As it continues to expand nationally, Punch Bowl Social added a national-caliber culinary partner to its team: Georgia's award-winning chef Hugh Acheson. The impact of the new partnership will be evident immediately: On August 26, a nearly complete overhaul of the food offerings, developed by Acheson in the last few months, will be introduced at all Punch Bowl Social locations. Moving forward, the Top Chef judge will lead the ongoing culinary direction of the growing restaurant concept and bolster Punch Bowl Social's commitment to a seasonally inspired, scratch kitchen.
"I have admired Punch Bowl Social's dedication and commitment to a completely scratch kitchen on such a large scale," Acheson shared. "Their original southern inspired menu, design aesthetic of each location and food forward vision provides me with a unique opportunity to help grow and define the culinary program in a way that we hope will inspire other restaurants to focus on food in a similar way."
Hugh Acheson operates Empire State South in Atlanta, as well as Five & Ten and The National in Athens and The Florence in Savannah. He is a partner in Spiller Park Coffee, an Atlanta-based company. He has been named multiple times as the Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation, honored as Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine and is the author of the James Beard Foundation award winning cookbook "A New Turn in The South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen," "Pick a Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Snacks" and "The Broad Fork, Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits."
Punch Bowl Social, which got its start in Baker nearly four years ago, recently added chefs Chris Cina as Culinary Operations Director and Matt Selby as Regional Executive Chef to its team. Opening chef Sergio Romero continues with the company as director of operations. Acheson will develop all seasonal menu changes, create daily green plate and blue plate specials offered at all locations, and provide guidance and leadership on the Punch Bowl Social management team.
Launched in the Baker neighborhood in 2012, the restaurant group owned by Robert Thompson opened additional locations in Portland, Austin, Detroit, Cleveland, and Schaumburg, IL. Upcoming outposts will launch in Indianapolis and Minneapolis later this year. Six more will be added in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood, Sacramento, San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga, Chicago and Dallas scheduled in 2017 and a Brooklyn one in early 2018.