As Linton Hopkins prepares to open H&F Burger and Hop’s Chicken in Ponce City Market next month, he’s also been making some changes at his flagship Restaurant Eugene. Brian Jones, formerly chef de cuisine, is now executive chef. Meanwhile, Linton and Jason Paolini, as culinary director, will together oversee the various restaurants within the Resurgens Hospitality group, namely Holeman and Finch Public House (led by Chris Edwards) and The Café at Linton’s in the Atlanta Botanical Garden (led by Nick McCormick).
Jones has led the kitchen at Restaurant Eugene for two years and will continue to work with farmers and producers, write menus, and cook nightly. “It’s important to me that we maintain exactly what we do now,” he says, noting that no drastic changes are planned. “We get the product in and focus on classic techniques..”
He says he’s going to continue to highlight produce. “We have to really get creative and broaden our perspective of what you can do with these local products. You can take an eggplant and prepare it six or seven different ways and present it on a plate. You can really feel that soulful cooking and understand the seasons.”
The beverage program at Restaurant Eugene has also undergone a staffing change. Bartenders have been replaced with a four-person sommelier team, led by Cate Hatch and Juan Cortes, who will suggest wines and, now, shake the cocktails. The additional staffing is an effort to strengthen the restaurant’s wine service, which often was busier than the bar. Bradford Tolleson, the previous lead bartender, has since moved on to Venkman’s.