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Food Waves:

May 7, 2012

Double Dipping: Linton Hopkins and Hugh Acheson Share James Beard 2012 Best Chef Southeast Award!

James Beard Award Winners 20012:  The Highlights

By Nancy Staab

Here’s a toast to the winners of this year’s James Beard Awards, oft dubbed the Oscars of the food and restaurant industry. We always knew Atlanta had incredible depth of chef talent and this year’s awards proved it with not one, but two Atlanta-based toques taking home the prestigious 2012 Best Chef Southeast Award.

Chefs Hugh Acheson and Linton Hopkins, their dishes and cookbooks Chefs Hugh Acheson and Linton Hopkins, their dishes and cookbooks

A special congrats to Linton Hopkins, the genial high priest/chef/owner of Restaurant Eugene, who after five nominations was named best Chef of the Southeast for his refined take on Southern cookery. It's an award he shares with Hugh Acheson, who scooped up the honor specifically for his Five and Ten restaurant in Athens, Georgia, but recently expanded his Athens  culinary empire to Atlanta with the aptly-named Empire State South.

Acheson also snagged a 2012 James Beard award for best American cookbook for A New Turn in the South, which LuxeCrush deemed "an instant classic" upon its release: But we are also cheering Prune restaurant owner/author Gabrielle Hamilton’s lyrical Blood, Bones and Butter memoir (we covered her tasty Restaurant Eugene Author Dinner last summer!) and Nathan Myhrvold’s obsessional, coffee table-quality Modernist Cuisine cookbook series.

Here’s highlights of the James Beard 2012 Award-winners and see the complete list at www.


Best New Restaurant: Next (Chicago, chef Grant Achatz)


Best Chef NYC: Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern


Best Chef Northeast: Tim Cushman of O Ya (Boston)


Best Chef Pacific: Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza (L.A.)

Linton Hopkins roast a lamb on the terrace of Restaurant Eugene for Gabrielle Hamilton's Author Dinner Linton Hopkins roast a lamb on the terrace of Restaurant Eugene for Gabrielle Hamilton's Author Dinner


Best Chef Southeast: A TIE:  Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene (Atlanta) AND Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten (Athens)


Best Chef South: Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club (Birmingham)


Best Chef Southwest: Paul Qui of Uchiko (Austin)


Outstanding Wine Program: No. 9 Park (Boston)


Outstanding Bar Program (new award category): PDT (NYC)


Rising Star Chef of the Year:  Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar (NYC)


Outstanding Chef: Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park (NYC)


Book Award: American Cooking

A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen by Hugh Acheson (Clarkson Potter)


Book Award:  Writing and Literature

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House


Book Award: Cooking from a Professional Point of View

Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)


See complete list of 2012 James Beard Award winners at

Check out Linton Hopkins and Hugh Acheson at this weekend’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Hopkins will present a "Fellowship of Country Ham" class Saturday May 12 at 10:30AM with Alan Benton (TN) and Alon Shaya (LA) and Hugh Acheson will participate in a discussion about food philanthropists Sunday May 13 at 11:30AM. Both chefs will also host special theme dinners for the festival. Acheson plays host to several guest chefs at Empire State South, including Michael Voltaggio, Ashley Christensen and Tyler Brown for a "Shepherd to Chef" dinner Friday May 11 at 7:30 PM. Linton Hopkins co-hosts a finale dinner focused on greens with Ann Quattrano and over 20 regional star chefs and mixologist Sunday May 13 to close out the festival. For tickets and more info: