SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — When celebrity chef Hugh Acheson announced via Instagram that his Italian-inspired eatery, The Florence, would close on June 25, local foodies exclaimed a collective gasp.
The first question asked was, why? The second, what will happen to executive chef Kyle Jacovino?
But today, we finally find out the answer to that second question. According to a news release, Chef Kyle has accepted a position as executive chef at 1540 Room, housed in the recently-renovated DeSoto.
“We are incredibly excited to bring Chef Jacovino aboard and keep his culinary skills in Savannah,” said Jeff Kmiec, managing director of The DeSoto. “He possesses an incredible mixture of experience, education, and foresight. Our guests are going to love him and what he creates for them.”
According to the release, Jacovino got his start in kitchens during his high school years in Pennsylvania, and a week after graduating, took a position as garde manger at the Nemacolin resort outside Pittsburgh. By age 20, he was living in the Finger Lakes region of New York, working as sous chef at Mirbeau Inn & Spa. By chance, a waiter there put him in touch with Ryan Smith, formerly of Atlanta’s Empire State South, who would become both Jacovino’s mentor and the driving force behind his move to Georgia.
“Eventually, Jacovino began working as executive sous chef at Empire State South, where he absorbed his mentor’s intense focus and knowledge about food.”
He also studied in Italy for four months to learn about pizza and pasta-making techniques. Upon his return to the States, he became head of the kitchen at Hugh Acheson’s flagship restaurant, Five & Ten in Athens, and later as executive chef of The Florence in Savannah.
“I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my culinary journey,” added Jacovino. “My food focuses on hyper-fresh ingredients from a community of local farmers, and I pride myself on having personal relationships with all of them. I am excited to get started.”
The new 1540 Room is located at the corner of Drayton and Liberty Streets.