Hugh Acheson on His Tie with Linton Hopkins for Best Chef Southeast

We chatted with the James Beard Award winner from Five and Ten last night after the awards
James Beard Awards 2012
Hugh Acheson, Winner of James Beard Award Best Chef Southeast with Linton Hopkins
NBC Universal

Hugh Acheson, Winner of James Beard Award Best Chef Southeast with Linton Hopkins

Hugh Acheson of Athens' Five and Ten was one half of the surprise tie last night for the James Beard Foundation Awards' Best Chef Southeast.

While the chef was "very excited" for the James Beard win, he told us not to expect a cook-off to fight for the title with co-winner Linton Hopkins of Atlanta's Restaurant Eugene.

"Linton and I teamed up in an Iron Chef competition, not a real Iron Chef competition, it was at a food festival, but we beat Sean Brock and Mike Lata, so that felt pretty good at the time," he said. "So I don’t think that needs to be in the cards, we’re both winning."

As for his immediate reaction to the tie announcement? "I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a tie before so yeah, I was surprised. I bounded up on stage and thought to myself, 'Did I screw this up? Because Linton is like right behind me.' I was like, 'Uh oh, did I just get excited and respond to the wrong name?'" he told us. "Has anyone ever done that? That would be really embarrassing. 'Oh I didn’t win? Sh*t.'"

Check out the full list of James Beard Foundation Award winners  here, plus our immediate video interviews with the winners.