Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson has tabbed a new leader in the kitchen at Five & Ten, his Athens flagship. Richard Neal is on board as executive chef, according to a Tuesday announcement from the restaurant.
"Richard Neal has been traveling with me for about one year now," Acheson said in a prepared statement. "His transition on to the Five & Ten team as executive chef is a formalization of the abilities and leadership he has shown over the last year. He is a truly gifted chef that will be a great asset to the Five & Ten team, and I look forward to seeing him thrive here in Athens."
Neal replaces Jason Zygmont, who left the restaurant last November to pursue a new gig in Nashville.
The chef has extensive experience in kitchens around the South, including time as sous chef at Bacchanalia in Westside and chef de cuisine at The Hermitage Hotel in the Music City. Under his direction at Five & Ten, the restaurant "will continue to offer an open interpretation of Southern food."
"For me, Five & Ten has always been this Southern icon, offering super delicious and simple food," Neal said. "I look forward to putting down roots in Athens and reigniting that same passion that was present when Hugh was cooking at the restaurant. I am proud to be part of the Five & Ten team, further contributing to the city's already dynamic culinary scene."
In addition to Five & Ten, Acheson operates The National in Athens. His portfolio also includes The Florence in Savannah, Empire State South in Midtown, and Spiller Park Coffee inside Ponce City Market.
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