Hugh Acheson Promises Earlier Savannah Opening

Southern chef Hugh Acheson has been keeping quiet on his Savannah, Ga., project, announced over summer as The Florence.

Savannah residents breathlessly waiting for the 7,000-square-foot space to open in summer 2014, however, will get their Acheson fix a bit earlier than expected. Acheson tells The Daily Meal to expect an opening in March or April, a season earlier than expected.

The chef, who was demonstrating a new Ball Brand product earlier this week, promises "Southern ingredients used to cook Italian food" at the upcoming restaurant. "I think there's a lot of kinship between Italian food and Southern food. We both have a reverence for great ingredients and a simple way of cooking." Sample menu items might include whole roasted carrots with a sorghum vinaigrette, mint, and pecans. "It's something you would have in a trattoria in Italy, but we're using recipes from our backyard."

The chef also released details of his second cookbook, teased back in 2012. "It's about a year away," Acheson said, noting he's pretty much done with writing. "It's called Eat Well, that's the working title, and it's all about cooking with vegetables and working your way through your CSA box." The book will be published by Clarkson Potter.