About The Guest Chefs and Mixologist:
Hugh Acheson 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. He is a chef/partner of the Athens, Georgia, restaurants 5&10, The National, the Atlanta restaurant Empire State South, and The Florence in Savannah. He is a James Beard award winner for Best Chef Southeast and was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine. Hugh competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Season 3 and currently stars as a judge on Top Chef.
Chef and cookbook author, Rick Moonen, has been the country’s leading advocate for the sustainable seafood movement for the past 25 years, bringing national awareness to this subject near and dear to his heart. In 2013 USA Today named him one of Earth’s “Power Players” as one of five leaders helping the health of our planet. He’s been featured on CNN, TODAY, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Dan Rather Reports, and many more. His flagship restaurant, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, showcases his commitment to sustainability without foregoing culinary creativity and innovation, and has been critically acclaimed by local and national press alike. In 2010 Rick made a memorable appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, nearly taking home the title and raising thousands of dollars and national awareness for Three Square food bank in Las Vegas. In May of 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium honored Rick as their “Chef of the Year” for his tireless efforts towards sustainability. He was named Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2013. In June 2013, Chef Moonen transformed rm upstairs into Rx Boiler Room, a modern gastropub that showcases comfort food, redefined with Moonen’s signature twist. Rx Boiler Room was named Best New Restaurant of 2013 by Desert Companion magazine.
Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more. Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike. This entertaining and informative journey will take readers from the early stages of the cocktail to what Abou-Ganim has come to deem “Modern Mixology.” Abou-Ganim also has a DVD to his credit, Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home, and hosted the Fine Living program Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs. Abou-Ganim has also won three Iron Chef America competitions; pairing cocktails with Iron Chef Mario Batali; with Iron Chef Jose Garces and most recently with challenger Chef Sean McClain. His signature branded line of Modern Mixologist bar tools was released in early 2013, along with his second book, Vodka Distilled (Agate, 2013).