Austin Food & Wine Festival: 10 Questions with … Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson holds his Braised Lamb taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival's Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015. (Credit: Deborah Cannon)

Hugh Acheson holds his Braised Lamb taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival’s Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015. (Credit: Deborah Cannon)

Owner of restaurants across Georgia, famed chef Hugh Acheson has won multiple James Beard awards and was named Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2002. He also has gained celebrity as a judge on “Top Chef.” Acheson will conduct a demonstration on the wonders of the avocado at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Auditorium Shores. He will also compete in the Rock Your Taco event, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday at Republic Square Park.

First important meal you ever cooked for another person?

I remember cooking an elaborate (at the time) meal for my dad one time when I was maybe 15. It was a seared tuna dish with some sort of rice and a carrot sauce. Very ’80s.

Favorite cooking tool in the kitchen?

I love a good spoon, one that feels right in your hand and acts as everything a knife can’t be: spatula, baster, turner, stirrer, plating device.

Most overrated/underrated food?

Truffles are overrated and are just a ludicrous amount of money for earthy umami. Done with the truffle. (I am a cheap person.) Onion is the most underrated flavor and ingredient. It is a versatile workhorse.

Just home from a long night in the kitchen, what are you drinking?

A glass of red Burgundy. Nothing fancy, maybe a simple Beaune.

What’s the next buzzy food coming to restaurant menus?

More vegetables. We have learned how to cook vegetables and it kind of makes me giddy.

Last meal in America (not at one of your restaurants), where do you go?

Sushi Gen in Los Angeles. I like sushi a lot.

Neapolitan or New York-style pizza?

Neapolitan

Cake or pie?

Pie

Dream four-person dinner party?

Tom Waits, Kurt Vonnegut, Yoda.

Bagel or breakfast taco?

Bagel

The Austin Food and Wine Festival takes place April 22-24 at Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park. For tickets and more information, visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com

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