Chef Hugh Acheson was parked out front of End of All Music Friday at lunch to make tacos and sign copies of his new cookbook, “The Chef and the Slow Cooker.”
Acheson is traveling across the country with a couple friends for this book tour. The men are loaded up in an Airstream camper and traveling from city to city cooking food and promoting his book. So far they’ve been all through New England to New Orleans. They’re headed to California next.
A renowned chef and restaurant owner, Acheson has been working on “The Chef and the Slow Cooker” for the last two years. In 2011 he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast and Best American Cookbook. He lives in Athens, Georgia where he is the chef and partner at the restaurants Five & Ten, The National, The Florence and Empire State South.
His new cookbook is meant to show the unique ways people can use slow cookers to make simple recipes with a chef’s twist.
Acheson chose to do this style of promotion for his bookstore because it’s simply more fun. He said that it was also a lot easier than sitting down and planning guest chef dinners and selling tickets and booking venues. This way, he can just organize with different booksellers, show up to town and just start making tacos. Representatives of Square Books were set up at the event to sell books that Acheson then signed.
“This is so much more my speed,” Acheson said, flipping tortillas on a griddle in front of the Airstream. “David’s an old friend and this is my favorite record store in the world, so this all just felt natural. I also have a deep fondness for Oxford, Mississippi, so here we are.”
David Swider is the owner and operator of End of All Music. He met Acheson a few years ago when the chef was passing through Oxford. He came in the record store and the two hit it off. They became friends and stayed in touch over social media. Acheson continued to order records through the store over the years. He even designed a t-shirt for the shop. Eventually Acheson reached out to Swider and told him what he was doing with his booked tour and asked if he would be interested in hosting them in Oxford. Swider was all for it.
“I though it was an awesome idea,” he said. “This is something you don’t see a lot, but it makes sense to me, food and record stores. WE’ve always been down to have food trucks and stuff here. It’s just the perfect spot for it.”
The tacos Acheson was making in front of End of All Music available for anyone who made a donation of any size to Seed Life Skills, a nonprofit Acheson established a few years ago. It’s an open-source curriculum designed for middle schools to teach home economics. The service is completely free and sets up a method to teach young people life skills that Acheson think are important for kids to know in order to grow into empowered and productive citizens.