America's Most Wanted
© Fredrika Stjärne

People get touchy about classic Southern recipes: gumbo, fried chicken, biscuits—all dangerous territory for an innovative chef. But F&W Chef-in-Residence Hugh Acheson has cracked the code with his collard greens. “People’s expectations are based on their grandmothers’ recipes, and you want to be better than their grandmothers, but not that much better, because you don’t want to insult their grandmothers. So it’s tricky,” he says. “But I think that there are so many bad collards out there that when you treat them with care, and make them beautiful and not too cooked, so that there’s still a little resiliency in the green, and a little bite to them, they’re just so good for you, and they’re just fun.” While he is known for his classic, Southern-style collards, his updated version (above) made with a kimchi–spiked cream sauce, is also delicious and definitely not like grandma used to make.

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