Hugh’s Who: Chef Hugh Acheson Hams It Up
The word “tartine” sounds fancy, French and like something that might require hours in the kitchen with a rolling pin and dough. But chef, restaurateur and James Beard Award-winning author Hugh Acheson, who joined us for the Southern Chefs Series last month, is neither French nor fancy—he just knows how to elevate honest, humble food. And with a little country ham, ricotta and fresh, local fruit he transformed a piece of bread into an exciting entrée.
Hugh has a very dry wit. He’s incredibly well organized and methodical in the kitchen, but cracks jokes the entire time. What I love most about him is the simplicity of his food—everything on his menu, from the turnip risotto to peppered strawberries with buttermilk panna cotta, was earthy and approachable.
The word “tartine” means open-faced sandwich: No pie shells, puff pastries or kneading necessary. Hugh toasted bread, buttered it, layered ricotta cheese, country ham, fresh Georgia peaches and mint leaves on top, then drizzled it with local honey. He made it look easy because it is.
Tartines of country ham, ricotta, peaches, mint, and local honey
- 4 slices of bread that you love
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup fresh ricotta
- 3 ounces thinly sliced county ham or prosciutto
- 2 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons local honey
Toast the bread slices until just lightly browned. Spread each slice with ½ tablespoon of the butter. Then spread each with ¼ cup of ricotta.
In a medium sized bowl, gently toss the country ham slices, peaches, and mint. Arrange the salad on top of the bread and drizzle each with a ½ tablespoon of honey.