Hugh Acheson is the star of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters;
he's a booming restaurateur, a devoted family man, and an
easy-on-the-eyes, if unibrow'd, good guy. All this, and a bag of
I just finished shooting Top Chef and now I'm getting ready for Top Chef Masters.
I'm working on a second book. I re-opened my restaurant 5 & 10 in
Athens. Being in my restaurants is my greatest pleasure.
Yes. I want to be a dental hygienist. They get to work from nine to five.
Nah. For me, there's always that inner mantra of calm. Yes, this is an extraordinarily taxing career, but it puts a smile on my face.
The family and I went to Dunkin' Donuts the other day––does that count? I
was hiding my face and ordering something called Chocolate Bismark
donuts for my daughters.
Never. I opened a restaurant when I was 27 years old,
having no idea what I was doing. I never thought that any of this would
come––not in any way, shape or form. It's funny how life works.
I think it's a big combination of the two. I'd be lying
if I didn't say I was in the right place at the right time. But I think
people kind of like me too; they find my sarcasm affable.
I don't know. There are people who think a guy with one eyebrow is not
that attractive. I keep saying that if a company will donate $1,000 to
charity, I will get a wax.
Luckily, they're relatively tame, so far.
There are so many good restaurants in Nola, but Pêche Seafood Grill blew
my mind. I took my kids there and the food was so fresh, smart and
rooted in that region.
Oh yeah! The tension you see during Restaurant Wars has nothing to do with editing––it's as real as it gets. High drama. All of Top Chef,
in general, is way more stressful then it even looks. It's ten kinds of
stressful and insane. But yeah, Restaurant Wars in particular is like
the challenge of your life.
Well, it's also fun for some people. If you get tired and grumpy easily,
it does not help you. A bad attitude will drag you down like an anchor.
A fast food burger. In-N-Out if I'm on the west coast.
You know, I'm pretty good with how I'm received. It's always difficult
to watch yourself on television, but I think I come across as the real
me, for better or worse. There are some people who put themselves on
pedestals. I'm not that guy.