Peruvian Onions

The If List

Hugh Acheson, Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, and Food Advocate

As the Chef and Owner of 5&10 and The National located in Athens, Georgia, as well as Empire State South and Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta, Georgia, Hugh Acheson is a modern marvel of eclectic food combinations and flavor adventures. When he is not innovating at the plate, he works with Seed Life Skills, a living, multimedia curriculum he built to serve the needs of the modern Family and Consumer Sciences (founded as Home Economics) classroom—emphasizing retainable real-life skills, with topics including hands-on culinary instruction, conscious consumer economics, and D.I.Y. design principles. The man is as multifaceted as his palate and so we had to know, what are some of his IFs? And his responses left us—as we assumed they would—in wonder.

IF you could have been born in another century or decade, which would it be and why?

I kind of like the here and now. It is a great time to be alive if we can just fix a couple of issues, like global warming.

IF you could be a character in any book, who would it be?

Winnie the Pooh seems to be pretty happy.

IF you had to choose now, what would your last meal consist of?

A great fresh salad, 24 oysters, a steak, and a slice of peach pie.

IF you could imagine yourself in a different industry, what would it be?


IF you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Tom Waits.

IF you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you bring?

Two friends and a fishing pole.

IF you were another species in the animal kingdom, what would you be?

A kestrel; they’re amazing birds.

IF you wrote an autobiography, what would be the title?

Stirring Life’s Pot.

IF you could make everyone watch a movie of your choosing, which movie would you want them to see?

The Royal Tenenbaums.

IF you had to eat the same thing every day for the rest of your days, what would you eat?

Butter lettuce, feta, radish with a simple vinaigrette.

IF you could join a musician, dead or alive, on stage to sing along or play an instrument with, who would you choose and why?

Nick Cave.

IF you could re-experience an awesome day in your life, what day would you choose and why?

Hanging out in Burgundy, France, with my daughters.

IF you had $10 million dollars that you had to donate to someone else, who would you choose?

Give it to No Kid Hungry. They do amazing work.

IF you could redo one moment or event in your life, which one would you choose and why?

I would finish my college degree to give myself options.