“At home, I see him as Dad. When people call him ‘Chef’ it’s so strange to see him as Chef Linton Hopkins.”
Linton Hopkins Jr. is sitting in the corner booth at Restaurant Eugene, discussing what it’s like to be the son of one of Atlanta’s preeminent chefs and restaurateurs. The 18-year-old has grown up watching his father and mother, Gina, build a restaurant empire. Besides their flagship Restaurant Eugene, there is Holeman & Finch, H&F Burger, Hop’s Chicken, Holeman & Finch Bottle Shop and forthcoming steakhouse C. Ellet’s at The Battery adjacent to SunTrust Park.
And now, Junior, as he is often referred to, is about to follow in his father’s footsteps in pursuit of a culinary career. This fall, the recent graduate of The New School will head north to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the same prestigious culinary school that his father attended in the early 1990s.
Junior said he knew early in life that he wanted to be a chef. “I was about 8 years old when I decided this is going to be the path I am taking. There was never a moment in my mind I wasn’t going to do this,” he said.
Even when his father tried to talk him out of it. “He steered me away from it. He was like, ‘You can be a lot lazier and make a lot more money by not being in the kitchen.’”