Chef Michael Ruggiero, Executive chef at Glenarbor Golf Club | Chef's GArden Provision box - recipes x Three
Kale, Sea Salt, and Olive Oil Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Chef Note: Recipe is for one serving; you can expand it for more.
Ingredients: from The Chef's Garden provision box.
Other Ingredients for your shopping list.
Wash and season 2-3 Jerusalem Artichokes with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
Put the artichokes onto a baking tray and cook in a preheated 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes. When cooked, remove from oven and cut each artichoke in half.
Wash the kale leaves and then pick the stems off.
In an artisan bowl, toss the kale leaves with the roasted Jerusalem artichokes.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of aged Balsamic vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top.
Arugula, Roasted Beets, and Micro Flowers
Chef Note: Recipe is for one serving, but you can increase the amounts to your needs.
Ingredients: from the Chef's Garden Provision Box
Ingredients: for your shopping list.
Arugula, Roasted Beets, and Micro Flowers
Wash the beets and toss with Olive oil and Sea Salt.
Place into a half hotel pan or similar baking dish.
Add 4-6 ounces of orange juice to the pan and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 35-40 minutes. When beets are done peel them with a paper towel by gently rubbing the skin off while still hot to warm.
On a plate slice and quarter the beets as you like,
Place a handful of Arugula over the beets, and frame the plate with some of the micro flowers.
Drizzle some Orange Agrumato or your favorite dressing over the dish.
Chef Note: The preparations may seem simple, but that’s because the intense flavors of these quality ingredients stand out and should be celebrated, not masked in any way!
Ricotta Filled Squash Blossoms Francese, with Pickled Petite Cucumbers
Chef Note: Make pickled petite cumumber 1-2 days ahead.
Ingredients: from the Chef's Garden Provision Box
Ingredients: for your shopping list
Petite Pickled Cucumbers (make 1-2 days in advance)
In a glass bowl or pickle jar, combine the hot water, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, sugar, garlic cloves, lemon zest and juice and demi cukes.
Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours till cucumbers soften.
Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
In a blender add the Honey, Vinegar, Lemon zest and juice, and Dijon Mustard.
On a high speed drizzle in the Blended Oil in a slow and steady stream until the dressing thickens and emulsifies.
Add the water to thin to the perfect dressing consistency.
Remove from blender and fold in chiffonade mint.
Ricotta Filled Squash Blossoms Francese
Mix the Parmesan, Ricotta, Salt and Pepper in a bowl and scoop into a piping bag.
Cut a small opening in plastic piping bag and fill about 2 tablespoos of filling into the squash blossom.When complete place the squash blossoms in scrambled egg mixture.
Heat a saute pan, add 1 ounce of olive oil and when translucent add the egg battered squash blossoms and saute for 1-2 minutes each side until egg is cooked.
Remove to a paper towel.
When all ingredients are ready, lay 2 squash blossoms onto each plate.
Then add 2-3 pickled petite cucumbers in a triangle around blossoms.
Cut the tips off the baby romaine and place a handful on the plate. Drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of lemon mint vinaigrette over the greens.
Thankyou for supporting Farmer Lee Jones and the Chef's Garden during these challenging times.
The Murray River forms part of the 3,750 km (2,330 mi) long combined Murray–Darling river system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland.
Murray River Salt: From a Humble Beginning to a Sustainable Future...
Murray River Salt brings a storied history from the “Land Down Under”. Long before online shopping, camels were used to transport groceries in Outback Australia, including salt needed for meat preservation. These camels would travel up to 25 miles from the salt lakes, trading salt up and down the Murray River.
Explorers in Australia in the early 1800’s noted that certain springs in the Outback tasted like brine. Later as more irrigation along the river took place, the orchards desperately needed pure fresh water from the Murray River. To fix the salinity problem, the Government Water Authorities intercept the salt from underground aquifers by pumping and transferring the brine to a salt mitigation site.
Murray River Salt obtained a mining license to utilize these brines and more than a century later, salt from those lakes is more popular than ever, thanks to one family!
Formerly a gypsum miner, Duncan Thomson and his wife Jan started the company SunSalt in 1983, about 44 miles south of Mildura to produce a mineral salt. They first supplied mineral salt blocks for cattle. As the food movement began to blossom, consumers were looking for alternatives to everything, even salt.
With the significant knowledge and expertise gained in extracting value-added salts from brine, the couple started Murray River Salt nearly two decades later. They took on a mining lease at another site to produce both white and gourmet salt, using brine from the Murray River Darling Basin aquifers.
They now utilize the mineral rich waters, which creates a lovely color and taste that people not only love but it helps the environment as well. The process diverts approximately 200 tons of salt per day and stops it entering the Murray River – a water system vital for the environment, agriculture and human consumption.
The salt is then redissolved in the mineral rich aquifer brine which is then heated to create the famous pink colored salt flakes. At dusk, the lakes take on a dreamlike hue as pink and violet shades scatter across the sky. It’s these same colors on the packaging of a product that has become a household name: Murray River Salt.
From its texture, color and taste, there is no other salt around the world like it! Consumers who use Murray River Salt, say the difference is the volume, because it is a very light delicate flake, and less than half the weight of other salts, it is 2/3 less sodium by volume. Murray River Salt also offers a positive impact on the body from the magnesium, calcium and other natural minerals.
Duncan and Jan did not envision that this product would become such an iconic brand from such humble beginnings. In the initial stages, the Thomson’s would work all week at the salt business in Mildura and then jump in their car on Friday night, drive to Melbourne where they set up a stand at the Collingwood Farmers Market to sell their salt and tell their story.
Murray River Salt has gone on to win many awards and has become a staple of chefs including Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong. Master Chef has also filmed an episode at the salt harvest site. Murray River Salt is kosher certified, sustainable and 100% free from contamination! To learn more about Murray River Salt in the USA, visit www.murrayriversaltusa.com
Blake Burgard, Executive Chef at The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, New York, USA
Recipe right: Duo of Duck
I met Blake Burgard through his colleague and friend Michael Ruggiero, who had previously worked at The Tuxedo Club as the Executive Chef. Blake traveled to Golf Kitchen Punta Mita in Mexico to play golf and cook alongside Ruggerio in April of 2019 and then cooked at the Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards at GlenArbor Golf Club in August of 2019. He has an excellent manner, and with his roots being from New Orleans, Chicago and Westchester, he has undoubtedly refined his culinary talents. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: When did you decide you were interested in cooking?
I am originally from New Orleans, and I have always been interested in cooking. Everyone in my family is an excellent cook! My mom and both of my grandmothers were great cooks. Gloria, who babysat for my family for two generations, was also a great cook. In New Orleans, food is such a big part of the culture. If you were a dinner guest at someone’s house, you always brought a dish along, and we would all talk about our recipes.
When I was younger, my father used to have to take clients out to lunch regularly. When I wasn’t in school, I was lucky enough to get brought along on quite a few business lunches at some very nice restaurants. This opened my eyes to high-end dining.
I have worked in a restaurant/kitchen of some shape or form since I was 15 years of age. I started as a busboy in a local neighborhood restaurant and moved into the kitchen and have been in a kitchen ever since.
I went to school in New Orleans and after high school, I did a brief stint at Louisiana State University (LSU), then attended the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA. When I was there, I did an internship in Chicago for Edward Leonard CMC and wound up getting along so well with him that he offered me a job when I finished college. When Ed sold the restaurant, he took the job at Westchester Country Club and took me with him.
GK: How long were you at Westchester Country Club?
I worked at Westchester Country Club for five years. My time there was an invaluable learning experience. Chef Ed and the team (Michael Ruggiero, Matthew Roche, Jose Tavarez, Jonathan Moosemiller, Michael Pillarella, and Victor Zarate) were a great crew to work with and to learn from.
When my friend and colleague Michael Ruggiero left, I followed him to The Orienta Beach Club as his sous chef and then stayed there for about four years. I went to a sous chef position at the Field Club of Greenwich in Connecticut, and I enjoyed working there, it was a small but active membership, mainly tennis and racquets focused. Chef Mark LeMoult and the team were a pleasure to work with.
Michael had moved to Louisiana for a season, and when he returned, he took the position at The Tuxedo Club and asked me if I would consider joining him as he needed help with staffing issues and other things. I came on board as the golf clubhouse chef. I worked in that position for about a year and a half, and when Michael was promoted to the Culinary Director position, I became the Executive Chef. Michael left after a year and took the reigns at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York, that’s two and a half years ago now!
GK: Tell us about The Tuxedo Club kitchens?
This club is exciting. We have the main production kitchen where we do all of our banquets, weddings, and big member events. The pool kitchen is our quick service casual operation, and the golf kitchen is where we do the majority of our a la carte dinners. The golf kitchen is open six days a week, lunch and dinner, and we do breakfast on the weekends, and it is open from April-November.
One thing that proves to be a challenge here is the location of the kitchens. They are spread around the property. The golf clubhouse is almost a ten-minute drive from the main clubhouse. That makes logistics of moving products and people to where they need to be a bit of a challenge at times. I have a core staff of 9-10, but during the season, my staff goes up to about 30. My banquet/pastry chef Mauro Cantatore is an integral part of what we do.
At the main clubhouse we change the menus each week throughout the entire season. This gives my team a chance to be creative each and every week as we continue to exceed our membership and committee’s demanding expectations.
The menus at the pool and the golf clubhouse, are changed every month and weekly in the main clubhouse. We do keep member favorites like salads and burgers, we have to, and they have high expectations with the quality.
GK: Tell us about your garden?
We started the garden two and a half years ago, and it is producing well. We are expanding this year and adding two more beds at the main clubhouse and also a new herb garden at the golf clubhouse. We are working on getting some beehives installed, but there are bears here and many town regulations with electric fences; bears love honey, and we are trying to figure that out. We are trying to work out how we can put the hives up on the roof of one of the buildings so that way we don’t need an electric fence. Recently we started an indoor hydroponic garden, and this will be utilized to produce herbs, microgreens, and flowers.
We produce our charcuterie, salamis, deli meats, pastrami, and sausages in house. We cure all kinds of things and its always fun. Right now, what I like doing the most is working with the smaller farms in the Hudson Valley. We get cool products weekly, and it’s ever-changing. I have to change the menu often, and I get many product lists from these farms and some of the stuff, I don’t even know what it is!! This is exciting for me as I get to work with new products often. It is fun and a challenge for everyone here.
GK: Tell us about your Shore dinners?
Every Friday, during the summer, we have Shore dinner. The “appetizer” portion of the meal is served buffet style, and we have composed salads, salad bar, raw bar, and action stations. Then entrees are served a la carte followed by a dessert/pastry buffet.
GK: How long is your season here?
We are open almost 11 months out of the year as our members like to come in for lunch or dinner even in the offseason. We close for five weeks in January.
- Pool Kitchen open from May-September
- Golf Kitchen open from April-November
GK: Tell us about the reservoir.
People can boat on Tuxedo lake, but the boats must be electrically powered. We have a boathouse, and many members store their boats here. The lake is stocked with several varieties of trout; we split the costs with the village. A lot of people come here to fish, and the club owns some boats that are available for rent. We have a full-time boat master who is also a fishing captain. He is very knowledgeable and helps people out when they want to go fishing.
GK: You have every type of racquet sports here. Tell us about that?
Yes, it’s a big operation and during the summer and we have solid tennis and racquet sports programs here, and players come to compete from all over the world.
The Golf Clubhouse at The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, New York, USA
Image courtesy The Tuxedo Club
Zona Vinegars are available exclusively at Khayyan Specialty Foods
Wine vinegar, the least regarded and unappreciated derivative of exquisite table wines is taking the lead in a series of dishes and coming to the front of top bars. Once considered bad wine it is shining as a culinary condiment on its own. Considered the poor man’s juice it is now considered rich, robust and flavorful used in culinary programs and mixologist themed drinks.
Vinegar is essential to brighten the flavor of dishes or used as a base for a sweet-tart salad dressing. As vinegar can give meals that delicious acidity and flare, did you know that it can also provide bar drinks a distinct personality?
Vinegar and alcohol may seem like an unlikely pair; however, mixing the two dates back hundreds of years. Derived from the Arabic word sharab which means “to drink,” shrubs are cocktails made by mixing vinegar syrup with spirits or carbonated water. But while shrubs have been around for hundreds of years, it was only in the last decade that they started trending in bars in North America and Europe. The acidity of vinegar makes a great alternative to bitters in cocktails.
Shrubs also refer to the sweetened vinegar-based syrup used in the cocktails. And in many cases, shrubs are merely known as “drinking vinegars.” Shrub syrups are created by reducing fruit, sugar (or honey), vinegar, and water usually as 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 ratio and slightly reduce under moderate heat. Once cooked and reduced strain and you have a tangy, fruity syrup that’s perfect for mixing with carbonated water, tonic, and or gin, vodka.
No two vinegars are the same, and even within types, flavors will vary wildly. Vinegars, like citrus, are the acidic counterpart to a base of oils and fats. Their tart pungency acts as a foil to the heavier notes to create a balanced complexity of flavor. The acid will deliver an overall freshness that elevates flavors.
Shrub Recipes You Will Love.
Here are some great shrub recipes you can try at home. Add them to gin or vodka for a fun alcoholic drink. They’re surprisingly easy to make, and you only need 1 oz of shrub syrup to bring a tang to your drink! But if you want a fruity yet tart mocktail instead, add these shrub syrups to a glass filled with ice and club soda. Children find these non alcoholic healthy alternative drinks fun as well.
Blueberry Balsamic Shrub (title image)
Mix the berries and sugar thoroughly in a large bowl with 1 cup of water bring to a simmer.
Add mint and 50 Year Balsamic Pedro Ximenez Wine Vinegar let it cool strain into a glass jar.
Refrigerate and serve.
Cherry White Balsamic Shrub
Mash up the cherries and sugar to create a lumpy paste add water and bring to a simmer.
Stir in Fino 12 Year Aged White Balsamic Vinegar, add vanilla bean and cover the mixture and let it steep in the fridge once cool for at least one day.
When ready to use, strain the syrup into a jar.
Cherry White Balsamic Scrub
Rhubarb Aged Moscatel Shrub (image below)
Make a syrup by combining the sweet ingredient with water in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Let it cook until the syrup has become the color of the fruit, and the fruit looks very soft and cooked down. Stir in the 15 Year Moscatel Wine Vinegar and bring the mixture just to a simmer again. Strain the mixture into a jar, let cool and keep it in the refrigerator.
Simple and Ready to Serve
To serve, fill a tall glass with ice, pour a splash of the shrub and top it with seltzer water or a shot of alcohol – gin, whiskey or vodka.
Experiment and Make Your Shrubs
Shrubs are made with fresh fruit, vinegar, sugar, water and leafy spices thus allowing freedom to experiment with your favorite fruits and vinegar that are probably already in your kitchen. When it comes to fruit, it’s best to stick with whatever is sweet, ripe and in season.
There are also no strict rules when it comes to what type of vinegar to use; however, you should look for something that has an acidity level of no less than 5%; otherwise the flavor will be weak. You will find that white vinegar has a sharp taste while apple cider vinegar is fruitier and milder. Balsamic vinegar pairs nicely with berries while wine vinegar such as a Moscatel is a bit more superior in character with a bold oak flavor.
*Zona Vinegars are available exclusively at Khayyan Specialty Foods
Rhubarb Aged Moscatel Shrub
Recipe by Jonathan Hancock, Executive Chef at Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Chef Note: yields 16 six ounce links or 32 three ounce links, you will have some left over)
Carrots and Turnips
Chef Note: Make ahead of time.
Dice the pork shoulder into 1 ½ inch chunks and toss with all of the spices. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Grind through a fine die on your meat grinder, then stuff in to the casings twisting in to 3 ounce (or 6 ounce) links as you go. Let the sausages air dry overnight in the cooler uncovered.
The next day smoke at 160 °F for 1 hour or until an internal temperature of 145 °F then cool completely.
Add the Porkchops to the brine and refrigerate overnight. The next day remove the chops from the brine, pat dry, and vacuum seal. Set a sous vide water bath up to 142 °F and cook for two hours, remove from the bath and chill.
Slice the leeks and garlic and gently sweat in a pan with oil, being careful not to develop color, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to reduce until almost completely dry then add 1 ½ cups of the heavy cream. Bring back to a dull simmer and allow to cook until slightly thickened then add ½ pound of the blanched English peas and cook for one more minute. Transfer the contents to a high speed blender with 1 Tablespoon of butter and blend until completely smooth, season to taste with salt. Reserve warm.
Peel and small dice the potatoes, place in a small pot, and cover with water. Simmer gently until potatoes are tender, drain, then pass through a food mill. Vigorously whisk in the remaining ½ cup of cream, 4 Tablespoons of butter, and season to taste with salt. Reserve warm.
Carrots and Turnips
Peel and wash the carrots and the Turnips. On a meat slicer slice each carrot in to 1/8in strips, stackin the slices on top of each other for each carrot, repeat with the turnips. Take each stack and roll in to a cylinder and secure with butchers twine. Cook over medium heat in a saute pan with butter and thyme, basting frequently until lightly caramelized and just cooked. Remove the vegetables from the pan and let drain on paper towels.
Place the sausages in a pan in a 400 °F oven until just warmed through, about 7 minutes.
While the sausages are cooking remove the porkchops from the bags and sear in a hot pan with oil until you have caramelization on each side and they are just warmed through.
Heat the peas and sugar snaps in one cup of water with 3 Tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt to warm.
Make a small circle of pea puree in the center of each plate.
Cut each pork chop in to two pieces and place on top of the puree.
Make a small dollop of the potatoes towards the bottom of the plate and place the sausage on top.
Place one each carrot spiral and one each turnip spiral just above where you put the sausage.
With a slotted spoon, spoon the peas and sugar snaps liberally around the plate, garnish with the pea tendrils and sweet alyssum.
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2018
Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Image courtesy Richland Country Club.
Left: Christopher Park, Executive Chef at Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Wellington, Florida, USA
Right: Pumpkin Swordfish with Strawberry and Mango Vinaigrette and Wilted Arugula
I was introduced to Christopher Park, by Rob Martin, the General Manager, who contacted me via LinkedIn to tell me about their extensive renovations. He was very passionate about them, and when the renovations were complete, I was delighted to meet and work with Rob, Christopher, and their passionate and enthusiastic team. I was particularly impressed by the member/staff communications policy. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Tell us a little about your background history.
I am originally from Texas, but moved to Palm Beach County, Florida, when I was five years old. I went to high school here, and two weeks after graduating, I went right to the Florida Culinary Institute. At age 16, during high school, I started working in a restaurant for a Marriott Hotel in the area. I quickly went from washing dishes to working the fry station, and I fell in love with it. I signed up for culinary school in my sophomore year of high school. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a chef. When I graduated, I worked at The Breakers in Palm Beach, which was a Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond resort. I started as a cook and quickly got involved with everything. After six months, I became a Saucier Chef.
After 9/11, everyone stopped traveling, hotels and resorts became like ghost towns and had to lay off a lot of staff. I went to work for a private club as a Restaurant Chef for a little while, and then an a la carte restaurant. My mentor at the time, Warren Lee, said, “you have learned this, and now it’s time to move to a high-volume restaurant to learn more speed and mass volume.” From there I helped open a new restaurant, Bimini Twist. I worked my way to Sous Chef by the time I was 20, and then I knew it was time to move onto something more challenging.
A friend of mine told me that a position was open at BallenIsles Country Club as a Restaurant Chef. I went for an interview, was asked to do a tasting, and that’s where I met Michael McCarthy, who was the General Manager at the time. I got the position and began working with Chef Jerome Nicholas. I was promoted to Executive Sous Chef after a year and stayed for five years. When Jerome went to Ibis Golf and Country Club, he asked me to join him and I worked as his Executive Sous Chef for ten years.
GK: What brought you to Wycliffe?
It was 2017, and I was waiting for the right opportunity as an Executive Chef. I interviewed at many locations but couldn’t find the right fit until I met Rob Martin, the General Manager. I liked the vision and the direction that Wycliffe wanted to go in. I thought it was a perfect opportunity as they were renovating the entire clubhouse, kitchen, and dining facilities. Just the thought of being a part of such an evolution excited me.
GK: Tell us about the transition?
It was an interesting one! When I came in, they had rough ideas of what they wanted to do. The entire program had to be redone including kitchens, dining rooms, and space allocations. I got involved with all these plans and layouts as I wanted to make sure everything would flow.
GK: How did the membership feel about the plans?
The membership was excited about what the future could be, and it was nice to work for them. We had all these drawings to help them visualize the end result and there was communication throughout the entire process.
GK: You have an open-door policy here for members and staff, tell us about that.
I have always encouraged my staff and members to share feedback with me. We have a select group of members that sit on a committee and we meet monthly to get feedback, good or bad, from the rest of the membership. It helps us immensely. I was told a long time ago when I started this business, I’m not cooking for myself, I am cooking for the members and their guests. I encourage my team to get out there to learn what the members want and listen to what they have to say. We have over 1,900 members. I know I can’t cater to every single one of them with every single dish, but I do have a policy that if they give me notice, I will do my best to help them in any way I can. If they have a special request and give me 24 hours, I’ll make it happen.
GK: Tell us how you balance simple foods, buffets, banquets, and fine dining.
Many times, members want simple food when they get off the golf course or tennis courts. They want a quick bite before they go home and relax. They also want significant events, and these change all the time. We can do a music concert one night, and the next morning a card party for a women’s group. It’s always something different, and we must continually evolve to impress them each day.
GK: What is your take on farm-to-table?
We’ve created four farm-to-table dinners, which started in 2019. Farm-to-table to me is using ingredients that are locally caught or grown. Palm Beach County doesn’t have many farms for beef, but I can find seafood in abundance. I have locally harvested honey from hives about two miles up the road. There are many different farms that we can go to for freshly grown lettuce, a lot of them are hydroponic lettuce. I was even able to find locally grown fruits and vegetables. I tell the members that 85% I can source locally, but the rest is not available, and I source from very reliable farms out of state or internationally, depending on the product.
GK: Tell us about the charity work you are involved with.
We give back by doing what we know, and that is cooking. A lot of chefs, through programs such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF), work with various charitable events, and
we’re able to do a lot as a group.
One stand-out event is the Culinary Creations Dinner that Chef Jeff Simms from The Breakers puts together. There are approximately 60 or 70 chefs, and we each make one plate. Each table seats ten, and every dish is different, we do about five or six courses.
I get to give back by doing what I love. I encourage my staff to get involved as well; I believe it is fundamental to give back to the community that has raised you.
GK: What is your advice to purveyors that wish to work with Wycliffe or other area golf and country clubs?
I’ve had a lot of vendors come in and try to sell me things or to use their products. I’ve been in this business for about 30 years, and I have purveyors that I know I can trust, the owners are still the same owners. New food businesses are being started every day, but for me it’s about trust and consistency. It needs to be a mutual partnership.
I prefer to do business directly with the farmers, if they grow the tomatoes, they have accountability and a passion, to ensure they are delivering on their promise of quality ingredients.
GK: How important is saucing in creating your menus?
Only certain dishes need a sauce. The sauce should accompany the other ingredients, not just to cover the food. It should be used as a garnish on the plate and help enhance the flavor of the dish. There are a lot of different sauces that we can create, but there’s also relishes, compotes and aioli’s that you can add to a dish to make it enjoyable.
GK: Tell us about your use of technology here?
We just started with a new Wycliffe app and I had access to it prior to the member launch. I admit, I’m not the most tech-savvy guy, but I found it super easy to use! What I love about it is for member identification; it helps me put a name to a face, so to speak. We’re able to post all our menus, upcoming events or schedule changes. There’s a great push notification feature that only adds to our ability to communicate with them.
GK: Where do you want to take the culinary scene at Wycliffe in the future?
The beauty of working in a country club environment is that there is no choice but to be evolutionary in everything that we do- from a culinary standpoint and beyond. We cater to the same audience, day in and day out, so becoming complacent just isn’t in the cards. As for the future of culinary scene – we listen to our members, we educate ourselves on what is hot in the market outside the gates and we do the very best we can to maintain satisfaction and keep our members inside the Club.
The front entrance of the clubhouse at Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Wellington, Florida, USA
Image courtesy Wycliffe
Recipe by Shaun C. Lewis, Executive Chef \ Assistant General Manager at Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey, USA
Image by Shaun C. Lewis
Combine the vodka, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass filled with 3/4 of ice.
Stir for 2o seconds with a bar spoon.
Strain into a chilled Martini glass.
Add 5 dashes of the bitters then express the lemon peel over the glass.
Rim the glass and stem with peel then discard.
Garnish with Castrelvetrano olives.
Chef Note: Best served with Golden Osetra Caviar on Pumpernickel Toast Crème Fraîche.
Image courtesy The Madison Club, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
There is nothing quite like working with freshly harvested produce. You can distinctly smell, feel and see the difference in quality - there is an unequivocal vibrance to the product. From fragrant, sweet and peppery basil to crisp, succulent romaine, you cannot help but notice the abundance of flavor in each bite.
Now, imagine if you were able to have year-round access to this quality produce steps away from your kitchen. Within minutes, you could harvest, prepare and serve delicious food to your members. This might sound a bit like a culinary fantasy, but in reality, it is achievable when growing fresh produce hydroponically in a controlled environment. Growing produce where you cook and dine gives you complete control over supply chain, quality and freshness.
An exceptional dining experience should be the highlight of the club experience for members. Diners are growing ever more concerned with the nutritional value and quality of their food. Offering the best ingredients year-round enables your culinary team to continuously meet and exceed their expectations. This is especially important when a club is looking to attract new members. Interest in innovative and sustainable culinary options provides a new opportunity for business growth.
Growing produce hydroponically makes good business sense. Through recent technological advancements, hydroponic systems are affordable and have minimal operational expenses. Advancements in water use and lighting makes growing hydroponically the most efficient type of farming for leafy greens. Furthermore, product waste is significantly decreased due to the extended shelf life. Leafy greens are not sitting on trucks for days during transport, only to go bad within a few days of arriving. Produce stays fresher longer, giving your culinary team the opportunity to use every harvest in its entirety. Having this level of control over your produce elevates your culinary operation and delights and engages your members in new and exciting ways.
Growing hydroponically is nothing new for humanity. In fact, early applications can be traced back to Egyptian civilizations, the Aztecs of Central America and even the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon. With its ancient roots, modern hydroponics provides solutions to some of our biggest agricultural challenges.
In the United States, leaf lettuce is highly susceptible to contamination, weather and transportation disruptions. Up to 99% of lettuce is grown in California and Arizona, with production concentrated in just a few select regions. Over the last five years, unseasonably cold weather, drought, flooding and foodborne illness outbreaks have caused numerous nationwide recalls of lettuce products. Fortunately, local, indoor hydroponic food production is a cost-effective solution to these issues. Application of hydroponics is simple. The right amount of nutrients, combined with pH balanced water and the correct amount of light, results in consistent yields of highly nutritious leafy greens and other produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries.
The design of any hydroponic system must meet specific space requirements, budgetary considerations and labor availability. That is why Fork Farms created the Flex Farm. When it comes to hydroponic growing, the Flex Farm is in a league of its own. The Flex Farm optimizes energy and labor efficiency, making it one of the easiest and most cost-effective hydroponic systems on the planet.
Flex Farms are fully self-contained hydroponic growing systems that are safe, simple and versatile. They are designed to protect against agriculture based-food safety concerns without using any herbicides or pesticides. With just one mechanical part, minimal maintenance is required. Flex Farms are also portable and only need a standard electrical outlet and less than 10 square feet of space - about the same amount of space required for a standard home refrigerator.
Anyone can unleash the power of fresh food with a Flex Farm. They cost less than $1.50 a day to operate and require minimal labor - about 2-3 hours a month total. In 28 days, you can grow more than 20 pounds of leafy greens. That’s more than 3,400 individual plants in one year. Compared to traditional agriculture, Flex Farms eliminate food miles and waste, grow 45 times more produce and require 97% less water. Best part, no heavy equipment or green thumb required!
Clubs across the United States and internationally are seeking ways to attract and retain members. Innovation in the food and beverage space provides a unique opportunity to add value beyond the traditional club offerings. Club diners are becoming more conscious about healthy eating and high-quality ingredients. Growing food hydroponically provides clubs the opportunity to engage members in fresh dining experiences.
If you are interested in learning more about how Flex Farms can bring innovation into your culinary and dining experience, contact Fork Farms at:
Recipe by Scott Pikey, Executive Chef at Mayacama Golf Club, Sonoma County, California, USA
See Buckthorn Puree
Citrus and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F
Trim the beets tops and wash thoroughly with water until all dirt is removed.
Place the beets in a separate baking dish according to color.
Combine the oil, orange juice, sugar, salt and water and pour over the beets.
Cover the dish with a tight heat proof lid or aluminum foil and place in the oven.
Cook the beets 45 minutes or until tender.
Remove and cool to room temperature.
Peel the beets using a kitchen towl to remove the skin.
Quarter 14 beets and cut the rest into rounds.
Sea Buckthorn Puree
In a small sauce pan add the water and sugar and simmer until light Carmel.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add the sea buckthorn berries, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and reduce the liquid by half.
Place in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through fine sieve and cool.
Citrus and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette
(Reduce on low heat until a syrup consistency and cool)
Combine the orange juice, vinegar, honey and vanilla bean and whisk together in a stainless steel bowl.
Slowly incorporate the olive oil until all the ingredients are combined.
Season with salt and pepper.
Finish and Assemble
Place the assorted beets in a mixing bowl and lightly dress with the citrus vinaigrette and season with salt.
Assemble the beets in a shallow coupe style bowl.
Thinly shave the baby fennel and raw beets on a mandolin.
Arrange the shaved beets, crabmeat, fennel, blood orange and caracara segments around the dish.
Lightly dress the whole dish with the citrus vinaigrette and pinch more sea salt.
Garnish with Mache greens, yuzu tobiko and sumac powder.
The flavor of the beets would be the dominating flavor so I would consider for white wine Albarino, Gruner Vetliner, or Torrantes. A fruity Beaujolais could also work well and when in doubt a dry rose.
If matching the flavors of the crab is your preference, consider Sparkling wine, a dry Alsatian style Pinot Gris or Riesling. An unoaked chardonnay might possibly work but stay away from oak.
Jeff McCarthy, Wine Director
Mayacama Golf Club
Mayacama Golf Club, Sonoma County, California, USA
Image courtesy Mayacama
Fernando Silva, Wine Director and Sommelier at GlenArbor Golf Club, Bedford Hills, New York, USA
Image by Michael J. Fiedler
Fernando Silva is the Sommelier and Wine Director at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York. Silva grew up in Argentina. After working on cruise ships in the late ’90s, he decided that hospitality was going to be his lifetime career. Between the years 2003 and 2004, after some tumultuous years in Argentina, Silva left the country for Europe. He spent time in England and Spain; He worked in Brazil in bars and restaurants. During his travels, he was exposed to many different European cultures. Coming from Latin America, he was barely a social drinker, but in Europe, he discovered the many types of wines that changed his palate and sparked his interest. By the end of 2004, he immigrated to America and secured a job at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
One evening, while working as a head waiter at BallenIsles, he was assigned to a VIP table during his dinner shift, little did he know that this table would change his destiny. Silva made a good impression on his guest Tom Lichtenstein who at the time was the General Manager at the new GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York and the following day Lichtenstein asked BallenIsles if he could make Silva an offer to come and work for GlenArbor. A month later, Silva moved to Bedford Hills, New York, to join the team.
Silva attended English classes at Pleasantville University, Bedford Road, Pleasantville, New York; this helped him to progress quickly in his career. Silva is a people person and not intimidated by anyone. After about a year of working various roles at the club, the owner Mr. Grant Gregory struck up a conversation with him, “what do you want to do with your life? How do you see yourself?” he said as he looked Silva straight in the eye. “I don’t know yet, but I need help to stay in the USA,” replied Silva. They spoke about his love of fine wines and his European travels. Mr. Gregory, impressed by Silva’s passion, stated, “I am going to sponsor you and assist with your Green Card application; I see some potential in you,” he said. Silva was ecstatic.
The road was not easy to comply with the Green Card process. Silva had to leave the USA for a year, and during this period, he traveled to Germany, he stayed in Munich and Hamburg, where he began painting professionally, and then he moved back to Buenos Aires for a few months. In 2012, the timing was right, and he returned to America and his beloved GlenArbor.
A tragic and triumphant two days.
In 2014, not long after his return, the staff quarters at GlenArbor burned down in a fire while Silva was preparing his first art exhibit in a New York Gallery; in the midst of such a stressful and near death experience, Silva made countless calls to the 911 operator and notified the other managers. He called Morgan Gregory who was the only representative of the club to arrive and assist the fire fighters.
Silva lost half of his artwork but thankfully escaped from the fire. The morning after, he received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announcing that his Green Card had been approved! It was a very emotional time, one of grief and one of celebration.
Silva, during one of his live painting performances in Manhattan, New York, USA
Image by Michael J. Fiedler
Today Fernando Silva is in his 15th year at GlenArbor, and after an exhausting and challenging course load, he has passed the certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers. It’s a rarity to find candidates for the Master Sommeliers courses and accreditations in the world of golf and country clubs. That function is usually between a food and beverage manager or through a board member who is the wine connoisseur of the group. It was gratifying both for Silva and the club.
After many years, Silva has developed a strong, family-like bond with the Gregory family, the staff, and the membership. They have come to rely on his expertise and are proud of him. He sits in on many New York wine tastings and seminars and immerses himself completely. The wine cellars are forever changing at GlenArbor; the membership is not only golf-centric but food and wine-focused as well.
Silva works closely with Michael Ruggiero, the Executive Chef, pairing menu items with his wine selections, “it’s a delicate balance,” he explains. “There are two main functions. One is entertaining, and the other is to compliment the food. I must carefully select the wine to ensure it is friendly with the menu. It can’t overpower the flavors of the food.”
During the offseason, GlenArbor allows Silva to travel to wine regions in Europe and California. This provides valuable opportunities for Silva to research and organize different wine experiences for the members. Still, he has a particular interest in French wines, of which you will find many in the GlenArbor cellars.
Each year GlenArbor hosts some of the most exclusive and prestigious culinary events in Westchester. Driven by the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Morgan Gregory, GlenArbor’s President, Silva has the chance to showcase his flair as a sommelier: The Gary Player GlenArbor Golf Club 55 Invitational, The Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards, now in its third year, and the well-attended Traditions in Wine Excellence Awards. Well-known personalities of the wine world are honored at the event, including Mr. Laurent Drouhin from Maison Joseph Drouhin in 2018, and Mr. Jean Charles Boisset, in 2019. Wine Enthusiast CEO Adam Strum and his wife attended the event last year.
An Artist and a Sommelier.
Silva’s passion I discovered is not just for wines, more a combination of art and wine. I was utterly fascinated by his many talents. “I consider myself an Artist and a bit of a story teller as well as an entertainer, I am very passionate about life, and I love being around people,” he explained. I asked Silva how he found his painting style. He stated, “I combine both painting and wine; I will sit in my studio with a glass of red, and suddenly I find myself consider myself an Artist and a bit of a story teller as well as an entertainer, I am very passionate about life, and I love being around people,” he explained. I asked Silva how he discovered his painting style. He stated, “I combine both painting and wine; I will sit in my studio with a glass of red, and suddenly I find myself in a trance creating a new piece of artwork. Sometimes I will throw the wine onto the canvas and mix it into the paints. It is very colorful and dramatic!”
Silva has recently begun to showcase both of his talents via social media videos on his Instagram page @artbyfersilva
For inquiries about purchasing a Fernando Silva one of a kind painting, please email: jfs0234@ gmail.com
by Diana DeLucia
The Golf Swing Tango, by Fernando Silva