ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and FOOD & WINE today announce 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.
"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 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 Chef 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."
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.
"Through collaborations like this, we find innovative approaches to deliver a unique onboard experience for our customers," said Tim Mapes, Delta's senior vice president — Marketing. "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.
Delta continues to expand its team of culinary experts and is evolving its in-flight food and beverage approach to offer menus that complement regional tastes.
Earlier this year, Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein's menus 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.
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.
About FOOD & WINE
FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what's new in food, drink, travel, style & entertaining. Founded by American Express Publishing, the luxury-lifestyle experts, FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Foursquare. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine; digital editions on the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook Color; a books division; a website, foodandwine.com; plus newsletters, clubs, events around the globe and a restaurant partnership, Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 312 destinations in 56 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta and Facebook.com/delta.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines