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Susan Lucci Wins!

After years of nominations and much joking about how he felt ever a bridesmaid and never a bride, Hugh Acheson finally got his well-deserved James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Southeast, last night. Sure, he had to share it with Linton Hopkins of Atlanta, in a rare tie, but the two chefs are friendly and collaborative, so it also makes sense, especially considering the fact that split votes from the area may have been keeping them both from winning it for some time. Acheson also received the award for best “American Cooking” cookbook in the journalism section of the awards for A New Turn in the South, which is an equally big honor. Having just experienced a really wonderful meal at Five & Ten, with a smart take on rilllettes and a beautifully executed lemon chess pie, I’m confident the judges got it right. Big ups to Athens’ second Beard winner (the first, of course, being Dexter Weaver in the America’s Classics section).