Chef Katie Hopkins is our Head Chef at Kappa Kappa Gamma, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Born and raised in Tallahassee with die hard FSU fans for parents, Chef Katie has always been a Seminole at heart & was a member of the Marching Chiefs. She was drawn in by the big city lights of Atlanta after her first year of college and moved there for a new adventure, working in the restaurant industry whilst attending Georgia State. After five years of being in Atlanta Katie fell in love with an Englishman and moved to the UK.
Katie says, she was never really sure what she wanted to do for a career, just that she wanted to be her own boss. She dabbled in real estate in Atlanta, business administration her first couple of years in England but somehow always found her way back to food in between jobs.
In 2002 she started her own business from home selling sandwiches & baked goods to local offices. As there was a clear room for growth, Katie's’ husband, Antony, left his job to join the business which was then expanded to serve a greater area and began catering for office functions & private parties. In 2005 they opened a coffee & sandwich bar within the UK's largest independent toy store, Dominoes Toys. As the market grew over the years so did the business, eventually expanding to more than treble its original size. What was once a little coffee shop on the second floor of a toy store is now an independent kitchen, bar & venue called The Cookie on the Leicester city High Street. Of course owning her own business afforded Katie the opportunity to take on many roles such as bookkeeper, primary cook, staff manager but most importantly for her “it always came back to quality of the food and customer service”.
Katies’ first memories of cooking were with her mom as a kid, baking Christmas cookies and preparing treats for Tupperware parties or family gatherings. As she moved out into the world, starting with Atlanta for five years then moving to the vastly multicultural city of Leicester for sixteen years with easy access to travel around Europe, Katie was able to experience new and exciting cultures and foods which she would then try to incorporate into her own style of cooking. Although Katie is not a “fussy food” chef, she loves big flavours such as Indian or Mediterranean foods and loves to cook for a crowd!
As her step children in England grew up and moved out on their own, Katie and her husband Antony decided it was time to return to the states to be closer to her side of the family. She returned to her home town of Tallahassee and found the lifestyle and ethos of College Chefs to fit perfectly with what she was looking for. She now enjoys running a kitchen again, cooking for a crowd (of 180 ladies!), the challenge of creating a new menu every day and experimenting with new foods whilst still being able to enjoy plenty of time off with her family, friends and traveling!
Check out some of Chef Katie's AMAZING food pictures below!