Traditional recipes

Norman Van Aken's Kitchen Conversations: Linton Hopkins

Norman Van Aken's Kitchen Conversations: Linton Hopkins

Norman Van Aken, a member of The Daily Meal Council, is a Florida-based chef-restaurateur (Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando), cooking teacher, and author. His most recent book is a memoir, No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken. This is the second in a regular series of Kitchen Conversations — informal but revealing interchanges with key culinary figures — that Van Aken will be contributing to The Daily Meal. He also writes a regular series of Kitchen Meditations for us.

Born in Rochester, New York, and raised in Atlanta, chef Linton Hopkins had planned to be a doctor like his father, but, inspired by the food-rich household he grew up in, he found himself drawn more to cookbooks than to medical texts. Instead to medical school, he enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduation, he worked in New Orleans at the Windsor Court Hotel's Grill Room, then spent four years cooking at Jeff Tunks' DC Coast in Washington, D.C. In 2004, he returned home to Atlanta and, with his wife, Gina, as sommelier, opened Restaurant Eugene. After the restaurant had established a reputation as one of the best and most inventive exponents of contemporary Southern cuisine, Hopkins opened a gastropub, Holeman & Fitch, whose burger is widely considered one of the best in America.

Norman Van Aken: What is the very first thing you remember eating and enjoying?

Linton Hopkins: A lot of it is around family. Mom made grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes it was American cheese, sometimes it was Velveeta. It was cooked in butter. It was crispy-edged but a little runny with that orange-ish cheese. Also, eating true barbecue in Alabama, drinking a Coca-Cola, was extraordinary. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. It seemed like all of the stars were in alignment. It was not just eating a regular meal. It resonated as something more. The barbecue was all about the ribs, dipping some in the sauce, some not. Going back to try to recreate those memories is tough!

Are you the first chef in your family?
Yes. First one. My grandfather Eugene grew up on a farm. He was a chemist by trade. He cooked from scratch. I would spend a lot of my summers with him in Nashville. He is why I love country ham — and why Mountain Valley water is served in my restaurants. He always had ice-cold Mountain Valley water in his refrigerator.

When did you start cooking?
Mom was enamored with Julia Child. We would watch Julia Child together. I started helping out in the kitchen just because I liked it. I love eating! And if you love eating you should be in the kitchen. I was young when I started. It started with my love of hollandaise sauce, I’d say. I love hollandaise on my eggs. I thought eggs Benedict was one of God’s greatest creations. Mom was not about to make me hollandaise, so she handed me Julia Child’s cookbook when I was about 10 and I would make hollandaise. I learned also how to make homemade mayonnaise. My dad taught me to cook bacon. He taught me to make "sock sausage" from Tennessee. It’s where they take country sausage and they shove it in a sock. He would sauté it up in a skillet. Dad also taught me to baste the eggs with ham, sausage, or bacon fat. It had crispy edges with a great runny yolk. I fell in love with making omelettes for the family when I was 11 or 12. Then I fell in love with making chicken Kiev. I made a total mess in the kitchen. Fried chicken with chive butter in the middle! What could be better than that!?

When did you realize that cooking was serious to you?
Cooking was part of my daily life. But I was pre-med and going in that direction. I saw with my father how much he loved medicine. I had summer jobs in the hospital and loved it. After graduation from college, I was about to go back to college and I saw a red book on a shelf about going to culinary school. I had a friend who was going and I was jealous. I was going my medical way but that book changed my life. I told my parents I did not want to go to medical school any longer and that I wanted to go to culinary school. My parents saw how intense I was about it and soon I was on my way. I really moved on it. Once I was there I was like a fish in water. I still can’t believe my good fortune to be in this industry.

Where were you cooking when you first felt like you had attained the right to be called a chef?
I was under Jeff Tunks at D.C. Coast up in Washington, D.C. One night, the upper-echelon chefs were going out of town and I was left with the responsibility of running the kitchen, and that boosted my confidence. That was big moment! And once that moment happened I really started feeling confident about running the business. Before that time I was “Yes Chef!”…after that I got my confidence. I knew I could say, “I got this.”

What was the first dish you made that you felt proud of?
It way probably when I was at the CIA in Hyde Park, at the Escoffier Room, and I made duck confit under the instruction of chef [Roland] Chenus. He had that huge French toque. He looked seven feet tall. To make a confit correctly, doing it right and then him finding satisfaction, gave me such a great confidence in my cooking. I had talked with him awhile about how I was practicing at home. Being with this culinary leader was amazing.

Do you feel the cooking life caused you to sacrifice having a "normal" life?
No. I learned quickly from my father how to "punch in and out on who you are." I needed a profession to help me feel free and true to who I was.

What was the closest you came to quitting the business and finding something saner?
I never felt that tension. I felt like I was always getting away with something! If you are a cook or a chef in New Orleans you are "the man." Everyone is talking about food and the history of food. Walking along with your chef’s whites on you had the rush of pride. What that white jacket was and what that toque meant was amazing!


Books

For food writer Erin Byers Murray, grits had always been one of those basic, bland Southern table necessities―something to stick to your ribs or dollop the butter and salt onto. But after hearing a famous chef wax poetic about the terroir of grits, her whole view changed. Suddenly the boring side dish of her youth held importance, nuance, and flavor. She decided to do some digging to better understand the fascinating and evolving role of grits in Southern cuisine and culture as well as her own Southern identity.

As more artisan grits producers gain attention in the food world, grits have become elevated and appreciated in new ways, nationally on both sides of the Mason Dixon Line, and by international master chefs. Murray takes the reader behind the scenes of grits cultivation, visiting local growers, millers, and cooks to better understand the South’s interest in and obsession with grits. What she discovers, though, is that beyond the culinary significance of grits, the simple staple leads her to complicated and persisting issues of race, gender, and politics.

"Grits explores the culinary and cultural complexities of the humble grit with honest curiosity and enthusiasm. You will never look at a bowl of grits the same way. Buy this book today!"—Sean Brock, chef and author of Heritage

"Erin Byers Murray’s soul-stirring travelogue is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the origins and evolution of grits. She takes us from eastern North Carolina, where Cherokee women beat dried corn kernels to make mush a thousand years ago, to the sea islands of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where enslaved Africans in the 1800s cooked grits to nourish their families, to Oxford, Mississippi in the 21st century, where women restoring an old mill is an act of resistance to Big Agriculture. After reading Grits, we’ll always approach that bowl of creamy, nubbly corn grits with a fresh mindfulness—and absolute awe at their deliciousness!"—Matt Lee and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

"Grits is a delightful and authoritative look at the life and times of a familiar southern culinary staple. Murray shows how grits, created by Native American cooks, were eventually treasured by people from all walks of life in the American South: black, white, enslaved, free, poor, and wealthy. Along the journey, Murray introduces an interesting cast of characters—cooks, chefs, farmers, millers, scholars and vendors—who honor this venerable dish."—Adrian Miller, James Beard Foundation Book Award-winning author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

"Murray’s enlightening culinary tour will be of great interest to foodies and students of Southern history and culture."—Publishers Weekly


It's official! A Colander, Cake Stand, and My Grandfather's Iron Skillet is out in the world. Well, almost. I heard from a few folks that pre-orders through Amazon have been delayed until later this summer. I wish I had a good answer for why that happened but according to the publisher, the books have reached the warehouse and should be released out into the world soon. So. progress! For now, I hope you'll keep your eye out for it locally!

One of the best parts of this project, as I've said, has been collaborating with so many talented folks—and one of my favorites was our photographer, Danielle Atkins. Over the course of a few days last fall, Danielle and I, along with our editor Matthew Teague, took over the Food Sheriff studios here in Nashville and shot about 20+ dishes in less than 48 hours. (If you aren't familiar with the Food Sheriff, Jesse Goldstein, go learn more about him. incredibly talented, super kind, and genuine, in every sense of the word. Plus his studio is crazy: fully equipped and outfitted by KitchenAid, making it the ultimate cooking zone for projects like this. It's functional, efficient, and somehow utterly relaxing. Seriously, if I could cook in one kitchen for the rest of my life, this would be the one.) The shoot was a whirlwind and Danielle was a machine—in spite of a tight timeline, she cranked out shot after stunning shot.

Danielle and I have worked together on projects for Nashville Lifestyles, like this lovely entertaining spread with chef Josh Habiger. But shooting Colander was a whole new experience for me. To begin, Danielle arrived fully stocked with groceries, color-coded recipes, and crates and crates of props, like dishware, serving platters, utensils, linens. essentially her own personal semi-mobile prop shop. We had talked through the schedule a few days in advance but as soon as we got to the studio, it was on. Between prep work, cooking, lighting, selecting dishware, set ups, and backdrops, the two shoot days flew by as we cooked our way through the recipes. There were some hits, misses, and a few frantic emails to the chefs about measurements and instructions, but we pushed through and cooked and shot more than three-quarters of the book.

Beyond the cooking and stellar photo sessions, we also got a few assists from chefs who contributed dishes for the book, including chef Dale Levitski who came in and quickly whipped up a Dutch baby, which might just be one of the easiest, yet most impressive recipes in the book, and pastry chef Rebekah Turshen from City House, who provided an absolutely stunning coconut cake and some biscuits. I'll leave you with this tempting shot, which prominently features the cake stand mentioned in the title of the book—a treasure that Rebekah received as a gift from Tom Lazzaroli of Lazzaroli Pasta, who'd been holding onto it for years before he uncovered it and gave it to her. You can sometimes spot it sitting at the bar at City House these days. I hope you'll keep an eye out for the full story in the book!


A Fleeting Dream of N. Carolina cooking

When it comes to Florida cuisine, the conversation starts with Norman Van Aken. The chef and author was among the first to realize the tropical food goldmine of the region, and his restaurants and cookbooks have had a huge influence on chefs in Florida and beyond. Now the chef/owner of Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando and Director of Restaurants at Miami Culinary Institute, Van Aken is also hard at work on his next book, My Key West Kitchen (Kyle Books), due out in fall 2012. In the meantime, he’ll contribute to Food Republic with his “Word On Food.”

When I awoke for the second time that morning I was in a limousine and we were rolling through the hills of North Carolina, specifically Yadkin County. I hoped the driver was more awake than I. The night before we had taught a class and then cooked a multi-coursed dinner at The Greenbrier resort. The Greenbrier is in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia — “West, By God!” as they say — and was built in 1778. The great Jean-Louis Palladin had taught there the week before me. I was honored to be in his circle, so to speak. I was honored as well to be hosted in such a magnificent place.

Now that was over and we had to catch a 10:30 a.m. flight out of Charlotte and get back to work. There were no early flights to catch out of the tiny airport near the resort which we had flown into the day before, so it was a four-hour ride after a 4 a.m. wake-up call.

Typically when we cook these “visiting chef” dinners we don’t have a meal ourselves, and this was no exception. You’re just so whipped after putting away the knives and thanking your hosts that it’s two jumbo glasses of wine, a quick shower and lights out. As the dawn receded and morning grew, Charlotte still lay 90 miles away down Route 64 plummeting southward my stomach rumbled.

In a way, these turn into some of the most creative times. It is through hunger that my greatest flights of inspiration most often spring. I often tell young chefs that one of the best ways to think of new dishes is to allow themselves to get hungry and then to read a classic cookbook or go to a market and start writing down ideas as they flow into your mind.

The billboard signs along the highway tried to lure motorists with what we all know lies within easy striking distance of any major expressway in America. I won’t name the places. They are now more familiar to children than the names of the saints. I tortured myself imagining that somewhere…maybe less than 10 miles or so from the exits of this infernal highway…there were still some places featuring true home “country cooking.” But the flight back to Miami and our impending departure time was what caused us to race along the wide asphalt lanes at breakneck speed.

Hungry and idle…my mind kept turning on the fantasy of a potential sweet and crispy catfish fry with a side of hush puppies, freshly griddled corn cakes dripping with hand-churned butter and “Aunt Rhody’s” put-up late last summer fruit jams, or, sweet Jesus, yes (!) North Carolina ham sliced thin from pigs butchered, salted and cured in the very county we were barreling out of. “Hey Driver! We don’t have this stuff in Miami!” But the window was up and he couldn’t hear me, even if I tried speaking out loud, instead of within my own feverish head. But then…maybe the Jungian “collective unconscious” works? He touched a button and the electric window came down. The earnest young man asked me if we wanted him to stop at the McDonald’s just up ahead so as we could get something to eat. I gritted my teeth, thanked him and, hoping he didn’t get my sarcasm, said, “No, that’s okay…besides…why eat here when the airport is just up the road?”

“Yeah, that’s true,” he said, and he stepped a little harder on the accelerator.


Big Weekend: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2013

Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter had a consommé-clear vision for their Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, which is more a meticulously curated showcase of Southern cooking in America than the typical celebrity-chef dog + pony show. At the four-day fest, chefs must live in one of 13 Southern states, which means no Jonathan Waxman vs. Mario Batali fried chicken battles or Bobby Flay mint julep demos on the schedule.

I&rsquove known the founders for a few years now, and the main thing that strikes me is how laid-back, cool, professional, detailed-oriented, hospitable, always up for another glass of bourbon kind of folk they are. This vibe extended to this past weekend&rsquos programming, which featured over 100 classes, private dinners and three days of food and drink in tasting tents pitched in a green space in Atlanta&rsquos revitalized Midtown neighborhood. Here are some of the highlights:

Dinner: About South
The Swam House at the Atlanta History Center is a majestic mansion built in 1928, tucked in the middle of a forest on the outskirts of Buckhead. It&rsquos also a key set location for the next Hunger Games movie, which really impressed this Hunger Games fan. But, for real, nobody left hungry after this dinner that served as a tribute to the South and featured over 30 (!) chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. The roll call goest something like this: John Besh, Chris Hastings, Edward Lee, Donald Link, Linton Hopkins, John Currence, Norman Van Aken, Andrea Reusing, Mike Lata, Frank Stitt. Playing favorites is difficult, but let me just say that Reusing&rsquos perfectly cooked veal breast with Japanese mustard and Carolina asparagus and root vegetables was on point. The dinner ended with glasses of Pappy and salted caramel gelato from Atlanta&rsquos stellar Honeysuckle.

Class: Advanced Ribs With Chris Lilly
If there were a guy to teach a class about grilling the perfect rack of pork ribs, it would be Chris Lilly. He&rsquos the chef and partner at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurants in Decatur, Alabama and a multiple Grand Champion at the annual Memphis In May barbecue Olympics. Here&rsquos what I took away: 1. When buying ribs, it&rsquos important to look at the marbling of the meat, not for a large quantity of fat on the ends. The pork should be red, but &ldquonot too red,&rdquo which indicates that the pig was stressed at time of slaughter. 2. The key to ribs cookery is layering flavors, which means strategizing with a rub, cooking time, wrapping technique and the type of wood to use when smoking. Yes, using wood is crucial. 3. Lilly likes to rub with turbinado sugar, salt and pepper and cook at 225 degrees for about 4 hours on indirect heat. He stresses to, halfway through cooking, wrap in foil. The wrapping allows for the ribs to remain moist. (He stresses the concept of &ldquoliquid seasoning&rdquo with the wrap and suggests playing around with pineapple juice.) Though, it&rsquos important to note that too much time in the foil causes the meat to instantly &ldquofall off the bone&rdquo which, contrary to popular belief, is not the goal with ribs. There should be some resistance there. Lilly has seen people smear butter on the ribs before wrapping, which is kind of insanely decadent. 4. He finishes the ribs with seasoning, yet another layer. He was slightly cryptic about his finishing method. Dude can&rsquot give up all his secrets.

Class: Eating and Drinking In Alabama with Chris Hastings
Southern Living&rsquos cool travel editor Jennifer Cole led a conversation with Food Republic columnist Chris Hastings about the food of Alabama, a mostly rural state with a fascinating food history that extends from truck farming and foraging to shrimping off the Gulf coast. It was a smart talk, but I&rsquom gonna be honest here. I shook off my hangover and made it to the morning session to sample Hastings' cooking &mdash which is mostly reserved for his Birmingham restaurant Hot and Hot Fish Club. And he really did me solid by serving his famous tomato salad, which plays out as a deconstructed summer succotash. &ldquoIt&rsquos nuts when the Hot and Hot tomato salad goes on the menu,&rdquo said Cole, adding that she received two emails the day Hastings added the dish earlier this spring (it&rsquos typically on only through summer). The dish is pretty epic: Beefsteak tomatoes, sautéed corn on the cob, buttermilk fried okra, peas, bacon, gorgeous Gulf shrimp and a smokey aioli on top.

Class: Foods of the Southern Tailgate with Kelly English and Chris Shepherd
It&rsquos really no secret that the South is the home of serious tailgating. It&rsquos the reason that, every fall, me and a couple fellow Big Ten grads visit an SEC school for a football Saturday. Oxford, Baton Rouge, Nashville. It&rsquos serious. &ldquoTailgating is like Thanksgiving, but with the people you like,&rdquo said Memphis chef Kelly English, who led a discussion with Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. Shepherd famously roasted an entire bison for a game between his Texans and the Buffalo Bills. During this class the duo cooked on Big Green Eggs and stressed that cooking for dozens, if not hundreds, of people in a parking lot requires simplicity. They offered some quick beef marinades. Shepherd, a Korean food nut, incorporated fish sauce, rice wine, mirin and gochujang into his, while English applied sambal and a splash of Coca Cola. Hell, it was Atlanta, after all.

Tasting Tents
If you take a look at the list of participating restaurants at the three days of tasting tents, you&rsquoll notice some serious talent. Unlike some festivals where walk-around tastings feel like a gauntlet of cupcake shops and crummy flavored vodka tastings, at Atlanta there&rsquos a clear mission to showcase the best of the South via a series of &ldquotrails&rdquo (clusters of restaurants grouped by a theme) including barbecue, bourbon, pork and seafood. To pick a favorite dish would be like picking a favorite Southern state (my Virginia in-laws would likely disown me if they knew the answer). So I&rsquoll focus on a few highlights. On the barbecue tip, Sam Jones from Skylight Inn served his famous Carolina pulled pork and Martin's Bar-B-Que of Nolensville, TN did ribs. Memphis fried chicken legend Gus&rsquos served crispy wings in the chicken section (along with an inspired chicken terrine from Paper Plane in Decatur, GA). Asha Gomez of Atlanta&rsquos Cardamom Hill did her famous pork vindaloo and Katie Button (of Cúrate in Ashville, NC) her soon-to-be-famous Malaga white gazpacho with a green grape granita. And there was punches and glasses of brown liquid to wash it all down.

Class: The History of the Southern Cocktail
This Saturday morning event featured mixologists Neal Bodenheimer of CURE in New Orleans, Paul Calvert of Atlanta's Victory Sandwich Bar and spirits historian Dave Wondrich. The panel was moderated (but not much since they were also making drinks for the crowd while speaking) by Greg Best of Holeman and Finch in Atlanta. This presentation was actually a sequel to a panel by the same name from last year's AFWF, which was appropriate since, as Wondrich noted, "The history of Southern cocktails is continuously being written. And usually by drunkards." Much of this particular presentation revolved around New Orleans, where the culinary and cocktail cultures maintain what the panel called "a balanced fealty" between conservatism of recipes and ingredients and a hedonistic attitude to "make a cocktail that will kick your ass." Attendees learned about the history of the cocktail bar that was actually located in the US Capitol, until it was split in to two bars for the House of Representatives and for the Senate. It was opined that perhaps the current Congress could stand a little more loosening up. &mdash Chris Chamberlain

Class: Butcher Renaissance
The final day of the festival on Sunday featured an entertaining presentation by the young guns from Porter Road Butcher in Nashville, TN. Not only did Chris Carter, James Peisker and Christopher Hudgens manage to break down a pig on stage into primal and subprimal cuts while teaching the audiences how and why they do their job, they also entertained the crowd with stories from the front lines of the butcher world and the important reasons why consumers should know more about where their food comes from. There was a hushed silence in the audience when Peisker described a trip to the Amish family pig farm that they source from exclusively and how they reverently chose one of the Duroc/Berkshire pigs to kill, bleed, wash, shave and gut. They took the pig home and smoked it and were eating it within 48 hours of selecting it for sacrifice.

In addition to ensuring that they know exactly how the meat they butcher is treated and what it feeds on, Porter Road deals with family farms to help provide a living in the small communities of Middle Tennessee. "Our Amish pig gamer has a sweet buggy!" Seminar attendees snacked on bowls of some outrageous pork jerky that the butchers make from the eye of round of the pig. The idea came to them when a friend asked how he might ship some comfort from home to another friend who was serving in Afghanistan and really missed barbecue. After a little experimentation with seasoning, smoking and dehydration, the butchers created a preserved treat that was appropriate for overseas deployment. &mdash Chris Chamberlain


Linton Hopkins Shares Details on Forthcoming Ventures, Possible Chick-fil-A Project

In an interview with Eater National's Hillary Dixler, chef/restaurateur Linton Hopkins discusses how he built his restaurant empire, the Atlanta dining scene, and what's happened in the 10 years since he opened Restaurant Eugene. Hopkins also dishes a few juicy tidbits on upcoming eateries at Ponce City Market, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and a possible partnership with Chick-fil-A.

Hopkins says to expect Ponce City Market outposts for H&F Burger and H&F Bread Co. to open in May.

It's going great. At the end of this month, we've got one of the last formal pictures from the architect. We built this restaurant using a buddy of mine's assistance, who had worked within the Wendy's organization helping design kitchens, so we're using a lot of that forward-thinking fast food design with bringing in our fresh food.

It's amazing, the quality of griddles. There's a steam-jacketed griddle, where it's a surface of steam under the griddle iron. It's more consistent. It has a faster recoup time. So it's been this access into this world of really griddle technology. That just is better and so we're designing everything from the kitchen core for speed and efficiency to really make it good on our employees and good for speed of product. Then protect integrity product, we're going to grind all our own meat there, which is fun.

I look at H & F Burger almost like a butcher shop that sells burgers on a counter. We're going to look at the health stuff. You'll have our bakery right next door, H & F Bread, a little bread kiosk so you'll be able to buy our hamburger buns. You'll be able to buy our condiments that we all make in-house. We have little jars out of our ketchup, mustard, and pickle. I'd love to be able to sell you the meat you could grind at home. Or I could even sell you the patties. I like giving away recipes for free, not hiding things because that's part of the fun, too. You should be able to cook these burgers at home.

We're close. It's probably going to be a May opening. March is when we're told the parking deck will be open. That means April . We'll be ready. We'll have full designs and permitting ready to go, where I could start construction probably December 1 so we'll see how that develops. Yeah, it's fun. I'm going to be real excited with our first place.

It's going to have counter service. I think a lot about, when I walk into a restaurant, a lot of places don't even know how to pour Coca-Cola properly, because I love Coca-Cola. I like the balance with good ice and the right fizz, what they say the pause that refreshes . We're going to have Coke where we do the old soda fountain, where we pour the syrup in. Then the soda and we stir the ice. We're going to get some of the old glasses. We were talking with them that have the syrup line still on it. They sent us some of their ice studies from the '30s so that we can look at how they were training these pharmacies on how to mix a Coke. I think that's going to be a lot of fun.

We're going to have a good vegetarian burger. We're working on a vegetarian burger that is as craveable as a meat burger. I'm real proud of it, I think we hit the recipe. It's a . I won't give you the recipe. I'm pretty closed on this one right now . It's barley based. We've got mushrooms in there, for your umami. We use beets. It's gluten-free. It's got Sea Island red peas in the mix. I found that so many vegetarian burgers were like big bean patties so I needed it to have some granularity and crispy edges. We're going to build it the same way. It's not a big thick burger, like our stack. I think the secret I really want about H & F Burger is that actually it's not about the burger at all. We're going to have a salad that I want to be really just one of the great salads, like "I go to H & F Burger for the salad."

. I'm excited we're going to have hand-churned milkshakes, the old churn milkshakes. High Road Craft Creamery, the local ice cream place is. going to deliver ice cream daily for us.

Linton's at the Garden, his restaurant that will open at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, will be helmed by executive chef Justin Van Aken out of Ket West.

That just got announced . Why have food at a botanical garden? It's the same question I had for Delta. Here we are on a plane. Why do you have food on a plane? Let's figure that out.

Why have food in a botanical garden? Well, what is the history of botanical gardens? It's the world of physics that it came out of. It's part of curating a collection of making an urban garden. Well, of course food should be tied into that. Families are there, people are there. They're there for a long period of time. They need refreshment.

How do we build a partnership that's not me as a vendor? Even the legal documents, I was like I will never be known as a vendor. I don't want to go into the legal words that talk about lowest common denominator. I want to talk about a legal language that talks about the highest common aspirations.

The partnership with them is really this new entity, to build a new idea [around]: why have food there? So we're taking over the current Blossom Café. We've rebranded to Linton's. The Café at Linton's in the garden. It's first restaurant I put my name on, which is very scary.

I know that it means I've got to be better because I have to stand for something. We're just choosing what the first menu is right now. I look at the world of what a crudite has the possibility to be, which is beautiful, fresh, shaved vegetable salads . They already have on the wall there "plant to plate" and we want to make that the truth.

It'll be all the same farmers, the same artisans, the same culture of cooking from scratch. We've hired an amazing young man to be our chef there, which we're proud to announce, you'll be the first person we ever told. Justin Van Aken out of Florida. He believes in integrity and he believes in all food service should be the same in that level of integrity, whether I'm building a little salad or even if I'm making a PB & J for you.

Then they're building this café and restaurant that we get to be a part of the design. Danny Meyer is such a hero of mine . We're able to blend how do you feed people very quickly with the elegance that every human deserves so where you don't feel like you're just in a feed lot with hospitality and service.

We're testing the recipes right now. We start in November. It's going to be very fast so we're going to see how it goes. I can just tell you we're going to make a lot of mistakes. Have sympathy for us, but just know that we're going to work on really doing the right thing. I'm going to have to get there and learn how to cook for people there because each space is different. People have different expectations of what food should be.

I just know we're going to get rid of a lot of the disposables. I want to serve things on plates with plate-ware and hand you a glass. I want to get past everything being a cafeteria. I want it to be a personable café. I like the word café. I want to defend it.

Hopkins has been talking with Chick-fil-A about H&F Bread potentially supplying buns for the chicken sandwich giant.

I've gotten to know Dan [Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A]. Dan's big focus is how could he be the food of American families and that's really important to him. Regardless of all the stuff around definition of family, he really wants to have good for American families and since they're an Atlanta company, they had asked me to look at our bun.

Where it goes I don't know, but we, I believe . I'm here to help any company that wants to talk about good food. When you say you want to go farm to table, like Emory University did. I'm part of their little committee on good food. We sell our bread there.

Yeah, we just had the first little discussion with them on here's what a sandwich tastes like on our bread. Well, how do you roll that out in a company that big? That's crazy. It's very hard to do. You got to take baby steps. What I've learned from Chik-fil-A, we went to their innovation center they just opened up. They have the most amazing way they innovate. Now it may be slow, but I can't tell you what's going to happen, but I just love being part of the conversation with them about possibly. I like that. I like the word possible.

I don't know if it's probable yet, but I know that they want to be part of good food for families and I think that's important. I want to be part of good food for families, too, so why can't we find a middle ground to talk about what that is.


Share All sharing options for: How Atlanta’s Linton Hopkins Grew a Restaurant Empire by Putting Family First

Ten years ago, the husband-and-wife team of chef Linton Hopkins and sommelier Gina Hopkins opened Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood only to see it devastated by a flood less than a year later. Fast forward to today and Restaurant Eugene is still going strong. Hopkins calls it the flagship of his growing restaurant group, which now includes Holeman & Finch, H&F Bread Co., and H&F Burger at Turner Field. And there's much more on the horizon, including an H&F Burger opening at the highly anticipated Ponce City Market and a just-announced cafe and restaurant at Atlanta's Botanical Garden.

In the following interview, Hopkins looks back at the beginnings of Restaurant Eugene and how expansion initially cost him top talent, even though Holeman & Finch just across from Restaurant Eugene. Hopkins also explains the role that nurturing his staff has played in his company's growth, whether in how he treats Restaurant Eugene "like a school" or in creating a corporate culture that values family over work. " There's a history, unfortunately, of chefs with shattered lives and an endgame I do not like," says Hopkins. " Non-happiness, complete sacrifice for cuisine and that's not me."

Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Restaurant Eugene.
It's funny. A lot of people don't understand about Restaurant Eugene. Every business growth we have is to protect Restaurant Eugene.

Can you tell me more about what that means?
Gina and I built Restaurant Eugene 10 years ago. Just us. No partners. Money we made from selling our house in Virginia. Landlord, tenant improvement allowance, a third of it and we had a SBA loan with my name on it.

We had a flood in our 11th month. We'd just gotten profitable and I walked in that Saturday morning to all the ceilings smashed around. Over a third of a million dollars worth of damage and here I am, a chef. My wife, a sommelier. Two kids under five. We're doing everything right. Getting good reviews. We finally turned a profit. It can all be taken away and that scares me. It's not that the restaurant business is risky. It's that every business is risky, every small business.

So Holeman & Finch really was built because the landlord was going to let in a national pizza chain across the street from our jewel box restaurant. We had rights of first refusal on that space in our lease. We had a great bartender that became our partner. We're able to control the front door of Restaurant Eugene. The bakery was to build bread for Restaurant Eugene. We had a baker that we wanted to incentivize. We made him a partner in our bakery and now that's grown into its own business.

"People are saying fine dining's dead. I would argue that, in fact, it's more necessary than ever."

Everything started out of Eugene. It still does. That's the R & D thought place that trickles through everything we do. The economics is, how [do] we continue to strive towards fine dining when there's not many fine dining restaurants? A lot of people are saying fine dining's dead. I would argue that, in fact, it's more necessary than ever to have a place that explores cuisine and service and hospitality at the highest level.

It's named after my grandfather. It's our first place. We have tiles in the kitchen that my kids had painted on. We had to use the business as needed to help fine dining survive, to allow us reinvest and have it last forever.

Does it feel like 10 years ago?
Feels longer. We've been married 17 years. It's like dog years because we work together so maybe it's like 50 years, but it's a long time ago. I've changed a lot as a chef. In a lot of ways I haven't changed.

I run the basic values and the structure of it, but I've learned that it's a place to allow people to grow. It's almost like a school for me now, where we train people and allow them to shepherd what is Restaurant Eugene. We're very open with allowing our team to help continue to define what that is.

I love it. It's right on a road that was a dirt road when my grandfather was a boy. I love that it's part of the Atlanta fabric. I feel really proud as an adult, being in the city I grew up in. I think a restaurant needs to be part of that fabric the same way New Orleans is, like Antoine's or Commander's. I want it to have that kind of long-standing impact on what a restaurant should be in a community.

Did Atlanta diners and critics get what you were going for right when you opened or did you feel like it took a little bit of time for it to click?
I still think it's taking a little time. I think the whole restaurant review world sees the restaurant business in a different way than I do. I think food's really important and that's what I do. I don't think I invented food. I don't think restaurants invented food. I think food invented us in a way and so we need to be humble about that.

I think food reviewers see this game of restaurants more than what is really important about a restaurant, this game of what it means to be a chef and this whole world. Even Eater, it's part of this world of interest around our business, but it means a lot to me and I think they're still trying to get that understanding of why I'm even in this business.

" I don't like how the restaurant business can make food small and mean and competitive."

In a lot of ways, I don't like the restaurant business. I don't like how the restaurant business can make food small and mean and competitive and more about the game of getting diners and not transforming a community and really being at the highest levels of why we even interact as human beings. That's why I have a restaurant. I love pursuing my own journey through food and what it means to be a chef.

In a way, I'm only 10 years old because I 'm a chef/owner. And I know that that will continue to change and the only thing I can ever promise you at Restaurant Eugene is change and a commitment to these ideals, these values that I have, but I reserve the right to change the menu, even during the course of an evening. I'm not interested, again, in making it small.

Now, I know a lot of the earlier reviews were about how old our clientele was. I remember we got called a Republican restaurant once because we're in this Buckhead area of Atlanta, which is like saying you're [on the] Upper West Side [of Manhattan]. That doesn't mean that I'm Republican. That doesn't mean I'm Democrat. I'm a hospitality guy that wants to cook you good food. This is beyond religion, this is beyond politics. This is about just I want to serve you good food and we're going to build a business to do that in a very simple way. We want to be part of our community in a powerful way and so our clientele was a lot of friends of my parents. It was a lot of older clientele. I remember one review wrote a lot about the age of our clientele, w rote about the politics, like somehow I am this wealthy Republican person. I'm like this isn't about that at all. It's not about societal status and class. It's about good food.

What changes have you seen in the Atlanta dining scenes since you first opened?
Well, there's a lot more access to local farm goods, which is great.

I think you're seeing a lot more chef owned restaurants. This was not the big thing. Smaller restaurants are more personal, you're seeing a lot more of [that], which is great. It is not the big investor-splashed $8 million cost uber-chef restaurant. It's small little mom & pops and chefs and restaurateurs that want to build places, build their own future, their own last job and I think that's cool.

Holeman & Finch. [Photo: Beall & Thomas ]

Holeman & Finch was obviously a major opening. What was it like to learn how to manage both places at once?
Changed me completely because I'm a proximity person by nature. If I'm here with you, I can't really be anywhere else. I think that's inhospitable to you and it's also I'm really big just being where I am.

Holeman & Finch is so close you would think there'd be very easy to manage. But we lost some good people during that process who couldn't learn and survive and manage both at the same time, too. Food costs were starting to go out of control. Consistency of food, we started seeing more swings in that. Again, I couldn't just run faster.

"We're still in that process as we grow to build our future growth without losing our past."

We've always had to just work on how do we create these individual cultures and build a stronger team that knows how to manage that effectively. That's saving time. We're still in that process as we grow to build our future growth without losing our past.

Right now, I think Eugene's the best it's ever been with team, people who are passionate about it, consistency of food. I love it. I think we're more open with allowing people to be part of that creative aspect of writing the menu. We've got a great guy, Brian Jones, there now. He's tremendous quality talent.

What are your strategies for maintaining your vision and quality across the different restaurants as you continue expanding?
Well, I love the word corporation and I want to change that definition that somehow corporate is like this above think pushing directives down. What we look at as a corporation is like a soil ground level, pushing individuals up.

How do we celebrate the individual, celebrate the individual business, allow it to find its own identity? That's an important thing because even going to that kind of thinking challenged a lot of our employees with maybe we're too corporate top down.

We had to say no, no, no, this is different. You're even more free to do what you want to do. We just want to be included in the conversation. We're going to have a culture where we're actually nice to each other.

The things I'm going to enforce are protect the relationships I've built around good food . It's teaching them this culture of food relationships. To teach a chef, you just can't get on the phone and place an order. You're actually going to have to call people. You're actually going to have to go to the market and talk to them. You're going to have to start reading seed catalogs and planning. That's an important thing.

"Letting people be amazing people and just being a witness to that conversation is the absolute key."

Hiring is key. I think we're getting very good strategically at how we bring someone on board in leadership. We have a new gentleman with us, Ryan Butler, formally the Dinex Group and he knows the operational things that have to happen to ensure integrity and brand transparency across all the brands. Hiring and training is everything. Letting people be amazing people and just being a witness to that conversation is the absolute key and then creating a very strong value-based system.

I really believe in being a person of faith, not in this world of religion and division, but are we going to believe that we can actually get better. What is the foundational, philosophical beginning of excellence? What's allowing someone to strive through their own vision of what that should be for themselves.

How we find, now the company's bigger, there's a lot of advantages to growth because now we can find someone who thought maybe they wanted to be happy being a chef. In this kind of restaurant [or] maybe they were better in this way, [or] maybe they want to be a baker.

So there's a lot of movement between the restaurants?
Yeah. A lot of cooks finding their way. Are they going to start in our commissary kitchen, the Eugene kitchen and they're going to move up and do some garde manger work at Holeman & Finch. Eugene's our flagship. We want the best trained, the finest craftspeople, the highest commitment to excellence. They're going to earn their right in there so that's why it's like a school. They're going to find their ways and Eugene is really the post-graduate kind of work. It really requires a skill level. We want to empower them.

You were saying you want to creat a kitchen culture where people are nice to each other, which is the opposite of what most people think of in kitchens. Was that challenging to cultivate?
I find that you're right. When people come to us that are from the restaurant business, we have to get past some basic assumptions that they've been trained in, which is distrust. If you're back of the house, you're distrustful of the front of the house. If you're front of the house, you're distrustful of the back of the house. The whole intent. I don't like that division at all and I think a lot of real restaurateurs hate that division. They don't encourage it.

" Hospitality is no barriers. Hospitality is transparency."

There should be no division. I want to remove as many of those false barriers we have between people because they have no room in hospitality. Hospitality is no barriers. Hospitality is transparency. Hospitality is kindness and we're going to make a million mistakes.

I like to tell people I'm going to make a million mistakes because I want to be good and I want to be honest. I want to be transparent. I want to be nice. Now, could I get a team to a level of consistent excellence by driving it in a very maniacal, I'm never home, kind of way? Absolutely. There's a history, unfortunately, of chefs with shattered lives and an endgame I do not like. Divorce, drugs, alcoholism. Non-happiness, complete sacrifice for cuisine and that's not me.

Food came out of family for me and so I'm at home with my children, cooking them food because that's how I grew up, with a meal at home. I find right now a lot of our cooks have no history of meals and homes. In a lot of ways, we're having to teach them how to eat, like what does tomato taste like. They're wanting to jump right to Spanish cookbooks and they have no history of food that would even allow them to understand these great chefs in Spain or France, who grew up around the food in their family.

It's an interesting balance. I find I'm more effective with my teams during the daytime than being this driven chef during service yelling out on table 23. That was not my endgame at all. I don't want to give up my life, my wife, my kids for the restaurant. Family and the way food plays in my life, are much more sacred than standing at the pass doing that world of food.

Linton Hopkins in his home kitchen. [Photo: Sarah Hanna/Eater Atlanta]

You don't often hear people in this industry say that.
Well, they love saying cuisine first. I hear it all the time. It's not cuisine first. What life are we living? I'm a cancer survivor. Are stars more important than the look in my children's eyes, the relationship I build and a life with people? Absolutely not.

"The sacredness of who we are as people together is much more important than the business of food."

I mean let's get our act together. We didn't invent food. It's bigger than us. Food is bigger than the restaurant industry. The sacredness of who we are as people together is much more important than the business of food.

I want us to get our priorities right. Now I love cuisine and I love chefs. I love Ducasse and Joël Robuchon. I love crazy, maniacal Jean-Louis Palladin, over-the-top, crazy anger, temper tantrum. I get it.

I don't necessarily want to be friends with them, nor do I want to work in their kitchens, but I appreciate their real craft bordering on art within food. I just know what I want out of my personal life and that's just a calmer, long-term, multi-generational world of food. That's how I think about food and community .

Family is first for everybody. We say this is not family first for Gina and Linton. This is family first for everyone. It's a way we even rethink the word corporation. How do we have those places? We need to get work done. We have bills to pay. We need people to be paid.

Gina's been great at working with our wellness culture, with how do we allow people to have their lives. You have a death in your family. You go make it right for your family. We're okay. The part of the beauty of growth is now we don't have to be so desperate around one individual. Me included.

How are things going at H&F Burger at Ponce City Market?
It's going great. At the end of this month, we've got one of the last formal pictures from the architect. We built this restaurant using a buddy of mine's assistance, who had worked within the Wendy's organization helping design kitchens, so we're using a lot of that forward-thinking fast food design with bringing in our fresh food.

It's amazing, the quality of griddles. There's a steam-jacketed griddle, where it's a surface of steam under the griddle iron. It's more consistent. It has a faster recoup time. So it's been this access into this world of really griddle technology. That just is better and so we're designing everything from the kitchen core for speed and efficiency to really make it good on our employees and good for speed of product. Then protect integrity product, we're going to grind all our own meat there, which is fun.

Holeman & Finch burger. [Photo: Beall & Thomas]

I look at H & F Burger almost like a butcher shop that sells burgers on a counter. We're going to look at the health stuff. You'll have our bakery right next door, H & F Bread, a little bread kiosk so you'll be able to buy our hamburger buns. You'll be able to buy our condiments that we all make in-house. We have little jars out of our ketchup, mustard, and pickle. I'd love to be able to sell you the meat you could grind at home. Or I could even sell you the patties. I like giving away recipes for free, not hiding things because that's part of the fun, too. You should be able to cook these burgers at home.

"We're close. It's probably going to be a May opening."

We're close. It's probably going to be a May opening. March is when we're told the parking deck will be open. That means April . We'll be ready. We'll have full designs and permitting ready to go, where I could start construction probably December 1 so we'll see how that develops. Yeah, it's fun. I'm going to be real excited with our first place.

It's going to have counter service. I think a lot about, when I walk into a restaurant, a lot of places don't even know how to pour Coca-Cola properly, because I love Coca-Cola. I like the balance with good ice and the right fizz, what they say the pause that refreshes . We're going to have Coke where we do the old soda fountain, where we pour the syrup in. Then the soda and we stir the ice. We're going to get some of the old glasses. We were talking with them that have the syrup line still on it. They sent us some of their ice studies from the '30s so that we can look at how they were training these pharmacies on how to mix a Coke. I think that's going to be a lot of fun.

We're going to have a good vegetarian burger. We're working on a vegetarian burger that is as craveable as a meat burger. I'm real proud of it, I think we hit the recipe. It's a . I won't give you the recipe. I'm pretty closed on this one right now . It's barley based. We've got mushrooms in there, for your umami. We use beets. It's gluten-free. It's got Sea Island red peas in the mix. I found that so many vegetarian burgers were like big bean patties so I needed it to have some granularity and crispy edges. We're going to build it the same way. It's not a big thick burger, like our stack . I think the secret I really want about H & F Burger is that actually it's not about the burger at all. We're going to have a salad that I want to be really just one of the great salads, like "I go to H & F Burger for the salad."

. I'm excited we're going to have hand-churned milkshakes, the old churn milkshakes. High Road Craft Creamery, the local ice cream place is. going to deliver ice cream daily for us.

Is this quick-service concept something you're thinking about repeating?
Sure, yeah. I love the idea . I want every H & F Burger, if there are more, to always be unique to its own place. I really believe in the terroir of location, the story of what it is, the architecture. The menu should always change to reflect where it is.

I'll tell you what I've also loved about food, is how expanding it is fun. I really believe good food is for all. I really believe in the word artisan and I don't see anywhere in the definition of artisan that it says small or that it says big. It has nothing to do with size. It has everything to do with philosophical intent. So I love that Danny Meyer's expanding good food everywhere. I really want everyone on the planet to be fed good food.

Our Atlanta editor heard a rumor that Chik-fil-A is going to start using H & F buns. Is there any truth to that?
I've gotten to know Dan [Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A]. Dan's big focus is how could he be the food of American families and that's really important to him. Regardless of all the stuff around definition of family, he really wants to have good for American families and since they're an Atlanta company, they had asked me to look at our bun.

"I'm here to help any company that wants to talk about good food."

Where it goes I don't know, but we, I believe . I'm here to help any company that wants to talk about good food. When you say you want to go farm to table, like Emory University did. I'm part of their little committee on good food. We sell our bread there.

Yeah, we just had the first little discussion with them on here's what a sandwich tastes like on our bread. Well, how do you roll that out in a company that big? That's crazy. It's very hard to do. You got to take baby steps. What I've learned from Chik-fil-A, we went to their innovation center they just opened up. They have the most amazing way they innovate. Now it may be slow, but I can't tell you what's going to happen, but I just love being part of the conversation with them about possibly. I like that. I like the word possible.

I don't know if it's probable yet, but I know that they want to be part of good food for families and I think that's important. I want to be part of good food for families, too, so why can't we find a middle ground to talk about what that is.

Atlanta Botanical Garden. [Rendering: Official]

And what's going on with the botanical garden restaurant?
That just got announced . Why have food at a botanical garden? It's the same question I had for Delta. Here we are on a plane. Why do you have food on a plane? Let's figure that out.

Why have food in a botanical garden? Well, what is the history of botanical gardens? It's the world of physics that it came out of. It's part of curating a collection of making an urban garden. Well, of course food should be tied into that. Families are there, people are there. They're there for a long period of time. They need refreshment.

" I will never be known as a vendor."

How do we build a partnership that's not me as a vendor? Even the legal documents, I was like I will never be known as a vendor. I don't want to go into the legal words that talk about lowest common denominator. I want to talk about a legal language that talks about the highest common aspirations.

The partnership with them is really this new entity, to build a new idea [around]: why have food there? So we're taking over the current Blossom Café. We've rebranded to Linton's. The Café at Linton's in the garden. It's first restaurant I put my name on, which is very scary.

I know that it means I've got to be better because I have to stand for something. We're just choosing what the first menu is right now. I look at the world of what a crudite has the possibility to be, which is beautiful, fresh, shaved vegetable salads . They already have on the wall there "plant to plate" and we want to make that the truth.

It'll be all the same farmers, the same artisans, the same culture of cooking from scratch. We've hired an amazing young man to be our chef there, which we're proud to announce, you'll be the first person we ever told. Justin Van Aken out of Florida. He believes in integrity and he believes in all food service should be the same in that level of integrity, whether I'm building a little salad or even if I'm making a PB & J for you.

Then they're building this café and restaurant that we get to be a part of the design. Danny Meyer is such a hero of mine . We're able to blend how do you feed people very quickly with the elegance that every human deserves so where you don't feel like you're just in a feed lot with hospitality and service.

We're testing the recipes right now. We start in November. It's going to be very fast so we're going to see how it goes. I can just tell you we're going to make a lot of mistakes. Have sympathy for us, but just know that we're going to work on really doing the right thing. I'm going to have to get there and learn how to cook for people there because each space is different. People have different expectations of what food should be.

I just know we're going to get rid of a lot of the disposables. I want to serve things on plates with plate-ware and hand you a glass. I want to get past everything being a cafeteria. I want it to be a personable café. I like the word café. I want to defend it.


100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of all time!)

Food Network Magazine asked top chefs across the country for their best advice.

1. Remember, y’all, it’s all about the prep. Take away the stress by doing the prep the night or day before. You’ll look like a star.
Paula Deen
Paula’s Best Dishes

2. The smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. For example, I bake mini chocolate chip-toffee cookies at 500 degrees F for only 4 minutes. Perfect end result.
Jim Lahey
Co. and Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City

3. Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.
Rick Tramonto
Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood, Osteria di Tramonto and RT Lounge, Wheeling, IL

4. Use a coarse microplane to shave vegetables into salads or vinaigrettes. You can create an orange-fennel dressing by adding grated fennel and orange zest to a simple vinaigrette.
Paul Kahan
Avec, Big Star, Blackbird and The Publican, Chicago

5. Always make stock in a large quantity and freeze it in plastic bags. That way, when you want to make a nice soup or boil veggies, you can simply pull the bag out of the freezer.
Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago

6. If you’re cooking for someone important — whether it’s your boss or a date — never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time.
Marcus Samuelsson
Red Rooster, New York City

7. Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce.
Mario Batali
Iron Chef America

8. After making eggs sunny-side up, deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar, then drizzle the sauce on the eggs to add another dimension to the dish.
Didier Elena
New York City

9. After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.
Gerard Craft
Niche and Taste, St. Louis

10. Brine, baby, brine! Ya gotta brine that poultry to really give it the super flavor.
Guy Fieri
Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

11. Remember schmaltz? Your mom and grandmother probably used a lot of it in their home cooking. Schmaltz, or chicken fat, has a great flavor and richness it has a deeper flavor than duck fat and can be used on nearly everything. I also love poaching fish in it.
Tony Maws
Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA

12. If you find you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated.
Anita Lo
Annisa, New York City

13. When you deep-fry, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil’s surface for five seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pot or the other food.
Michael Psilakis
FishTag and Kefi, New York City

14. For rich, creamy dressings made healthy, substitute half the mayo with Greek-style yogurt.
Ellie Krieger
Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger

15. When chopping herbs, toss a little salt onto the cutting board it will keep the herbs from flying around.
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Joanne Chang
Flour Bakery & Cafe, Boston

16. To make a great sandwich, spread the mayonnaise from corner to corner on the bread. People rush this step and just do a swoosh down the middle. Every bite should be flavorful. Now that’s a sandwich!
Roy Choi
Kogi BBQ and A-Frame, Los Angeles

17. If you keep it simple and buy ingredients at farmers’ markets, the food can pretty much take care of itself. Do as little as possible to the food consider leaving out an ingredient and relying on instinct.
Tony Mantuano
Spiaggia, Chicago

18. Always season meat and fish evenly sprinkle salt and pepper as though it’s “snowing.” This will avoid clumping or ending up with too much seasoning in some areas and none in others.
Mary Dumont
Harvest, Cambridge, MA

19. For best results when you’re baking, leave butter and eggs at room temperature overnight.
Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa
Back to Basics

20. Homemade vinaigrettes have fewer ingredients and taste better than bottled ones. No need to whisk them: Just put all the ingredients in a sealed container and shake.
Bill Telepan
Telepan, New York City

21. For an easy weeknight meal, save and freeze leftover sauces from previous meals in ice cube trays. The cubes can be reheated in a sauté pan when you need a quick sauce.
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David Burke
David Burke Townhouse, New York City

22. When making meatballs or meatloaf, you need to know how the mixture tastes before you cook it. Make a little patty and fry it in a pan like a mini hamburger. Then you can taste it and adjust the seasoning.
Isaac Becker
112 Eatery, Minneapolis

23. Instead of placing a chicken on a roasting rack, cut thick slices of onion, put them in an oiled pan, then place the chicken on top. The onion will absorb the chicken juices. After roasting, let the chicken rest while you make a sauce with the onions by adding a little stock or water to the pan and cooking it for about 3 minutes on high heat.
Donald Link
Cochon and Herbsaint, New Orleans

24. Low and slow.
Pat Neely
Down Home with the Neelys

25. After cutting corn off the cob, use the back side of a knife (not the blade side) to scrape the cob again to extract the sweet milk left behind. This milk adds flavor and body to any corn dish.
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1. Lay the corn horizontally on a board, then cut off the kernels.
2. Run the back of your knife over the empty cob to extract the milk
Kerry Simon
Simon, Las Vegas

26. Acidity, salt and horseradish bring out full flavors in food.
Michael Symon
Iron Chef America

27. Take the time to actually read recipes through before you begin.
John Besh
Author of My New Orleans

28. Organize yourself. Write a prep list and break that list down into what may seem like ridiculously small parcels, like “grate cheese” and “grind pepper” and “pull out plates.” You will see that a “simple meal” actually has more than 40 steps. If even 10 of those steps require 10 minutes each and another 10 of those steps take 5 minutes each, you’re going to need two and a half hours of prep time. (And that doesn’t include phone calls, bathroom breaks and changing the radio station!) Write down the steps and then cross them off. It’s very satisfying!
Gabrielle Hamilton
Prune, New York City

29. Recipes are only a guideline, not the Bible. Feel comfortable replacing ingredients with similar ingredients that you like. If you like oregano but not thyme, use oregano.
Alex Seidel
Fruition, Denver

30. A braised or slow-roasted whole beef roast or pork shoulder can be made into several dishes and sandwiches all week.
Elizabeth Falkner
Corvo Bianco, New York City

31. Taste as you go!
Anne Burrell
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef

32. Anytime you are using raw onions in a salsa and you are not going to eat that salsa in the next 20 minutes or so, be sure to rinse the diced onions under cold running water first, then blot dry. This will rid them of sulfurous gas that can ruin fresh salsa. It’s really important in guacamole, too.
Mark Miller
Coyote Cafe, Santa Fe, NM

33. Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta: It will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta.
Missy Robbins
A Voce, New York City

34. For safety, put a wine cork on the tip of a knife before putting the knife in a drawer.
Giuseppe Tentori
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Boka Restaurant & Bar
Chicago

35. When you’re going to sauté garlic, slice it rather than mincing it — it’s less likely to burn that way.
Aarti Sequeira
Aarti Party

36. When you’re browning meat, you should blot the surface dry with a paper towel so the meat doesn’t release moisture when it hits the hot oil. Too much moisture makes the meat steam instead of sear, and you will lose that rich brown crust.
Charlie Palmer
Charlie Palmer Group

37. To cut pancetta or bacon into lardons, put in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will firm up the meat and make it easier to cut.
Chris Cosentino
Chefs vs. City

38. A cast-iron pan is a valuable kitchen ally. It offers an even cooking surface and is a breeze to clean.
Linton Hopkins
Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta

39. Smash garlic cloves inside a resealable plastic bag with the back of a knife. That way, your cutting board and knife won’t smell.
Laurent Tourondel
Brasserie Ruhlmann, New York City

40. To get nice, crispy caramelization on roasted vegetables, simulate the intense heat of an industrial oven: Bring your oven up as hot as it goes, then put an empty roasting or sheet pan inside for 10 to 15 minutes. Toss the vegetables — try carrots or Brussels sprouts — with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them on the hot pan. This method will give you the high heat you need to caramelize the sugars in the vegetables quickly.
Naomi Pomeroy
Beast, Portland, OR

41. Invest in a bottle of high-quality olive oil. Just a small drizzle can really bring out the flavor of pizza, mozzarella, pasta, fish and meat.
Nancy Silverton
Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

42. Marinating meat with citrus can give it a mealy texture. If you like citrus, a little squeeze of lemon or lime is always a good way to finish the dish instead.
Tim Love
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX

43. Add cheese rinds to vegetable or meat broths for another dimension of flavor.
Paul Virant
Vie, Western Springs, IL

44. When seasoning a salad, use coarse sea salt mixed with a little olive oil. It will stay crunchy when combined with the vinaigrette.
Paul Liebrandt
Corton, New York City

45. Always use sharp knives. Not only is it safer but it will make your work much more efficient.
April Bloomfield
The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory Oyster Bar, New York City

46. Rest, rest, rest! Always let your meat rest — especially off a hot grill!
Melissa d’Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners

47. Plunge vegetables in ice water after blanching (boiling) them so they maintain a bright color.
Maria Hines
Tilth, Seattle

48. Invest in parchment paper for lining pans. It makes all of your baked goods super easy to remove, and it makes cleanup a dream (no butter-flour mixture or errant batter to scrape off).
Matt Lewis
Baked, Brooklyn and Charleston, SC

49. My grandfather taught me this tip: After you drain pasta, while it’s still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan on top before tossing it with your sauce. This way, the sauce has something to stick to.
Giada De Laurentiis
Giada at Home

50. Don’t overcrowd the pan when you’re sautéing — it’ll make your food steam instead.
Ryan Poli
Perennial, Chicago

51. When you roast a whole chicken, the breast always overcooks and dries out because the legs have to cook longer. This is a really simple way to keep a chicken breast moist: Separate the breast and the leg. Season as you normally would and roast as you normally would, but remove the breast sooner than the leg.
Tim Cushman
O Ya, Boston

52. Buy fruit at its peak at a farmers’ market and freeze it in an airtight container so you can enjoy it year round.
Mindy Segal
Mindy’s HotChocolate, Chicago

53. Fresh basil keeps much better and longer at room temperature with the stems in water.
Elisabeth Prueitt
Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

54. Season all of your food from start to finish. Seasoning in stages brings the most out of your ingredients and gives you the most flavor.
Jose Garces
Iron Chef America

55. To cook a steak, I always start by cooking it on its side, where there is a rim of fat on its narrow edge. I render it down so there’s good, flavorful fat in the pan for the rest of the cooking.
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1. Choose a steak with a layer of fat on one side, such as ribeye or sirloin.
2. Put the steak fat-side down in a hot pan, holding it with tongs.
3. Once the fat is rendered, lay the steak flat in the pan and cook on both sides.
Alain Ducasse
Benoit, New York City

56. Taste what you make before you serve it. I’m amazed that people will follow a recipe but not taste the dish to see if it needs more salt, pepper or spices.
Brad Farmerie
Public and Saxon+Parole, New York City

57. Season fish simply and cook it with respect. The flavor of the fish is what you want. When it comes off the grill or out of the oven or pan, finish it with a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Always. There is just something about lemon and fish that is heavenly.
Rick Moonen
RM Seafood, Las Vegas

58. If you’re cooking cauliflower, add a bit of milk to the water with salt to keep the cauliflower bright white. Shock it in cold water to stop the cooking and then serve.
Michael White
Marea, Osteria Morini and Ai Fiori, New York City

59. When grinding your own beef for burgers, grind in some bacon.
Sean Brock
McCrady’s, Charleston, SC

60. Don’t go to the store with a shopping list. Go to the store, see what ingredients look good and then make your list.
Alex Guarnaschelli
Alex’s Day Off

61. When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they’ll mash to a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream more easily.
Wolfgang Puck
Spago, Los Angeles

62. If you want to make a proper Louisiana-style roux that’s chocolate in color and rich in flavor, remember slow and low is the way to go.
Emeril Lagasse
Fresh Food Fast

63. For better-tasting asparagus, cure the stalks: Peel them, roll in equal parts sugar and salt, and let them sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off and prepare as desired.
Shea Gallante
Ciano, New York City

64. When you grill, pull your steaks out of the refrigerator one hour ahead of time so they can come to room temperature.
Geoffrey Zakarian
The Lambs Club and The National, New York City

65. Always measure what you’re baking. No shortcuts in pastry: It’s a science.
Francois Payard
Francois Payard Bakery, New York City

66. When using fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley, add whole stems to salads and sandwiches, and chop and stir leaves into salsas and guacamole.
Aarón Sánchez
Chefs vs. City

67. If you don’t have time to brine your chicken, use this simple trick: Heavily salt the chicken (inside and out) about an hour before you cook it. Then pat it dry and roast. This ensures crispy skin and juicy meat.
David Myers
Comme Ça, Los Angeles and Las Vegas

68. When made properly, risotto’s richness comes from the starchy rice and the stock. As the risotto cooks, stir it with a wooden spoon in rhythmic movements that go across the bottom and around the sides of the pan. The rice should constantly be bubbling, drinking up the liquid as it cooks.
Suzanne Goin
Lucques and AOC, Los Angeles

69. Use a cake tester to test the doneness of fish, meat and vegetables. It’s my secret weapon — I use it in the kitchen to test everything.
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Daniel Humm
Eleven Madison Park, New York City

70. Serving cake:
1. Serve at room temperature.
2. Don’t “pre-slice” cake more than 20 minutes in advance. It dries out too quickly.
3. You don’t have to eat the fondant. It’s really pretty, but if you don’t want a mouthful of pure sugar, peel it off.
4. The best cake comes from Baltimore. Just sayin’.
Duff Goldman
Ace of Cakes

71. To optimize the juice you get from a lemon or lime, roll it hard under your palm for a minute before juicing. (Or — never say I told you this — microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds.)
Patricia Yeo
Lucky Duck, Boston

72. For perfect vegetable soup, start with diced carrots, onions, peppers and tomatoes sautéed in oil or butter before you add any liquid. This brings out the taste and caramelizes the sugars.
Shaun Hergatt
Juni, New York City

73. Have your mise en place ready: Do all of your cutting of vegetables and meat and make your sauces before you start cooking.
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Richard Sandoval
Zengo, multiple locations

74. Try smoked fleur de sel: Use it sparingly to finish a dish and bring another layer of flavor.
Michael Schwartz
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami

75. Clean as you go. (Dorky, but I swear it really helps.)
Rick Bayless
Frontera Grill, XOCO and Topolobampo, Chicago

76. Shoes off, music on, favorite beverage in hand — enjoy your time in the kitchen.
Claire Robinson
5 Ingredient Fix

77. Always buy the freshest garlic you can find the fresher it is, the sweeter it will be. The best garlic has firm tissue-like skin and should not be bruised, sprouted, soft or shriveled. If you find cloves that have green shoots, discard the shoots — they will only add bitterness.
Todd English
The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, New York City

78. Keep flavored vinegars near the stove so you won’t always reach for the salt. Acid enhances flavor.
Art Smith
Table Fifty-Two, Chicago Art and Soul, Washington, D.C.

79. Don’t be too hard on yourself — mistakes make some of the best recipes! Keep it simple.
Sunny Anderson
Cooking for Real

80. Fry eggs the Spanish way: Get a good quantity of olive oil hot. Before you add the egg, heat the spatula (if it’s metal) in the oil first. That way the egg won’t stick to it. Add the egg and fry it quickly, until it gets “puntillitas,” or slightly browned edges.
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1. Heat a metal spatula in a skillet with hot olive oil.
2. Fry the eggs until browned around the edges remove with the hot spatula.
José Andrés
Think Food Group

81. Prolong the lifespan of greens by wrapping them loosely in a damp paper towel and placing in a resealable plastic bag. That local arugula will last about four days longer.
Hugh Acheson
Five & Ten, Athens, GA

82. Want to know if your oil is hot enough for frying? Here’s a tip: Stick a wooden skewer or spoon in the oil. If bubbles form around the wood, then you are good to go.
Aaron McCargo, Jr.
Big Daddy’s House

83. When a recipe calls for zest, instead of grating it into a separate container or onto parchment paper, hold the zester over the mixing bowl and zest directly onto the butter or cream. The aromatic citrus oils that are sprayed into the bowl will give the dessert a zesty finish.
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Pichet Ong
Spot Dessert Bar, New York City

84. Use good oil when cooking. Smell and taste it: If it doesn’t taste good alone, it won’t taste good in your food.
Michelle Bernstein
Michy’s, Miami

85. Cook with other people who want to learn or who know how to cook.
Laurent Gras
New York City

86. Cook more often. Don’t study just cook.
Masaharu Morimoto
Iron Chef America

87. Make sure the handle of your sauté pan is turned away from you so you don’t hit it and knock it off the stove. It happens all the time.
Jonathan Waxman
Barbuto, New York City

88. Don’t dress the salad when having a big party. Leave it on the side and let the people do it themselves. I’ve had too many soggy salads because of this.
Marc Forgione
Iron Chef America

89. For crispy fish skin, rest the fish on paper towels skin-side down for a few minutes before cooking (the towels absorb moisture). Then sauté skin-side down over medium heat in oil and butter. Flip over for the last few minutes of cooking.
Govind Armstrong
8 oz. Burger Bar, Los Angeles and Miami

90. When cooking eggplant, I like to use the long, skinny, purple Japanese kind because you don’t have to salt it to pull out the bitter liquid like you do with the larger Italian variety.
Andrew Carmellini
Locanda Verde and The Dutch, New York City

91. Caramelize onions very quickly by cooking them in a dry nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. They will caramelize beautifully in a lot less time than with traditional methods.
Michael Mina
Bourbon Steak and Michael Mina restaurants, multiple locations

92. To help keep an onion together while dicing, do not remove the root.
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1. Slice off the pointy stem, then cut the onion in half through the root peel.
2. Put each half cut-side down make horizontal cuts parallel to the board.
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3. Make vertical cuts, starting close to the root end do not slice through the root.
4. Holding the root end, slice across the vertical cuts the diced onion will fall away.
Jean-Robert de Cavel
Jean-Robert’s Table, Cincinnati

93. Whenever you cook pasta, remove some of the pasta-cooking water (about 1/4 or 1/3 cup) just before draining. When you add the sauce of your choice to the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. This helps sauce to amalgamate the starch in the water adds body and a kind of creaminess. An old Italian friend of mine instructed me in this finishing touch early on, and I would never, ever leave it out. It makes all the difference.
Nigella Lawson
Nigella Kitchen

94. Making the best ceviche is simple: Use freshly squeezed lime juice and glistening fresh fish.
Douglas Rodriguez
Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia

95. When making caramel, use a nonstick pot. That way, when you pour the mixture out, there is no waste, and cleaning the pot is a breeze.
Jehangir Mehta
Mehtaphor and Graffiti, New York City

96. Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher or fishmonger to see the products up close and to smell for freshness. Fish should never smell fishy.
Eric Ripert
Le Bernardin, New York City

97. Always start with a smokin’ hot pan!
Cat Cora
Iron Chef America

98. When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions.
Norman Van Aken
Norman’s, Orlando, FL

99. My general advice to home cooks is that if you think you have added enough salt, double it.
Grant Achatz
Alinea and Aviary, Chicago

100. Reduce the heat of chiles by removing the seeds. My method is making four straight cuts down the sides. This will create four long slivers, and the cluster of seeds will remain in the center of the chile. The result will be less heat and more great flavor.
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1. Slice lengthwise along one side of the chile, keeping the stem and seedpod intact.
2. Turn the chile and slice off another side repeat to remove the other two sides.
3. Once you have removed all the flesh, discard the stem and seeds.
Dean Fearing
Fearing’s, Dallas


John Moeller

Culinary Arts Presentation

Book Signing

White House, White Harvest and Seafood Soiree

Event Date: 09.06.14

Join Waltz Vineyards & celebrate the beginning of their white grape harvest! Former White House Chef, John Moeller will prepare a gourmet menu that will pair unique seafood selections with Waltz award-winning White Wines. There is a good chance that we may be harvesting that day so you might just catch a glimpse of our crush up close. What a great way to end summer. Proposed menu is below. Items subject to change based on availability. Butlered Hors d' oeuvres: Local Gazpacho with Crabmeat, Tuna Tartare with Sesame on Lotus Root, Spiced Shrimp on Corn Tortillas with Black Bean Puree, Steamed Mussels with Lemon Grass and Coconut Milk, Shrimp Cocktail with Two Sauces, Crispy Soft Shell Crab with lemon Remoulade Sauce, Pan Seared Rock Fish with Leek and Crab Seafood Pasta Station with Calamari, Shrimp, Scallops and Clams Grilled Marinated Chicken with Pesto Arugula with Watermelon, Feta Cheese and Toasted Almonds with Balsamic Glaze Dressing Couscous and Quinoa Salad with Mint Tomatoes and Cucumbers Demi Local Corn on the Cob $75 per person Saturday September 6, 2014 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM To Register: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e9o1yn3b999df8f6&llr=vmgmnudab Or call: (717) 664-WINE (9463) Waltz Vineyards Estate Winery 1599 Old Line Road Manheim, PA 17545

White House Chef John Moeller featured at CrabFest!

Event Date: 10.10.14

White House Chef at CrabFest!!

We are excited to confirm that Chef John Moeller, author of the book - Dining at the White House—From the President’s Table to Yours, (http:// diningatthewhitehouse.com/) will be a featured guest chef at CrabFest, delivering talks and cooking demonstrations, as well as signing books on Saturday and Sunday. We have an amazing lineup this year so far with Seattle cookbook author and food writer Cynthia Nims Chef Bill Raninger, Corporate Executive Chef at Dukes Chowder House in Seattle Chef Garrett Schack of Vista 18 Victoria, Canada, and more to come. Check out our Chef’s Demo page for additional information.

White House Chef Program at Hershey Country Club

Event Date: 11.09.14

The Federated Women’s Club of Hershey will host former White House chef John Moeller at its Nov. 9 meeting at Hershey Country Club. Former White House chef John Moeller will speak about his experiences working for three first families. He will share stories on food, event planning and being at the White House on 9/11, as well as many other historical occasions. There will be a Q&A period and book signing. A cash bar and silent auction will be available. The event will raise funds the the Federated Women's Club of Hershey's scholarship fund. Tickets for the 3 p.m. event are $30 and can be purchased from any club member or by calling 717-566-1249 or 717-838-8402.

Cooking Live with White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 11.22.14

Come out to see Chef John Moeller prepare a dish fit for Presidents direct from his book Dining at the White House: From the President's Table to Yours. Learn first hand how to prepare this amazing dish: Herb Crusted Chicken with a White Wine Butter Sauce. Where: Cucina & Tavola 235 Grand St Brooklyn, NY Date: 11/22/14 Time: 2PM - 4PM For more information, call: (718) 963-3131

White House Chef to Visit Lock Haven, PA

Event Date: 11.23.14

Sand Piper Designs of Lock Haven will host former White House chef John Moeller on November 23, from 1-4 PM. The public will have an opportunity to meet Chef Moeller, hear first-hand about his experiences working in the White House serving three first families as well as pick up a signed copy of his book: Dining at the White House: From the President's Table to Yours.

Cooking Demonstration at Mount Vernon with Former White House Chef, John Moeller

Event Date: 12.14.14

Cooking Demonstration with Former White House Chef John Moeller at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Chef Moeller will providing a cooking demonstration, followed by a book signing of Dining at the White House, Gold Winner of the 2014 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. Chef John Moeller is a member of an elite corps of chefs, those who have served in the White House preparing très soigné cuisine for Presidents, First Families, and their guests, including visiting Heads of State. Chef to three First Families, including President George H.W. Bush, President William Jefferson Clinton, and President George W. Bush. Chef Moeller joined the White House kitchen in 1992 as sous chef to Pierre Chambrin and later to Walter Scheib, eventually becoming White House Chef in 2005. Over the course of his career in the White House, he focused on creating unique, one-of-a-kind dishes that relied on fresh and flavorful ingredients.

White House Chef to Address Local Rotary Club

Event Date: 02.10.15

Former White House Chef John Moeller scheduled to appear at local Rotary Club in Mount Joy, PA. Tuesday February 10 at 12:15 PM The Gathering Place 6 Pine Street Mount Joy PA, 17552 Phone: (717) 653-5911

From the President’s Table: Dinner featuring White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 02.17.15

Former White House Chef John Moeller will be treating club members to a White House dinner on February 17 at 6:30 PM. Tuesday, February 17 6:30 PM $135.00 per person Ocean Reef Club 35 Ocean Reef Dr Key Largo, Florida Menu: Coconut Crusted Pompano Light Red Curry Lemongrass Sauce Baby Spinach, Black Beans and local Tomatoes

Double cut Lamb Chops with Mustard and Tarragon Yukon Gold Puree with Parsnips and Leeks Haricot Vert with Corn and Wild Mushrooms

Arugula and Local Greens with Orange segments and Radish Lancaster County Ripen Goat Cheese Citrus Vinaigrette

Warm Flourless Chocolate Torte Raspberry Sauce and Fresh Fruit Almond Tuile

Cooking Class by White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 02.18.15

From the President's Table to Yours: Cooking Class with White House Chef John Moeller This class will showcase a treasure-trove of behind-the-scenes stories, not just of cooking, but of all things related to what it's like living in the White House plus a delicious menu straight from the White House. Wednesday February 18 9AM - 12PM Menu: Soup of Hearts of Palm with Chimichurri and Stone Crab Fine Herb Crusted Lion Fish with Winter Squash Risotto and Baby Artichoke Barigoule and Saffron Beurre Bland Warm Flourless Chocolate Torete with Raspberry Sauce $95.00 per person. Ocean Reef Club 35 Ocean Reef Dr Key Largo, Florida

Bridge of Hope Luncheon Features White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 03.21.15

Bridge of Hope Garden Luncheon On March 21, former White House Chef John Moeller will share stories from his extraordinary journey serving at the White House, along with stories and pictures shared in his book “Dining at the White House- From the President’s Table to Yours.” For more information, please call 610-380-1360 x 107 or http://lancasterchester.bridgeofhopeinc.org/news/garden-luncheon-2015-save-the-date/ Saturday, March 21, 2015 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM Formal luncheon at 11:30 The Desmond Great Valley Hotel One Liberty Blvd. Malvern, PA

A Night of Sweet & Savory

Event Date: 03.25.15

A Night of Sweet & Savory. Join these two wonderful chefs as our Chocolate Champions Team to raise awareness and funds for the The The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Central PA. Chef Barbie Marshall and Chef John Moeller will lend their talents at our event "A Night of Sweet & Savory". Contact Tracy Artus Miesse Candies by calling 717-392-6011 to purchase tickets! March 25, 2015 $100 per ticket 1263 Wheatland Ave. Lancaster, PA 17602 Contact Tracy Artus for Tickets: 717-392-6011

White House Chef John Moeller Headlining Florida Expo

Event Date: 03.28.15

White House Chef to Host Benefit Dinner for Hospice of Palm Beach County

Event Date: 04.18.15

John Moeller served as chef to three U.S. presidents. Enjoy an intimate evening of White House anecdotes and cooking demonstration, featuring a dinner from his latest cookbook, Dining at the Whitehouse - From the President's Table to Yours. The evening includes a three-course meal and book signing. (Dining at the Whitehouse - From the President's Table to Yourswas voted Best Cookbook of 2014 by the Independent Book Publishers Association and also received the honor of Best Celebrity Memoir of 2014 from the Independent Publisher's Book Awards.) The Event will be held in the Demo Kitchen at: Hugh’s Catering | 4351 NE 12 Terrace | Oakland Park, FL 33334 Register: http://hpbcf.org/Events/Broward-Whitehouse#

Dine Like a First Lady Luncheon

Event Date: 05.01.15

Hayes Presidential Center Hosts Former White House Chef John Moeller at the Catawba Island Club May 1 and 2

You don’t have to be elected President of the United States to enjoy a meal worthy of a Commander In Chief. Simply make reservations to attend one of two fundraisers benefiting Fremont’s Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. In partnership with the Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, the Hayes Presidential Center hosts former White House Chef John Moeller on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. Moeller was chef to Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. He not only will prepare meals that include food favorites of those presidents, but also will share details of his fascinating career with attendees of both events. Seating is limited to 125 for the Dine Like a First Lady Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 1. The three-course luncheon costs $50 per person. Advance reservations are required. Only 100 seats are available for the Dine Like a President Dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. May 2. This five-course feast features wine pairings from Rodney Strong Vineyards, selected 2013 American Winery of the Year by “Wine Enthusiast.” After dinner, Chef Moeller speaks on the topic Cooking for the President. Cost for the dinner is $125 per person. Seating is limited to 100 advance reservations required. Both events take place in the elegant lakeside dining room of the Catawba Island Club. For reservations call Hayes Presidential Center Development Director Kathy Boukissen at 419-332-2081, ext. 226. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center - site of the nation’s FIRST presidential library – celebrates its 100 th anniversary in 2016!

Dine Like a President Dinner

Event Date: 05.02.15

Hayes Presidential Center Hosts Former White House Chef John Moeller at the Catawba Island Club May 1 and 2

You don’t have to be elected President of the United States to enjoy a meal worthy of a Commander In Chief. Simply make reservations to attend one of two fundraisers benefiting Fremont’s Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.In partnership with the Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, the Hayes Presidential Center hosts former White House Chef John Moeller on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. Moeller was chef to Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. He not only will prepare meals that include food favorites of those presidents, but also will share details of his fascinating career with attendees of both events. Seating is limited to 125 for the Dine Like a First Lady Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 1. The three-course luncheon costs $50 per person. Advance reservations are required. Only 100 seats are available for the Dine Like a President Dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. May 2. This five-course feast features wine pairings from Rodney Strong Vineyards, selected 2013 American Winery of the Year by “Wine Enthusiast.” After dinner, Chef Moeller speaks on the topic Cooking for the President. Cost for the dinner is $125 per person. Seating is limited to 100 advance reservations required. Both events take place in the elegant lakeside dining room of the Catawba Island Club. For reservations call Hayes Presidential Center Development Director Kathy Boukissen at 419-332-2081, ext. 226. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center - site of the nation’s FIRST presidential library – celebrates its 100 th anniversary in 2016!

Dine Like a President at Garfield Center

Event Date: 08.27.15

Former White House Chef John Moeller comes to Mentor Harbor Yachting Club for a unique experience, "Dine Like a President", to benefit 'The Friends of Garfield Presidential Center' on Thursday, August 27, 2015 $125 per person ($50 tax deductible) also includes 1 year membership in The Friends of Garfield Presidential Center

Sharing the Bread-Farm to Table Dinner by White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 08.29.15

On August 29, experience Sharing the Bread. This farm-to-table community event will be nothing like you've experienced before. Meander the pathways and footbridges throughout the breathtaking grounds of 18th century Bear Mill Estate while sipping wine and indulging in the culinary creations of Chef Mitch Arment. Listen for the cast iron dinner bells urging guests to gather for the community meal prepared by former White House Chef, John Moeller. Enjoy chilled gazpacho, crisp salad greens, a succulent braised roast and pork tenderloin garnished with fresh roasted vegetables gathered from local sources. Vegetarian plate optional. Decadent cheesecakes, grilled homegrown peaches, zesty lemon bars and rich chocolates grace the dessert tables and provide ample energy to do battle on the bidding floor. A live auction will be held over the dessert hour and include items such as a beach house trip, a fishing excursion on the Chesapeake, a hand-crafted rug, hot air balloon rides, a private luncheon with an award-winning author and more. These items will also be available for online bidding up until the day before the event day. Proceeds support the Ephrata Public Library whose mission is to provide free access to information, educational and enhancement of the community. ABOUT THE CHEFS Chef John Moeller--former chef to the White House from 1992-2005. Currently, he is the owner of State of Affairs Catering. http://www.stateofaffairscatering.com Chef Mitch Arment--former chef/pastry chef at Arment's Restaurant. Currently, Mitch serves as New Product Development Manager at Giorgio Foods, Inc. ABOUT BEAR MILL ESTATE Kerry Kegerise, proprietor of Bear Mill Estate, has a passion for beautiful things. His dream of owning a wedding and event venue came to life in 2014 when construction began to transform the 18th century property into a beautifully landscaped and impeccably renovated locale. Guests experience the sound of rushing water, original brownstone walls and an iron turn wheel still in its place. http://www.bearmillestate.com/ ABOUT THE THEME From July 30-August 25, Ephrata Public Library hosts the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibition, “Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?” Audiences will view the latest human origins research and ponder how these discoveries relate to our personal understanding of the world and our place in it. What makes us uniquely human? One aspect of our “humanness” is the ancient tradition of food sharing. Humans have gathered around the fire and table for millennia breaking bread and socializing. Food is not consumed merely for sustenance, but to share our blessings and enrich our lives. Find out more about Exploring Human Origins at http://www.ephratapubliclibrary.libguides.com/humanorigins FAQs Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event? 21 and older only, please. Dress should be business casual. No denim, please. What are my transport/parking options getting to the event? Valet parking only. This is covered in the ticket purchase price. Where can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Joy Ashley, Ephrata Public Library Director of Development, at 717-738-9291 ext 103. Thank you to our Sponsors!

White House Chef Book Signing

Event Date: 10.07.15

Come hear former White House Chef John Moeller recant his most memorable moments from his 13-year tenure at the White House. He served President George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush and their families.

High Tea with White House Chef John Moeller

Event Date: 10.18.15

31 JULY

Celebrating her deep understanding of the history of this beautiful part of the country, the morning will feature a presentation with Historian Jane Nardy at 11AM titled &ldquoTales of Cashiers Valley.&rdquo

At noon, Amanda Wilbanks , owner of Southern Baked Pie Company , will discuss the entrepreneurial spirit behind the founding of her charming pie business while offering delicious samples. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase the signature pies.


At 2 PM, attendees will sip Whispering Angel while listening to a design panel discussion led by Jeffrey Dungan , Kirk Moore , and Bradley Odom . Following the panel discussion, guests will enjoy an afternoon cocktail reception featuring rosé courtesy of Whispering Angel and appetizers provided by Chef Linton Hopkins and Gina Hopkins of Atlanta-based Resurgens restaurants.

The day will begin at 10AM with Chief Randy Dillard of the Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department discussing the history of Cashiers alongside the famous Cashiers fire truck. To truly get the full experience, attendees can try on fire-fighting gear as they listen to the fascinating history of the valley.

During the afternoon, guests will enjoy a D-I-Y elderberry tea demo at 2PM followed by a book signing with Mary Palmer Dargan, RLA of her latest book, Timeless Landscape Design . Southern Baked Pie Company will also be serving their signature butter crust pies to accompany the elderberry tea.

The Bascom Center for Visual Arts&rsquo Director of Ceramics, Frank Vickery, will lead a hand thrown ceramics demonstration at 11 AM alongside The Bascom&rsquos day-long pop-up shop hosted by retail expert, Katherine Ford .


The afternoon features a &ldquoLadies & Gents&rdquo craft cocktail hour and demonstration beginning at 2 PM with Asheville-based mixologist, Lexie Harvey of Cordial & Craft . Cocktails will utilize spirits sponsored by Atlanta-based ASW Distillery.


Watch the video: Feb 24th, 2018 Concert Conversation, Norman Huynh and Christa Wessel (November 2021).