Hugh Acheson (pictured left) is renowned as a Southern chef with acclaimed restaurants in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia, but he was born and raised in the True North – Ottawa to be exact.
He’s also been a judge on Top Chef south of the border for the past three seasons.
He brought this experience to Top Chef Canada when he joined Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan, and Lisa Ray to judge which chef’s party canapes were worthy of a medieval royal feast in the latest episode, “Lords and Ladies at the Castle.”

Here are some questions Hugh answered for us so we can get to know him better!

Q: When did you first discover your passion for cooking?
A: In Ottawa, Canada when I should have been in doing my homework. I worked at a bunch of restaurants in high school and really developed a love of the industry.

Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
A: Probably an architect. I love figuring out movement and systems.

Q. What, if any, is the biggest difference you noticed between the American and Canadian chefs?
A: Not much really. In Ottawa and Montreal people tend to eat better though, so maybe that translates to a better understanding of ingredients.

Q: What is your favourite Canadian restaurant?
A: I love what Grant is doing at Bar Isabel. I had a killer meal there about 6 months ago.

Q: Who is your favourite Top Chef or Top Chef Canada competitor?
A: Stephanie Cmar in season 11 of TC US. She is talented and funny as all get out.

Q: What is your favourite type of cuisine?
A: I am very enamoured with Korean food right now. But I like everything.

Q. How do you think you would have performed during the archery challenge?
A: I am a good shot.

Q: What advice do you have for the remaining chefs?
A: Cook what you know and take more time to get the food on the plate with style.