You know when someone is passionate about what they do. They tend to have a lightness about them and exude a joyful enthusiasm that is contagious. Hannah Hopkins is that effervescent entrepreneur. She is the Chef/Owner and Operations Manager of both Bésame and Mambo Italiano restaurants in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had the opportunity to meet with Hannah recently to discuss her success in Steamboat Springs. Her story is a serendipitous one.
You can call her an east coast foodie gone west. She began her career in New York building her namesake Hopkins Catering Company and then launching her first restaurant, Dish, in Mahopac, New York. Her reputation and talent as a chef grew landing her a spot on season three of the Food Network’s show Chopped and achieving a dedicated following of restaurant patrons. It was her husband however that serendipitously brought her talents to the Colorado mountain town of Steamboat Springs.
While Hannah was attending to her labor’s of love her husband was dreaming of a life settled in the mountains. He began investigating the Western mountain job market and happened upon an opportunity in Steamboat Springs where he forwarded Hannah’s resume. It was received with much interest and the rest is history.
Hopkins sold her companies and arrived in Steamboat Springs with her family in 2011 taking on the Executive Chef position at Mambo, a fabulous regional Italian restaurant that she proudly improved upon, later becoming co-owner and Operating Partner in 2015. Hannah then co-founded her third restaurant Bésame, a few blocks down on Lincoln Avenue.
Bésame’s was a delicious addition to a thriving Steamboat restaurant scene. The sophisticated yet casual atmosphere imparts a warm Latin evening under the stars ambiance which is further complimented with fabulous cocktail selections and a menu filled with Latino flavor bombs. It is an establishment where Hannah has been able to fully share her love of food, wine, art, and music.
We discussed achieving success, and she summed it up with what one of her old bosses told her, “you’re only as good as the people around you”. She is aware that much of her success is her own doing but also realizes that it is the people she has surrounded herself with, the most talented people she can find, that compliment her accomplishments.
People have certainly noticed. The James Beard Foundation chose to host Hannah Hopkins and Bésame Executive Chef Joseph Campbell at the James Beard Foundation on September 26, 2019 in New York City. With the spotlight on Latin Fusion as the theme of the evening, the James Beard House turned the spotlight on Bésame where Chef Joseph Campbell and restaurateur Hannah Hopkins prepared an exotic locale five-course meal for the
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. There they will bring the mountains to the city and present their creative culinary talents, a deep honor and tribute to Hannah and Joseph’s success as chefs.
It is an opportunity that this talented chef, Hannah Hopkins, is extremely proud of and we were excited for her to take her talents to this honorable institution. Be sure to experience her restaurants while visiting the mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado:
818 Lincoln Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Mambo Steamboat: www.mambos.com
521 Lincoln Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
by Holly Resignolo – HollyGoSpritely.com
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