Hugh Acheson: Southern food, beyond the butter

Let’s just say from the start, great article Hugh Acheson! Having myself grown up in the South, and mostly eating fresh veggies & fruits (Is there a peach as good as a Georgia peach, because I haven’t found one yet!), I’m thrilled that the concept and image of Southern food is evolving past that of grits with butter! The complexity of Southern food is entrenched in the history of the South and the influences brought from every continent. Yes, there may be great satisfaction in the simplicity of a vegetable or fruit in it’s pure, raw form, just like a good peach. But true Southern food is an experience that is a rich, diverse, and sensory exploration, one that should not be reduced to boring due to a lack of imagination or respect for its origins.


Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they’re passionate. Hugh Acheson is the chef/partner of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia and Empire State South in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a judge on the current season on Top Chef, and author of “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen.” He has a very famous unibrow.

If you search “Paula Deen” on the Google, these are some of the search suggestions that appear: riding things, recipes, furniture, cookware, meatloaf, and diabetes. I strongly recommend researching the first and last on that list because both point to the decline of Western civilization.

Let me preface this with the wish that this piece not be about maligning a personality or calling out specific dishes in a…

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