New York after graduation to train with some of the most accomplished chefs in the industry. Working under chef Ed Moro, of the highly acclaimed Mirbeau Inn and Spa in New York, Kyle became a sous chef at the age of 19.
In 2009 a friend introduced Kyle to Ryan Smith, who would eventually become Executive Chef of Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South in Atlanta. Ryan convinced Kyle to move from New York to Georgia after a quick flight down South, a couple of cocktails and charcuterie at Holeman & Finch. Kyle worked closely with Ryan at Restaurant Eugene and was promoted to Sous Chef. He became fully immersed in the Southern culinary world as his passion for the Atlanta food scene grew. Two years later, Ryan began at Empire State South. Kyle, a devoted sous chef, followed him to take the reins of Executive Sous Chef. At Empire State South, Hugh began to mentor Kyle and eventually sent him to Italy to study the cuisine of his ancestors. Kyle returned fresh, inspired, and ready for the next venture.
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.