Ask any Italian worth his weight in pecorino what makes a great chef and he’ll respond that it takes love, passion, and family. Growing up in a large Italian household, Hopson developed a reverence for cooking early in life which he now brings to his debut restaurant, The Bellwether.
After earning his Le Cordon Bleu diploma from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2005, Hopson found himself working as Executive Sous Chef at Water Grill and became an integral part of the development of its Michelin Star-winning menu. With more than 16 years of experience in the kitchens of various LA notables – Water Grill, Eveleigh, Father’s Office and Lukshon – Hopson honed his ability to infuse dishes with soul and maintained his mantra of honoring each ingredient. His untiring passion for food and the connections it creates translates directly into his presentation of each dish at The Bellwether.
Ann-Marie Verdi’s career in bar management comes as no surprise to her friends and family. Growing up in her father’s liquor store with a family full of restaurant business veterans, she developed an affinity for creating and sharing an exceptional bar experience.
Over the years, Verdi has held every position from hostess and expeditor to both bar and general manager, gaining much of her training on the job during stints at The Holly Bush Pub in London and Father’s Office in Santa Monica and Culver City. Her fondness for premium brews, wines, and cocktails developed while working at each bar and restaurant, which led her to create the classically influenced cocktail program at her debut restaurant, The Bellwether.