Monday, November 14, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake (But Not That Often)

When Chef Hopkins isn’t busy blazing trails on the Atlanta food scene, fighting for our good food culture, or planting a school garden, you might find him in the aisles of a farmer’s market or grocery store with his family.  Chef is as dedicated to making sure his family eats well as he is to pleasing the palettes of diners at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman &  Finch Public House. You can read a little more about his passion for serving good food at home in Fanae Aaron’s new book, What Chefs Feed Their Kids.

In these pages, readers will find a number of delicious dishes to prepare for themselves and their children, as well as the guiding philosophies employed by some of the country’s best chefs as they make decisions for their restaurants and their families.

“Food is family,” Chef Hopkins declares. Just as his own sense of what’s delicious and fitting for the table was cultivated by his mother, Priscilla Holeman Hopkins and grandfather, Eugene Holeman - names that may seem familiar – Chef Hopkins hopes to pass food values along to his children. One way he accomplishes this by giving the children input into family meals. “When we go to the farmer’s market…we’ll give them some money and they’ll pick some things.”

Preparing a meal together – from the sourcing of ingredients to setting the table to cleaning up afterward – is an educational tool and a way to bond. Living a diverse food life is what Chef suggests to build a child’s palette and celebrate both cooking and eating. His methods appear to be wearing off. His youngest has already created something called a Cobbydo sauce, a combination of soy and Worcestershire sauces with mustard mayonnaise added for a bit of spice.

Here is just one of Chef’s family friendly recipes to be found in the book:

Savory Waffles

2 cups waffle and pancake mix (Chef Linton makes his from scratch, but you can use your favorite brand)

2 eggs

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup grated Gruyere or similar cheese

1.    Preheat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit and place a waiting plate to warm inside. Heat a waffle maker until a flick of water beads and bounces around on the device's surface.

2.    Prepare the waffle mix, adding eggs, milk, oil, salt, and pepper, and mix until just combined, adding more milk if the mix is too thick. It should be the consistency of pudding. Then fold in the cheeses.

3.    Lightly butter the waffle maker and spoon judicious dollops of the mix onto the center of the hot waffle iron and spread just a bit. The mix will spread when the lid closes and expand as it cooks, so adding too much will be a bit messy as it bubbles out the sides.

4.    As the waffles finish, use a fork to lift them off and put them in the oven to stay warm while the rest are made. Waffles are best served warm. Freeze any leftover waffles to enjoy later.

Chef also recommends modifying the batter to incorporate seasonal herbs and spices, and folding in your favorite local meats and vegetables to make something of a waffle sandwich.  

Look for a copy of the book at A Capella, our bookselling partner in Little Five Points (

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