Hugh Acheson

Locations: Atlanta, GA, Athens, GA, Savannah, GA
Restaurants: Empire State South, 5 & 10, The National, The Florence
Books/Show: A New Turn in the South (Clarkson Potter, $35), Pick a Pickle (Potter Style, $15), The Broad Fork (Clarkson Potter, $35), Top Chef (Bravo)
Awards/Accolades: Winner 2012 James Beard Best Chef Southeast and Best Cookbook in American Cooking

Hugh Acheson would be perfectly happy to serve you an excellent, Georgia-centric meal in any of his restaurants, but it might delight him just as much to know that you were cooking a from-scratch meal at home using fresh ingredients. The Canadian chef has parlayed his role as a judge on Top Chef into a national platform for talking about food justice and education. "Local first, sustainable second, organic third," is his mantra, and if he has his way, the art of at-home eating will become part of the national curriculum, in the form of revamped home ec classes from elementary school onward.

Try Acheson's nutty take on guacamole, then go classic with his grilled pimento cheese recipe.