It’s official: Hotel Effie Sandestin is coming to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and the city of Miramar Beach, Florida, on Feb. 1. COVID-19 setbacks delayed the 2020 opening, but now the community welcomes the 250-room hotel with its upscale spa; state-of-the-art fitness center; 20,000 square feet of meeting space; and the only rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast.
And that’s not all Hotel Effie Sandestin offers. Chef Hugh Acheson takes the helm at four on-site eateries — Ovide, Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge, The Lobby Bar and Sweetbay Coffee. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ovide showcases the fresh flavors and local seafood of the Gulf Coast. At the stylish rooftop lounge, fine wine and handcrafted cocktails complement Acheson’s original menu. Guests can gather over libations and small plates at The Lobby Bar. Acheson curated the Sweetbay Coffee marketplace with gourmet selections.
The name Hugh Acheson likely sounds familiar: He’s the chef/owner of Five & Ten and Empire State South in Atlanta. He is also the chef/operator of By George in Atlanta’s Candler Hotel, and now also at Hotel Effie. He also founded Seed Life Skills, a living, multimedia curriculum to serve the needs of the modern Family & Consumer Sciences classroom. A five-time James Beard nominee, he’s received many accolades throughout his career, including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef.
WHICH FOOD IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? AND ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE SPECTRUM, WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT OR FOOD YOU HATE TO USE?
I really love the tongue tacos from a local taqueria in a little Mexican grocery store — fresh tortillas and lots of spicy salsa. As for food I really don’t like to use, I can’t think of any. Testicles are really not my thing, I guess.
WHAT DISHES WOULD YOU SERVE AT A PRIVATE DINNER PARTY?
I would start with some oysters and then move to a really pretty salad and then an agnolotti pasta. Then, a roasted pheasant. That was what I catered with last night!
WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEAL YOU EVER PREPARED ON YOUR OWN?
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IN ONE DISH, WHICH DISH WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Roasted chicken with gravy, greens and Carolina Gold rice—it is the food of the South and tells a story. It is a nourishing story that tastes like home.
WHICH CULINARY TREND WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISAPPEAR?
I don’t really know. I like pizza and smoothies and sushi burritos; I just don’t really make them personally.
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