Chef Linton Hopkins winner of “Cabin Pressure Cook-Off,” new Delta chef

By BA Staff

Delta Air Lines and FOOD & WINE managzine announced that Chef Linton Hopkins is the winner of the “The Cabin Pressure Cook-Off,” a culinary competition to find the next Delta chef.

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

Joanne Smith, Delta’s senior vice president — In-Flight Service said:

“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. 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 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.

Chef Hopkins said:

“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. 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.”

Chef Hopkins’ inflight menus will be reflective of the menus in his Atlanta restaurants, which are filled with artisan foods of the American South. Chef Hopkins’ BusinessElite menus will feature bread from his H&F Bread Co. and source 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. 

Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president – Marketing said:

“Through collaborations like this, we find innovative approaches to deliver a unique onboard experience for our customers. Our partnership with the culinary experts at FOOD & WINE magazine has been a perfect pairing.”

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.

Earlier this year, Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein’s menus were launched on flights to Latin America, including a special menu for flights to Mexico City. California-based chef Michael Chiarello continues to develop menus for Delta’s transcontinental BusinessElite service between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Those menus are paired with California-grown wines selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as part of the Delta Winemaker Series. Additionally, Chef Chiarello designed new menus with an Asian flair for Delta’s West Coast flights to Japan.

This September, Delta launched a new West Coast Delta Shuttle service with hourly flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco which will include snacks from California-based Lyfe Kitchen.

In February, express meals from Blue Smoke — a part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group — will debut in BusinessElite on Delta’s three daily flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and London-Heathrow.

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