October 29 2013  |  Catering

Linton Hopkins wins Delta's "Cabin Pressure Cook-Off"

By Rick Lundstrom

Chef Linton Hopkins is the winner of the “The Cabin Pressure Cook-Off” culinary competition to find the next Delta Air Lines chef, sponsored by the airline and Food & Wine magazine.

Hopkins will join the Delta culinary team to consult on BusinessElite menus for flights between Atlanta and Europe beginning in February. 

Hopkins' inflight menus will follow the formula of his Atlanta restaurants, that rely on artisan foods of the American South. His BusinessElite menus will feature bread from his H&F Bread Company. Hopkins sources many ingredients from local suppliers including Belle chevre, regional cheeses from Blackberry Farm, Carolina Gold rice and grits, local charcuterie and pork, mountain trout, seasonal fruits and vegetables, Sweet Grass dairy and Wild American Shrimp

"Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs are some of the hardest working, most talented in the business, and we knew this competition would ultimately deliver delectable food to our customers," said Joanne Smith, Delta's senior vice president — In-Flight Service. "Chef Hopkins is a perfect addition to the Delta culinary team, which is already filled with some of the most well-known and respected names in the culinary business."

Chef Hopkins, of Restaurant Eugene and the Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta, competed against three former Food & Wine Best New Chefs winners in a video series launched earlier this month, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs awards.

"I am humbled and thankful to have won this opportunity to represent the values of excellence and quality which define both Delta and Food & Wine," said Hopkins. "I am looking forward to getting in to the kitchen with the Delta team to come up with menus that reflect both who I am as chef and the foods of our region."

Delta and Food & Wine devised three challenges for the chefs: transforming their signature dish into an in-flight appetizer; devising an entree that would withstand the onboard meal requirements of being cooked, chilled, and then, reheated; and making a variety of signature desserts.

Chef Hopkins was victorious in all three challenges and will join Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group and Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as part of Delta's culinary team.

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