My love for food is hereditary… it is in my blood. My memories of family holidays are not referenced by what we did together, my memories are all about the food we prepared… all of my family’s conversations are either about past, present or future meals. My mother read me cookbooks every night at bedtime while other kids dozed off to fairy tales. The Hendricks family is a bunch of “foodies.” How many families can sit and discuss the merits of extra virgin olive oil over aged olive oil and consider that stimulating conversation? We do. I always knew that food would be a part of my life but it was my grandfather, Dominic DePalintino, who inspired me to make my living in the restaurant business. I spent my childhood summers in Florida with my grandfather sitting on a prep table in the Pelican Yatch Club kitchen. My grandfather was the GM of both the Key Largo Anglers Club and the Pelican Yatch Club. Watching him run a dining room of 300 seats and 30 employees from the expo window was like watching Superman scale a building. He tasted every dish and touched every raw product wearing a white suite and pink tie the entire time. When I was a child my father was transferred to London, England and my culinary journey began. The Hendricks family spent years eating their way across Europe. My professional culinary career started when I was 13 at a pub in London’s West End called the Monkey Puzzle. I would spend my weekends and afternoons baking bread and learning the kitchen with the Governor and Chef, Peter Lewis. He would roast the most beautiful wild mushrooms and English bacon with rosemary, thyme, and butter. Spending my teen years working in restaurants made for some dodgy high school grades, but I was learning to cook and that was all I cared about. Before moving back to the States, I played at culinary classes in Europe. I quickly realized that culinary school was fun but a real education was in the kitchen of a restaurant from a chef who understands and loves food. When I was 18, we moved back to the Atlanta area. I immediately took a job at the Brooklyn Café working the pantry grill, fry, and then the sauteé. After I soaked up all I could from Ernie Deblase, the Executive Chef, I moved to Seattle. In Seattle, I started the next phase of my restaurant training. I trained in both the back of the house and front of the house where I learned financial responsibility in the restaurant. My time in Seattle was spent working at some of the best restaurants in the city, and I really started understanding that the origin of food impacted its flavor as much as its preparation. Ironically, after earning my culinary chops from London to Atlanta to Seattle to Houston and back to Atlanta, I returned to the Brooklyn cafe as the Director of Operations and Operating Partner for it's multiple locations. In my travels and education, I have held positions from dishwasher to the Director Of Operations for a 22 restaurant chain and everything in between. The Butcher and Bottle is me living my dream! I am building the restaurant I have always wanted with my best friend and family. I am living my dream and spending every minute of everyday doing what I love with the people I love.
John has culinary blood running through his veins. He is of Korean descent and uses his heritage in his everyday cooking methodology. Having worked for celebrity chefs including Hugh Achenson, John has learned the fine art of cooking from the best. Among other things, John enjoys hiking on his off time and has two sons.