Linda Hopkins' Perfect Food Day

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Linda Hopkins has been a Phoenix culinary mainstay for more than 20 years. She's best known for starting the Valley's first and longest running children's only cooking school called Les Petite Gourmettes. The name is a nod to her love of all things French. Each summer, Hopkins helps  kids from ages 8 to 18 spend 4-5 day weeks by getting their hands dirty and their minds filled with the technique and love of food and cooking. She got her education at culinary schools in France, San Francisco and New York. You can find her exuberant posts and many recipes on the Les Petite Gourmette's blog and twitter (@LHop1027). Her recipes have been included in several cookbooks, including Cooking with Les Dames d'Escoffier: At Home with the Women Who Shape the Way We Eat and Drink -- she's also a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, the invite only club for female culinary professionals. Today we've invited her to share her perfect food day.

Here's Linda Hopkins' perfect food day:

To make my Perfect Food Day work, I would need to be able to apparate from one place to another, à la Harry Potter. And we will also assume that apparating in this manner burns off all calories consumed and all feelings of a full stomach. For it to be a truly Perfect Food Day I would also need to be able to partake in these meals with my favorite people, so here we go...

Pre-breakfast stop: Essence Bakery Café for a croissant and to pick up a huge box of Eugenia Theodosopoulos' heavenly macarons, at least a dozen of each luscious flavor, to sustain me and my dining partners throughout the day.

Breakfast: I would travel to Flagstaff to enjoy a leisurely brunch at Criollo Latin Kitchen with my son, Connor. We would indulge in the Huevos Español; Two Poached Eggs with Jamón Serrano on a toasted English Muffin topped with a spicy Hollandaise and served with Home Fries. And wash it down with a Bloody Mary.

Lunch: Connor and I would meet up with my husband, Dave, and all my girlfriends and their kids and share huge portions of Brussels Sprout Salad from Chelsea's Kitchen, the perfect Braised Leeks from FnB, and a stack of Housemade Mozzarella, Local Tomato, and Basil Sandwiches from Pane Bianco.

Happy Hour Part 1: We'd leave my husband and the kids to their own devices and the girls and I would travel to San Francisco and meet up with my daughter, Marissa, at the lovely Gitane Restaurant and drown ourselves in Gitane's fruity sangria and devour platters full of their Bacon Bonbons; Prunes stuffed with Goat Cheese, wrapped in Smoked Bacon, swimming in a Spiced Port Glaze. Oh my!

Happy Hour Part 2: Next I'd pick up Connor and we'd all grab our significant others and head to Florence, Italy to revisit a place that my family has been dreaming about since May 2008! Ballerini Pasticceria il Cioccolato is just around the corner from all the car rental agencies, near the train station in Florence. It is a chocolate shop that also has breakfast pastries and a focaccia counter in the back. The focaccia is like no other. It is a double-crusted or filled focaccia and the top crust is delightfully thin, crispy, and salty. The Margarita, Spinach and Feta Stuffed, and the Sausage and White Cheese are what we enjoyed all those years ago, but I just have to go back and try all the varieties they offer!

Happy Hour Part 3: Back in Arizona, we would go to Elote Café in Sedona and indulge in the namesake Elote appetizer; fire roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime, and cotija cheese, served with crisp corn tortillas. Chef Jeff Smedstad recently taught a class at Les Gourmettes and served the most wonderful "fall and winter" De Lujo (Luxury) Margarita. Even if it's not on the menu, we'd have to request several pitchers for the table.

Dinner: No question about it. We would be at Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek, order the 6-course tasting menu, with wine paring, and delight with awe at each and every one of the multiple amuse-bouche and courses that Chef Kevin Binkley placed in front of us! If frog's legs are in season, that would be the Pièce de résistance to my Perfect Food Day!

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.