Old World meets New South at this vaunted restaurant in Athens, Georgia, offering two different three-course prix-fixe menus with optional wine pairings every night from a list that demonstrates a particular interest in Piedmont, Burgundy and German Riesling. Wine Enthusiast tapped Hugh Acheson, chef/partner of five & ten, to get the inside scoop on his cooking tricks and his inspirations.
Wine Enthusiast: We loved the crisp pork belly with butternut squash dish. What was the inspiration behind this dish, and what wine makes for the perfect match?
Hugh Acheson: This [dish] was late fall/winter thinking. It could pair well with a red, but I always think a white pairs better with those earthy, charcuterie-type flavors.
W.E.: What kitchen tools do you think are essential for every home cook to own?
HA: A good cast-iron skillet, wooden spoons, a blender, but nothing fancy, strainers and a sharp paring knife.
W.E.: Which season’s bounty do you prefer cooking with the most?
HA: Spring! I am like everybody else, and get really excited about favas, ramps and soft-shell crabs.
W.E.: After working a hectic Saturday night in the kitchen, what’s your favorite post-shift snack and drink?
HA: A simple ham sandwich with a glass of red Burgundy.
W.E.: What’s your methodology for crafting a new dish for your tasting menu?
HA: We look at inspiration around us, and then the bounty of the farms around us, and then create. It’s not rocket science.