Just in time for Thanksgiving, Linton Hopkins shares a look around his kitchen. Enjoy the pictures and read on to find out what the Holeman & Finch and Restaurant Eugene chef and his wife Gina cook in the house as well as what their plans for Thanksgiving are.
Who cooks at home?
All four of us do. I feel like I cook more at home than I do in the restaurants, because there, I have help. At home, I'm doing all the prep, all the washing, all the cutting, all the cleaning and all the cooking— the whole deal— and so is the family, so it's like we're an entire restaurant. Part of that led to how we came up with the kitchen's design, which makes it easy to execute.
What do you normally cook?
It really depends. We belong to two CSAs, so lots of vegetables. We pretty much use everything. We use the grill out back, we use all the burners and griddles and ovens. Last night, it was grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on the griddle. Last week, it was things like roast chicken on potatoes and cooking down greens with tomato gravy. When we entertain, too— Gina just threw a surprise birthday party for me where a buddy of mine came up from New Orleans and made gumbo. All of that stuff, even making a bowl of cereal efficiently or making coffee.
What's on your menu for Thanksgiving?
We've got a lot of stuff. We're having twenty people over, the family, so we're doing a fried turkey, and we're going to do a classic country ham, boiled and lacquered. We've got sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallows, we've got dirty rice, a few types of dressing— we're doing an oyster dressing because my cousin loves that and then we just do a normal sausage dressing. We've got gravy, cranberries, a bunch of pies, macaroni and cheese.
Do you have a favorite part of your kitchen?
You know, it's funny: I love how easy it is to throw trash away and separate our compost and our recycling. That's just one of those non-glamorous things that makes your life easier. If you're looking at cooking equipment, I'm a cast-iron skillet guy. I love our Jenn-Air range because it has big, thick grates that just aren't going to break with all that cast-iron use.
What about a favorite appliance?
One of the things that I love about our kitchen is having a large oven and a small oven. Small oven can hold pans for keeping things warm. I love our little wine cellar, it's a tiny little thing that holds wines at the right temperature, white and red. I'm not used to drinking red wines at a good cellar temperature, and I think that's a valuable thing. We've got this big table, that's where homework is done, we sit there and eat our dinner and breakfast. That's really a total, useful table. Of course, that table becomes a buffet, when we did that birthday party, that's where the gumbo was and people came up and served themselves. Versatility is the key thing that that kitchen offers. There's a lot of counter space, we like how clean everything is. We spend so much time in that room.
The history behind it is that I used to work for Jenn-Air, I did some videos and things about how to cook and used Jenn-Air equipment, and they sent me all that equipment. So it prompted us to change our kitchen. It was great, but of course, you definitely end up spending money— you save on the equipment but you end up spending about the same as you normally would. But it's great. The kitchen is such a central part of the house. Gina and I think about family, and it really is one of the most important rooms in a house because it brings everyone together.