Hugh Acheson @ Made In Atlanta
Feb 15, 2018
Caitie is with me!
- Chef, Restaurateur, author
- “Happiness is curling… sadness is what happened yesterday in Florida… that these things happen in such an advanced country fucking sucks… these mindless assholes
- “Origin story: his dad is an economics prooilpaintings.comfessor. Raised by a single father after his father passed away. 3 older. Rumson road in lower Buckhead. Christ the King. The only atheist to attend that school
- Went back to Ottawa to finish school
- Sister and mom arw/were professors
- Spent 1% of his working life related to tv but that’s how people think of him
- Success is the attainment if happiness within yourself and how you view it
- Ownered first rest at 27
- Employ 350 people
- Is recognized at airports
- Heroes: Ryan Smith (staplehouse, Empire State south
- Ha e to be professional in the practice of being a chef
- His partnership with team Hidi and the giving kitchen
Where do you go to create
- Lots of doodles, take a lot of notes
- Plot things through food to see how to make things more modern and contemporary
- Enjoy watching my young chefs teach me stuff and apply them to things I know and recreate the wheel every day
- Learn in whatever industry you’re in by observing people in your industry. I learn by going to Starbucks… learning to avoid… idea of ripping people off is a thumbs up gesture
- About ten years ago I started making gourmet pimento cheese and now it’s on every menu. I’m not Jealous I think it’s kinda cool
How has your brand touched somebody deeply
- This is a list I made for my kids
- Been heavily influenced by the women in my life
- “I try not to refer to what I do as a brand. It implies a selfishness that I don’t want to be associated with. I’m proud of what I do but I’m not that proud.
- Your brand should really be a manifestation of who you really are
Describe your visual identity:
- He shows a piglet costume from his Instagram
- “Your social media presence should not be a made up pile of shit that’s not you
- “I need chefs to be human first and chefs second
How would you describe your brand if you were drunk?
- Photo of person on life boat shooting shark
- “I can hire more people by us being proactive
- “Retention of staff and great employees to how authentic I allow them to be
- “I can’t just fill a space… I can’t just put anybody at spiller park and expect them to express how wonderful coffee can be
- “Secret to my success is starting from 15 years old I was the person everyone wanted to work with and this isn’t meant to found pompous . I would work harder than any one else.
If your brand was a person who would it be?
- This is me wearing a fun wig looking a lot like skrillez
What have you done that’s gone viral?
- A man behind a bison
- He posted
Bonus slide ( whatever the fuck you want)
- A picture of him serving some kids in the most expressive school in the us in the Bronx and Harlem. Three blocks away from the Guggenheim. Toddlers up to age 7. I do a lot of work with head start
“I’m a baby whisperer
- I actually live in Athens
- I often dream about being a dental heigentidt if I wasn’t a chef because I loved Blue Velvet
He started an education program to help teach middle schoolers how to feed themselves:
- How do poach an egg. How do you make vinaigrette how to you make spaghetti sauce. How do you cook rice - not instant rice
- How do you sign a cellphone contract
- See life skills dot org
- Includes teacher training
- Fully created by one employee and him
- Largest funder was the Arby’s family foundation
3 restaurants 2 coffee shops. He writes books. Raised 2 children, empowered shit kicking girls.
“From the shooting yesterday, what I’m seeing kids do and say… they’re gonna fix it
“We’ve gotta look at the young generation and build them up
“I want kids to be able to get to 20 and have three words I Got This
How much cooking do you do?
- Mostly at five and ten. Or in my home for cookbook testing
- Restaurants make less money than you’d think
What should new rest coffee shops focus on?
- Be smart in what you’re signing up for in your lease
- Mentions Savannah being too far away
- Restaurants should have zeal, a good idea
- You guys know more about this stuff than ever before
- My industry is no longer able to fool you
- You have to be good. You can’t sell garbage. You cannot pretend that what you’re selling is good.
- You’ve got to make sure that you’ve got enough as a wallet to afford the ebbs and flows of business. If the ball gets out of control you can’t
What is right or wrong about food scene in atl?
- Going in the right direction
- Gets a lot of attention nationall
- Every time I think we don’t need another pizza place, I realize how much I like pizza
- I wanna see Buford Highway pulled into town
- I want a Sri Lankan rest in downtown Atlanta
- Northern India, Cambodia
- Don’t need another Asian influenced southern
- Tallot market
Favorite atl restaurants
- High end: bacchanalia (I live their new location), umi sushi (it’s just really expensive)
- It’s dorky, but I take my girls to bones every year
- Kimball house
- Ticonderoga club
- Antico pizza (even by the battery
Which of your tattoos has h best story?
- I dunno I was drunk
- Under my arm is a clementine tree with a b in the center for my girls
- Burnt toast is an homage to my father
- What we focus on in our industry is finding an industry we can… keep going with
- My dad was the same way about macro economics
- He would work until two am. He just kept working because he was totally enamoref in what he did
Gonna come back to Switchyards what would you accomplish in 6 months:
- My publisher is gonna be pissed if I don’t turn in 2 books
- Have a contract for 3 books in 9 months
- Rebuild shipping containers at bonnaroo and spiller park at another
- First book is about coffee
- Second is about cooking with sous vide
- Third is young adult book, comic strip
What advice do you have for someone having you over for dinner?
- Don’t worry about it
- I’m happy about five dollar pho
- Or chick fil a
- A politically confused chicken sandwich but it tastes pretty good
Tests for chefs?
- I’ll ask what books are you reading?
- What’s influenced your food?
- The malaise of young chefs right now is they’re wanting to do things outside of their ability. I blame Grant Achetz. And I love him… but when you’re a genius, it doesn’t mean everyone else can do that
- “If you don’t understand the foundations of food you probably shouldn’t be doing that
Best piece of advice you’ve received:
- I think my dad told me that you need to approach people with a firm understanding that you don’t know what they’ve gone through… that is sort of a lesson in empathy… you’ve gotta be human
- “We need to recalibrate how important everything is in our word.
- “Never ask somebody how they are unless you really wanna hear the answer
What current food trend is worse than the overuse of mason jars
- “I love mason jars
- “I had this huge running debate with John Kessler where he lamented people serving drinks in mason jars like this is a big deal. I called him a curmudgeon
- I’m so tired of plating food on cutting boards
- Does every rest have to have a hummus octopus…
The rise of blue apron, hello fresh
- “They’re novel, I don’t think they’re gonna last. The people with more klaut are gonna beat them to the punch. Amazon prime fresh… they’re gonna have blue apron in mind
- “If you need someone to dice carrots, pre measure salt and paprika”, it seems like you’re not doing the right thing
- “Blue apron is two little steps back from a stouter’s lean cuisine”
- “Act of people eating good
Ticonderoga club, music is important what should we be listening to?
- Weird jazz. Arty shef
- Arl burnside
- Fukced up
- Afghan wigs
- Run the jewels
- Goodie mob
- Glenn Gould, he’s Canadian he was talented
- I’m excited about a show in Duluth: Mirsky, run the jewels and lorde. Who put that together?
Slow cooker recipes?
- “Brilliant time savings devices
- “Thai inspired chicken soup
- “Pot roast with chick peas and fermented
- “A lot of sifeeent stuff with a slow cooker
- “Perfect temperatre at low for poaching fish
- Instant pot: “kinda like the beta max… too many buttons
- “Learning about food should be a beautiful adventure
- “Instant pots… they’re useful I’m glad you’re using them
How do you combine soul of cooking and financial business
- “I was never worried about numbers of five and ten. I had inexpensive taste… we were making a little bit
- “My oldest kid wants to go to Columbia and then Johns Hopkins.
- “You have to want to learn more about strategies
- “It ain’t just me. If it was we’d be on fire
- “I have learned to annualize leases and be more rational.
- “If you create a business plan and a pro forma, you can put anything you want in the pro forma. You have to be realistic. Be realistic and have it and see how it works out
Next pimento cheese?
- We’ve had a lot of success at Empire from doing different jars
- Different vegetable based rilletes and vegetable pates.
- A lot less animal pate
The book, The cooking gene?
- Michale and I knew each other after Paula Dean’s downfall. “Is it a downfall when you trip over yourself. Completely stupid racist conduct. Completely abhorrent human
- Michael does re-enactment of how slave should have cooked
- I responded with Paula won’t respond but I’ll go
- I went with Beatrice
- Cooked on coals feeding 300 people
- “He is announcing where his genes are from. Everyone’s crying, it’s an amazingly poignant event
- Southern food needs to be reimagined as this having been brought here by slaves
- “Borrowing history of the Gullah cuisine and not paying homage to the pain and suffering that came with it
Ideal relationship between restaurant and community
- “Dollar dollar bills y’all
- “Restaurants need to be wide spectrum
- “Empire State south seems like an expensive restaurant. You can also go and get a phenomenally good coffee and hand crafted croissant
- “Important to be sourcing first from your community
- “Looking up its a 27 story building
- “Most people who work at a lawyers office, and they make 32k a year
- “Everyone who works in the building gets coffee for $2
- “If you’re a restaurant and you don’t want to feed your community, you’re going to be Gunter sinter Ar