The MJCCA presents: Stirring the Pot with Superstar Southern Chefs, as part of its “A Page From the Book Festival,” on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. The American South has a culinary heritage that is as rich, flavorful, and idiosyncratic as a family gumbo recipe. It’s no wonder that the region has spawned some of the nation’s most iconic chefs, each with a distinct philosophy behind their cooking. Join us for this panel discussion with chefs Hugh Acheson, Eddie Hernandez, Todd Richards, and Virginia Willis, all with exciting new cookbooks that push the bounds of how we think about Southern cooking, “comfort food,” and beyond. The program will take place at the Marcus JCC of Atlanta (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody), and will feature Q&A, a book signing, and a dessert reception featuring desserts from all four cookbooks. The program will be In Conversation with Kim Severson, Atlanta Bureau Chief, the New York Times.

About the Chefs:

Hugh Acheson is the chef/owner/partner of restaurants 5&10 and The National in Athens, and restaurants Empire State South, Achie’s, and coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee, here in Atlanta. He starred as a judge on Top Chef seasons 9 thru 13, and he was anointed the “Best Chef Southeast” by the James Beard Foundation. His latest cookbook, The Chef & The Slow Cooker, was released in the fall of 2017.

Eddie Hernandez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and is the executive chef of Taqueria del Sol with locations in Georgia and Tennessee. He and his business partner, Mike Klank, were nominated for a 2017 James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Award. He came to the U.S. to play rock and roll with his band, has been mayor of a small town in Texas, and a member of the local fire brigade before returning to his first love: cooking. His cookbook, Turnip Greens & Tortillas, explores the commonalities of Southern and Mexican food. 

Todd Richards is an award-wining chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted from Soul and Southern cuisine. His most recent restaurant, Richards’ Southern Fried, has been named a Best New Restaurant of 2017 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His new cookbook is titled SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes. 

Virginia Willis is one of the most respected names in the region’s cuisine and culture. French-trained and born and raised in Georgia, her new cookbook, Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, showcases Willis’s travels to 11 states in eight months across four seasons, during which she interviewed and photographed a wide variety of Southern farmers, picklers, fishermen, and cooks. 

Kim Severson has been the Atlanta bureau chief for the New York Times since November 2010. Prior to her current role, she was a dining writer for the New York Times for six years. She also spent six years writing about cooking and the culture of food for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has won four James Beard awards for food writing.

For information, call the MJCCA Box Office at 678-812-4005, or visit

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