Empire State South said goodbye Friday night to its head chef of five years Joshua Hopkins. The rather sudden announcement of his departure was made on the restaurant’s Instagram and Facebook pages late Friday afternoon.
Hopkins took over the Empire State South kitchen following the departure of chef Ryan Smith, now of Staplehouse fame. Hopkins has worked previously in the kitchens of White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails in downtown Atlanta, shuttered STG Trattoria on West Paces Ferry, and chef Anne Quatrano’s Bacchanalia and Abattoir (rip) in Westside where chef Ford Fry’s Marcel is presently located.
Empire State South owner chef Hugh Acheson provided the following statement,
“After five great years, Josh has decided to move on to another unannounced project. I am beyond thankful for his time here at ESS and for his friendship. He put in many, many dedicated hours with the team here and to making ESS what it is today. We are all sad to see Josh depart, but I am very much looking forward to seeing what he does next.
“In looking ahead, however, we are also very excited to announce that chef Adam Waller [formerly Bar Americano which closed over the weekend, Bocado] will be taking up the helm as the executive chef here at Empire State South. Adam has been in the Atlanta scene cooking wonderful and dynamic food for some years now, and I am looking forward to having his expertise and skill under the roof at ESS.”
Sources tell Eater Atlanta Hopkins will lead the kitchen at the forthcoming Italian restaurant Adalina on Northside Parkway in Buckhead.
Friday, April 27: The story has been updated to reflect the addition of Bacchanalia to the list of Hopkins’ kitchen credentials.
Saturday April 28: The story has been updated with the statement from Hugh Acheson.