Richard E. Hopkins, FCSI, CFSP, LEED Green Associate

Senior Vice President
Director of Design
A.A., 1975, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY

Having decided early in life to pursue food service, Richard Hopkins worked as a dishwasher, cook, expediter, and waiter. While he awaited admission to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA), he studied food service management at a local college and became a celebrated young chef at PW’s Saloon in Washington, D.C. A patron–reporter featured him in his Washington Star column. At the CIA, Richard challenged instructors with his claim that slow-cooked meat increased its yield and enhanced its flavor. Surprised chefs adopted Hopkins’s method, and soon slow-cooking equipment emerged. After graduation, Executive Chef Hopkins returned to his former employer in time to help design and open three wildly successful boutique restaurants. Richard’s functions were to plan menus, develop and standardized recipes, lay out the kitchens, select the equipment, and train the kitchen staff.

Subsequently, Richard collaborated with Lynn to develop concepts for their own restaurant ventures: the Great Dane, the Mark Twain, and Pizzazz. Insufficient funds, however, led the creative and ambitious couple to start a consultancy instead, and for Richard to accept an invitation from his mentor, Albert Kumin. The world-renowned Kumin asked Richard to assist him as needed in his new role as Head Pastry Chef in the Jimmy Carter White House.

Richard Hopkins soon was accepted as a professional member of the Foodservice Consultant’s Society International and earned certification through the then-new North American Food Equipment Manufacturers’ qualifying program. He cofounded the Foodservice Industry Council to improve the construction process for food service facilities and brought together manufacturers’ representatives, dealers, service agents, and other designers, who together developed five construction guidelines still included in most of HOPKINS’ specifications today.

Now, with more than 1,000 food service design projects behind him, Richard Hopkins is known as a leader in the food service design industry. His commitment to sustainability in design is clearly demonstrated in his program, “Greening Food Service: The Point and Beyond,” which he developed to show architects how to plan the most environmentally friendly kitchens.