Pick Cook Keep: Chef Biographies

Chef Jennifer Booker

Chef Jennifer Booker
Your Resident Gourmet

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker is not only a culinary Educator, but a personal chef as well. She is the executive chef and owner of Your Resident Gourmet, LLC, a personal chef and catering company. Your Resident Gourmet LLC specializes in bringing fine dining to its clients in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Chef Booker is the author of the upcoming cookbook “Goin’ Down South: A Chef’s Journey Home”; an ode to her agrarian heritage. Chef Jennifer provides culinary therapy for The Cottages on Mountain Creek, a private stabilization residence for those living with mental illness. She has partnered with Hard Rock Café-Atlanta as their Celebrity Chef of the Hard Rock Café Culinary Series and is a Culinary Expert for Williams-Sonoma.


Chris Hall

Chef Chris Hall
Local Three

Chris is both chef and managing partner at Local Three, which is why he has the least hair of the three partners. A self-taught cook, Chris has worked in kitchens from Philadelphia’s Le Bec Fin to Atlanta’s Canoe and 4th & Swift. His culinary style is completely unrestricted and might often be characterized as simple while at the same time a bit irreverent, and always with respect for tradition and method - however you describe it, the net results illustrate imaginative combinations of ingredients, technique and exceptional flavors.

Chris grew up around the corner from Local Three on Peachtree Battle Avenue and thus really is a local. He now lives in Smyrna with his wife Julie, who you’ll see in the restaurant frequently. An avid Georgia Tech fan, Hall considers home game Saturdays religious ceremonies. You have been warned………


Linton Hopkins

Chef Linton Hopkins
Holeman & Finch Public House

Linton Hopkins is an internationally celebrated chef with deep Atlanta roots. After graduating from Emory University and the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY, Hopkins honed his skills at restaurants in New Orleans and Washington, DC. It was in DC that Hopkins met his wife Gina. The pair moved back to Hopkins’ hometown to open Restaurant Eugene on Peachtree Road in 2004 and quickly caught the attention of media and food lovers throughout the country with their unique vision of hospitality and community-driven cuisine.

Hopkins opened Restaurant Eugene’s sister establishments Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bread Co. in 2008, followed by a service-focused retail wine and spirits shop, H&F Bottle Shop, in 2011. In 2009, Hopkins was crowned one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs, and after several James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef – Southeast, Chef Hopkins took home the prize in 2012. His latest endeavors include 3 H&F Burger outposts in Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, and Eugene Kitchen, a proprietary food and beverage development company that will make available to retailers and foodservice operators many of the from scratch pantry products that have made his restaurants so distinctive.

Hopkins is especially committed to celebrating the rich bounty of Georgia farms through his meticulous and loving house-made preparations of natural meats and fresh, local produce. He helped found the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market, and is a member of Georgia Organics chef’s advisory committee, the Atlanta Local Foods Initiative, and Food & Wine Magazine’s Grow for Good campaign. Hopkins served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Southern Foodways Alliance during 2012 and was awarded the honor of harvesting vegetables at the White House Garden with Michelle Obama, DC School children and the White House Chef to celebrate the First Lady’s Chef’s Move to Schools Initiative. He remains insistent that making mayonnaise from scratch, and teaching others to do the same, can change the world.

Hopkins is also a co-host of Feed Radio, a bi-monthly AM radio show broadcast on Atlanta airwaves and available online for free download. The show is an ongoing conversation of the techniques, personalities and experiences that have helped to shape his career, alongside the music that inspires him. Past guests of the show have included Joe Truex, Paul Calvert and Kevin Young.


chef Ahmad Nourzad

Chef Ahmad Nourzad
Affairs to Remember Caterers

Affairs to Remember Caterers’ Executive Chef, Ahmad Nourzad, is responsible for research and development of new food ideas for the company’s product line, sourcing and purchasing, food preparation logistics planning for off-site events, and training and managing all kitchen staff. Chef Nourzad is a hands-on chef who can sometimes be seen working on the line. His love of the kitchen and cooking began at an early age in Tehran, Iran, where he was born. Chef Nourzad came to Atlanta by way of Vienna, Austria, and Austin, Texas, where he worked in various positions in the food industry. He has 25 years of experience in all aspects of a working kitchen.

His knowledge of global cuisine is eclipsed only by his passion for environmental stewardship. Chef Nourzad was using both sides of paper sheets and recycling long before it was considered ‘cool’. His dedication to sustainability helped propel Affairs into taking initiatives that turn refuse into resources. Any leftover foods are donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank and monthly, 14 tons of materials (the equivalent weight of four Toyota Priuses!) are diverted from landfills through our Legacy Green sustainability program.

Chef Nourzad is responsible for executing some of Georgia’s most exclusive events, including the opening of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s new International Terminal, the Fernbank Timeless Signature Benefit Gala, and the Buckhead Business Association’s Annual Luncheon and many others.


chef david snyder

Chef David Snyder
Halyards Restaurant

For 28 years, Chef David Snyder has worked in the restaurant industry. After working in kitchens throughout high school and college, he attended and graduated from the New England Culinary Institute before working in New York City under talented chefs for five years. After working as an executive chef in Atlanta, he moved to St. Simons as the executive chef of J Mac's for 4 years. Halyards opened in 2000 and Tramici opened in 2007.

Through the Halyard Restaurant Group, Chef Snyder buys, sells, and promotes Georgia Grown products in their restaurants and with their guests. He showcase local oils, cheeses, vegetables, and seafood on television shows, websites, and on their menus. He also passionately promotes Georgia Seafood by meeting with U.S. Senators and the South Atlantic Fishermen's Association about national fishing regulations.

He is the Co-Chair for the College of Coastal Georgia’s Culinary/Hospitality Advisory Committee, serves on the Committee of the Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits Festival, won a silver medal at the ACF Chefs of the Low Country/US Foods Food Show, 2008, category F3, is an active member of the American Culinary Federation, won First Place and a Gold Medal at the ACF Winterfest Competition in St. Augustine Florida in January 2007 in the Signature dish category, and cooked at the James Beard House in New York City in March of 2006 with the Historic Hotels of America.


Chef Hilary White
The Hil at Serenbe

Farm to table is more than just a catch phrase for Executive Chef Hilary White of The Hil at Serenbe. She lives that ethos daily, having specially selected her restaurant’s location for the proximity to the farm at Serenbe and the community’s collective commitment to sustainability.

Chef Hilary grew up in rural Shelby, Ohio, near expansive farms with an abundance of fresh produce and wholesome ingredients, which has greatly influenced her ideas about the dishes she creates. After traveling extensively throughout the United States, Caribbean, Central and South America — via land and in working with a cruise-line — she was drawn to the creativity and artistry of being a chef. Pursuing only the best, she graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1995.

Hilary began her culinary career at Atlanta’s prestigious Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, in the popular and elegant 103 West restaurant. During her 13 years there, she became the company’s first female executive chef. She opened her namesake restaurant, The Hil, in 2007, with her husband, Jim, and her mother, Sandy Pitsch, at her side. She is part of a unique partnership with Serenbe Farm, spending time tending the farm and growing produce, which serves to further her connection to the Earth and to her community.

Chef Hilary’s talent has been widely recognized, having garnered attention in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, The New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing and many others. She is an active member of the internationally respected Les Dames d’Escoffier, Southern Foodways Alliance and Georgia Grown. She also lends her time supporting important non-profits such as Share Our Strength and Wholesome Wave. Chef Hilary loves mentoring younger chefs, so she participates in the Culinary Institute of America’s extern leadership program, providing an educational environment in her kitchen.

In her spare time, she likes nothing better than to spend the day with her husband, exploring the open roads of Georgia (and beyond) on her Harley-Davidson motorcycle.