Recipe by Esther Sanchez, Restaurant Chef at Aramara Restaurant, Four Seasons Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
In a skillet on medium heat, toast the chile guajillo on each side.
In a blender combine the chile guajillo, garlic, cumin seeds, cloves, oregano, water, olive oil, lime juice, achiote paste and vinegar into the blender.
Blend at low speed until smooth. Set aside.
In a heavy, small saucepan combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes and cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180°F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Cool to room temperature, for about 2 hours.
Transfer to a 4-ounce bottle.
Put the cactus paddle on a hot grill for 4 minutes on each side, remove and cut into small squares.
Chef note: This should be done in advance if possible.
In a hot pan, add 1 spoon of vegetable oil, add the octopus and adobo, and stir them until incorporated.
In another pan, add 1 spoon of oil and sauté the red onion.
Add the cactus paddle and the guajillo chili and sauté for 3 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the puréed Bayo beans on top of the tostada then add the octopus with the adobo and the cactus paddle on top.
Garnish with cheese, slices of radish, cilantro leaves, and a tiny dash of chili oil.
Chef note: On the palate this wine shows fabulous ripeness, a huge unctuous texture and enormous body, that match with the spiciness of the adobo and the oily texture of the cactus.
Recipe by Lucía de León, Executive Pastry Chef at The Garzón Club, Maldonado, Uruguay.
Toasted Almond Ice-Cream
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until aerated and white.
Add the butter little by little and continue beating until it is homogeneous.
Mix in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth consistency.
Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour.
Stretch the dough and place into molds and bake at 180 ºC for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven until ready for assembly.
Place in a saucepan on a low heat and cook until reduced. Set aside.
In a saucepan, boil the heavy cream,
In a mixing bowl pour the boiled heavy cream over the chocolate.
Mix with a whisk until smooth and shiny cream.
Toasted Almond Ice Cream
Place the milk, cream, vanilla, glucose and almond butter into a pot and heat at 40 ºC.
Mix in the sugar with the stabilizer and then add the milk powder and finally the yolks.
Continue heating up to 85 ºC.
Let the mixture stand for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, prepare with your ice cream machine.
Fill the chilled Breton molds almost to the top, with the chocolate ganache and refridgerate for two hours.
Remove from fridge and add the raspberry reduction on top of the chocolate ganache.
Chill in fridge.
Before serving use a blow torch to make the chocolate brilliant and then put cacao nibs on the top for garnish.
Use the left over Breton dough to make crumbles to sprinkled over the ice cream.
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FIRST QUARTER ISSUE FEATURING THE CHEF OF FIRE, FRANCIS MALLMAN, AMBASSADOR AT THE GARZON CLUB, URUGUAY / EXECUTIVE CHEF MATTHEW O'CONNOR, BONNIE BRIAR COUNTRY CLUB'S HIDDEN TALENT / ESTHER SANCHEZ, EXECUTIVE CHEF AT ARAMARA RESTAURANT, FOUR SEASONS PUNTA MITA / CLUBHOUSE COCKTAILS / GOLF KITCHEN CULINARY EXCELLENCE AWARDS WRAP UP / NEW RECIPES AND MORE..
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Golf Kitchen announces first six kitchens in "Golf Kitchen Americas" book two in the Golf Kitchen series featuring interviews, recipes and full color photography of some of the finest Private golf clubs, Country Clubs and resorts in the americas.
Addison Reserve Country club, DeLray Beach, Florida, USa
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with General Manager, Michael McCarthy, Executive Chef, Zach Bell, Executive Pastry Chef, Dana Ianelli, recipes, full-color photography and more.
boca west country club, Boca raton, florida, Usa
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with CEO Matt Linderman, Jay DiPietro (former CEO and Consultant), Executive Chef Roger Brock, recipes, full-color photography and more.
Edgewood Country Club, River Vale, New Jersey, USA
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with Owners Bruce Schonbraun and Eric Witmondt and Executive Chef Anthony Villanueva, plus recipes, full-color photography and more.
The Garzón Club, GARZÓN, Moldonado, Uruguay
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with COO Nicholas Kovalenko, General Manager of the Bodedga Garzón Christian Wylie, Ambassador Francis Mallman and Executive Chef Ricki Motta, with recipes, full-color photography and more.
mayacama golf Club, santa rosa, california, usa
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with General Manager Greg Brown and Executive Chef Scott Pikey with recipes, full-color photography and more.
punta mita, riviera nayarit, mexico
Featuring Exclusive Interviews with COO Carl Emberson and Executive Chef Pato Persico with recipes, full-color photography and more.
Solera wine vinegars, one of the most sophisticated perfumes in the world of gastronomy, are considered amongst the finest ingredients providing chefs, home cooks, culinary experts and modern-day speakeasy-style bar men and women with a wide array of flavors for cooking and mixing cocktails.
Unique wines aged into exceptional vinegars provide kitchens around the world with a wide range of possibilities to demonstrate exquisite culinary creations involving menus of a traditional kind to the most modern and avant-garde.
Originally referred to wine vinegars as “sour wines” (vinum acre) by the Romans, (consumed by lesser beings), these vinegars became a staple ingredient for both drink and food creation for the Spanish peasantry over many centuries. These wine vinegars’ unique diversity is derived from the range of diverse regional grape varieties and wine quality in western Andalusia, Spain spanning from the historic regions of south Córdoba province to the Jerez region. The unique aging techniques display distinctive flavors and characteristics for culinary experts and bartenders, alike, to explore, utilize and have fun with.
There is evidence in historical archives in the Montilla-Moriles region of the existence of vinegar since 1651, as described by an inventory of goods of the Marquise of Priego and Duchess of Feria, which consisted of "fourteen vases of large jars, of which three were full of vinegar”. Since the mid twentieth century, winemakers started to view solera wine vinegar as a prized product and began to carefully age their vinegars in the same way as their wines and brandies in bodegas. Thus, the recent release of exquisite 50-year Pedro Ximenez balsamic wine vinegars from throughout the region especially under PDO Vinagre de Montilla-Moriles designation.
Barrels containing vinegar are always quickly removed from the wine bodega, this is to prevent other barrels of wine also turning to vinegar. Any barrels which have contained vinegar cannot be used to store wine again due to the risk of acetic fermentation. In the past the vinegar was given away to staff and family of the owner or sold at the bodega (wine cellar) door. Some barrels were stored separately and often forgotten about.
Traditional bodega in the Cordoba region of Spain using the Solera aging process. Image courtesy Khayyan Specialty Foods.
These vinegars, many 50 years in the making, are now being released and re-discovered. Spain’s wine vinegar industry prides itself on picking aperitif wine quality Fino, Oloroso, Moscatel or Pedro Ximenez wine denominations, particularly, in the Córdoba region under the lesser known yet highly respected PDO Vinagre de Montilla- Moriles with traditional wine making maturation
techniques – the solera system. However, instead of the wine getting fortified, it is fermented further for a minimum of six months up to several decades, with bacteria, converting alcohol into acetic acid during which fermentation process the vinegar
adopts the aged oak barrel flavors and aromas along with delicate pale golden (Fino), amber / mahogany (Oloroso), topaz (Moscatel) and ebony (Pedro Ximenez) colors depending on the amount of oxidation. As solera wines, their derived vinegars are also protected by Denomination of Origin per regions such as PDO Vinagre de Jerez, PDO Vinagre de Condado de Huelva and the earlier discussed PDO Vinagre de Montilla-Moriles.
The highly coveted Montilla-Moriles denomination of origin wine vinegars exhibit semi-sweet, sharp-dry or sweet-and-sour flavor vinegars reflecting this area’s longstanding tradition of full bodied and extraordinary flavor Fino, Oloroso, Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez (PX) wines. Located in southern Córdoba in the Andalusian region, more than three-quarters of the region’s vines are PX. Of course, not all wines are sweet; there are also a wide range of grape varieties that include finos, amontillados and olorosos, and these same types of wine are reflected in the region’s vinegars.
The vinegars are aged in criaderas and solera, or as añadas. Most commonly, the solera technique used involves an acetic fermentation of high quality wine destined to become vinegar. In American Oak barrels, the wine is treated with a mother culture from an older batch of vinegar, which barrels rest on top of three or more rows of barrels, slowly facilitating the conversion of alcohol into vinegar. During bottling, producers will take vinegar from their most mature barrels on the bottom row
without draining them completely. That empty space will then be filled with younger vinegar from another barrel, and then that barrel may then be filled with even younger wine, back on top of the several stacked rows. This delicate process masterfully repeats year after year, so each bottle contains small amounts of very mature vinegar that mixes with newer vintages of wine vinegar.
As in the other wine vinegar regions, PDO Vinagre de Montilla-Moriles boasts several different vinegar categories based on the type and length of aging: Añada (minimum 3 years in a single oak barrel), Crianza (6 months), Reserva (2 years) and Gran Reserva (minimum 10 years). Additionally, these wine vinegars may be classified by their sweetness and grape varieties which classifications are dependent on the adding of additional concentrated juice from freshly mashed grapes or a small amount of sweet PX wine. Thus, the resulting wine vinegars exhibit pale golden (Fino), amber / mahogany (Oloroso), topaz (Moscatel) and ebony (Pedro Ximenez) colors with velvety liquids that give off a rich hint of diverse flavors with delicate sour notes for an elegant finish.
About the Author
Natalia F. Cabrera is the founder of Khayyan Specialty Foods. She began her career in finance working for Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions. Khayyan is a producer, importer and distributor of ingredients and the company was created under the premise that culinary excellence is supported by outstanding ingredients. As customers demand healthier and more sustainable products it compelled her to do something about it. The combination of healthy, good quality and traceable food will be one of the major issues that will affect all countries and how food is grown and presented.
Natalia brings a bit of her Mediterranean “heritage,” ingredients that are part of culinary traditions and part of her personal family stories that have defined their food for generations. Together with a team in Rioja, Spain, they produce food that is natural, organic and affordable at all levels. www.khayyan.com
Anthony Villanueva, Executive Chef at Edgewood Country Club, River Vale, New Jersey, USA.
Before meeting Anthony Villanueva, I had heard about his popularity with the members at Green Brook Country Club, North Caldwell, New Jersey, where he had worked for 18 years. Having worked with Anthony at Edgewood Country Club, I can understand why. I hope you enjoy this interview with Chef Tony, it comes right from his heart. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: You were born in Manhattan, tell us about that time of your life.
I was born and raised in Manhattan, on the Lower East Side. My mother, Maria Diaz was only 16 when I was born, so we grew up together. She was a saint, and she always had two or three jobs. She worked hard to provide for us as best as she could. We had a period in our life when we were homeless. A lot of times she couldn't make the rent, and there were many other difficulties. I was the man in her life, and I knew that she was sacrificing a lot for my sister and me. The fondest memories I have is when she worked in the restaurant industry. She worked for a cafeteria in the Twin Towers, and I would often go to work with her. They gave me the most amazing breakfasts; I loved it. They would put breakfast and lunch orders in a box, and say, "Kid, walk down that hall with this box, open the doors and look for this person. " I remember opening two big giant doors, and inside I saw screaming and yelling, and I saw papers being thrown around everywhere. It happened to be the New YorkStock Exchange! I was the cute little kid with the lunch box, and they were stuffing dollar bills in my pocket, it was excellent, and that was also my introduction to the business. I had the best childhood growing up in New York City, being exposed to different cultures and different foods, it was just one big melting pot. I would not trade it for anything in the world.
In 1980, my family moved from New York to New Jersey, and I had to change to a school system that was at the timequite dangerous, and I ended up dropping out. At the age of 18, I became a young dad. I started working different jobs, I was a maintenance guy, and I cleaned office buildings for a company; at the time the minimum wage was three dollars and thirty-five cents an hour, I did the best I could. I tried working in a recycling plant by Newark Airport where they recycled bottles and cans and things like that. I did that for a while, but I still needed more money to feed my family.
A couple of my friends were working in a restaurant in downtown Newark. It was a Greek restaurant called Marathon; I want to say this was probably 1982. I accepted a job delivering food to all of the offices, and at the time it was very lucrative for me. Again, I was a young kid, and I was making $50 a day in tips. It helped me because at the time all I was concerned about was buying diapers and formula for my son. I learned how to cook because I would always ask the cooks to make me something to eat. They got tired of preparing food for me and said, "listen, if you want to get into this business, learn, how to cook for yourself!" I learned how to do the prep work, how to set up the line and more. There was one time the owner had lost one of his cooks, so he gave me the opportunity to fill in. We were probably doing about 400 covers at lunch. It was insane. So my early introduction into the business was working in this bustling eatery, it was fast food, but you know, it wasn't all fast food, it was a Greek restaurant.
GK: I heard you are left-handed, how did that affect your career?
I faced a lot of adversity in the kitchen, I was a Spanish kid, and I was left-handed. They used to treat it as a handicap. I'm like, "What are you talking about? The knife is a knife; the spatula is a spatula!" They forced me as I'm learning to work the line, to use my right hand. I'm pretty ambidextrous, and I quickly learned that it was not a hindrance. It was an advantage because me being a left-handed cook, I could work alongside anybody, and I was faster. I became very good at what I did rather quickly. I used to run circles around everybody and it was funny because the owners would pit me against other seasoned cooks and they would say, "my guy will take you down!" [laughs]
GK: What was the catalyst that lead you to a career in the Private Country Club Industry?
I was making good money, but I needed to look at the bigger picture. I needed job security and health benefits for myself and my growing family. I was working 14 hour days to make money, and in the restaurant business, you're worried about losing your job every day. I knew I had to do something.
The new Clubhouse at Edgewood Country Club. Image by Jim Krajicek.
I was probably about 27 years old, and I was concerned about my future, how am I going to make it, you know, how do we survive? I didn't have that father figure in my life; I didn't have the positive influences around me or even the financial stability to go back to school. I was an excellent student in school. I was always the teacher's pet. I did well in my academics; it was only for financial reasons that I dropped out. However, it was still that chapter in my book that I never finished. At the time I lived in Kearny, New Jersey. They had a night school, and they were offering the GED program. It took me about three months to complete. I was going to night school on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I was working in a restaurant during the day. It was a tough time, but when I received the GED certificate, I thought to myself, why not go further? I found out about the culinary program at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City. I was like, wow, let me pursue a career where I didn't waste all these years of kitchen experience. My first semester I took on seven classes. At the time I assumed that I was going to qualify for financial aid. Okay. I'm halfway through the semester, and I was pulled out because I was told, unfortunately, that my financial aid did not go through. "You were disapproved because you never registered for selective services," they said. In this country, at that time, when you're 18 you had to register for selective services, meaning if there's a war, you're going to serve your country, they get you in high school, but because I dropped out, I never had that process. I pleaded my case to the financial aid board at Hudson County Community College, but the answer was no.
During my time at Hudson County Community College, as I was already a restaurant chef, I started to understand the process of cooking, why things happened, before that I just did it. I learned about cooking with wines, you know, deglazing, and things that I was not privy to in the restaurants I had worked at. I learned about the great chefs and great food. I quickly learned about the French brigade system, and I immersed myself in it. I just loved it. I remember one of my Professors, Chef Gary Bensky, took a liking to me immediately. I told him my story, and I talked to him about the restaurant I was working in, and he's like, "Oh, I hate that, they collect employees like keys on a ring now." I realized then that there was no future for me in the restaurant industry, there were no health benefits, there was nothing to fall back on. I pleaded my situation with Gary Bensky, and he said, "I have just the job for you. I'm consulting at a country club right now, Green Brook Country Club. Here's someone you should contact. At the time, the chef was Robert Terisi, and Gary was a consultant during the summer and started recruiting some of his best students.
I began working at Green Brook and Chef said right away "Go to the line." I was like, wow, this was the arena for me. I saw about 30 chefs running around, this was incredible. Gary Bensky was the key to me changing my life. I remember a conversation I had with him, "What are you looking for?" I said, "I just want to work somewhere that my hard work is going to be recognized, somewhere I'm going to be taken care of and be given some great benefits and hopefully retire someday," He said, "Get that out of your head. That's never going to happen. This business is too fluid. It moves around too fast. You can never count on being in one place for too long." He goes, "With your skill level, however, within six months you will have your own club. You will be an Executive Chef in your own right and in your own club."
I worked very hard, and I earned the respect of my peers in the kitchen. I received the affection of Michael McCarthy, the General Manager, Chef Ray Pendas, the board members, and everyone that I interacted with. They made me an offer in six months, just as Bensky told me. I accepted the position; I went full time. It empowered me, and I started getting better and better. I made Chef Ray's job a lot easier, and I remember at the conclusion of the season he said to me, "Great job this season." "Thank you so much," I told him, wait till you see what I can do next season!" I was at Green Brook for 13 years, and Chef Ray left to work at Apple Ridge Country Club. Before Ray left, he said, "Good luck Tony, you will get the Executive Chef role!"
GK: How did you find your way to Edgewood Country Club?
In May of 2015, one of my former General Managers and good friend Michael Frodella at Green Brook called me and told me about an opening at a club in Bergen County that was just bought by two Mountain Ridge Country Club members. He knew that it would be a tremendous opportunity for me and a chance for me to earn more money. I told him that I was very happy at Green Brook.
The Edgewood Executive Chef position was posted on the CMA website, and although I looked at the ad, I still decided not to pursue the opportunity because the future of Edgewood was not certain. My fear was to leave a position and membership that I loved very much after 18 plus years and take a risk of pursuing a new opportunity with a club that could very well end up becoming a development. A few weeks later I had found out that Edgewood ended up hiring a chef with no prior country club experience. In my heart, I knew that the chef would probably be in over his head and the position would be open again soon. As it turned out he only lasted five weeks and immediately resigned. It was now June of 2015 and I saw that the position was reposted on the CMA website. The ad appealed to me this time, so I decided to send my resume in and see what could happen. My resume was accepted and an interview was set up. As it would turn out the meeting place was at Eric’s office which was very close to Green Brook.
I remember the day of the interview I was very nervous, but I kept saying to myself that I have nothing to lose because I already have a great job. I remember waiting in the office for my meeting to take place. As I walked into the meeting room of the office, I was amazed at all of the pictures of buildings and various properties that were built by “Woodmont Properties.” As I sat there waiting to meet Eric and Bruce, I took everything in and began to get excited. When they arrived, they had incredible smiles, and that immediately put me at ease. We discussed the typical questions that would come up during an interview. Surprisingly they were both terrific gentlemen, and I got this feeling of warmth and genuine kindness. They told me how they knew all about me and had dined on my food at Green Brook for years. They stated to me that they wanted the best for Edgewood and they knew I was their man.
I was incredibly flattered by their compliments. I told them that I would be honored to take the position if they would have me. They smiled, and we shook hands the old fashioned way with integrity and respect. I felt so safe with them and thought that they had my best interest at heart. They told me they were looking for a partner rather than an employee. I had never expected the interview to go as well as it did and the fact that they wanted a relationship well into the future for years to come appealed to me. They assured me that Edgewood was their baby and they are committed for many years to come.
As difficult as it was for me to leave Green Brook, I eventually came to work at Edgewood, and as it turned out, it was the best career decision I had ever made.
GK: You mentioned that you have great admiration for Chef Eric Ripert, tell us about that.
Although I have never met Chef Ripert in person, I admire his philosophy on life and the importance of harmony in the kitchen. He influences many chefs. His passion for excellence is very apparent. The way he prepares his seafood dishes are legendary. What resonates with me the most is the fact that most of his menu items at Le Bernardin are seafood selections. I follow his lead on this because I believe that seafood preparations require a lot more finesse and technique from the chef. Any “meat and potato Chef” can season a steak, grill it and then throw it on a plate with a baked potato and call it a night. The real challenge with seafood is that it must be handled gently and can showcase a chef’s talent and flair. Fish is like a blank canvas that can take on whatever direction the artist likes. That is why the majority of my menu selections are seafood oriented. I would love to meet him in person one day or make the pilgrimage to his restaurant. Everyone speaks highly of him, and he is so humble. I appreciate how he talks about how he went from being an angry, hostile chef to the gentleman chef he is today. Chef Ripert leads his team with a smile and genuine compassion; I have much respect for him.
Anthony is the proud father of six children and is married to Evelyn Villanueva. They have a three year old granddaughter and reside in Haledon, New Jersey, USA.
Recipe courtesy of The Garzón Club, Maldonado, Uruguay
Red Beet Syrup (yields 600cc)
"White Beets" cocktail
Red Beet Syrup
Put the grated beets into a saucepan with the sugar and water, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Simmer on a low to medium heat for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Filter slowly through cheesecloth and chill in a glass bottle until ready to use.
Carefully pour the red beet syrup into a wine glass.
Slowly add the ice.
Carefully pour the wine so as not to disturb the red beet syrup on the bottom.
Garnish with a fresh mint.
Image: The "Tail of the Whale" The world's only natural island green at the Pacifico golf course at Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
The debut of Golf Kitchen, a brilliantly designed food, drink and golf event, was not only sensational but also an overwhelming success that earned it a place on the annual Punta Mita calendar. The April celebration presented in collaboration with Golf Kitchen Magazine transcended the game from on course play to include a golf club kitchen focus of deliciously creative cuisine. Showcased was a dazzling display of artistry from a star studded lineup of innovative and talented international guest and resident chefs. Coming together to share their imaginative culinary talents resulted in an off the chart, melt-in-your-mouth profusion of tasty dishes.
"Golf Kitchen is a unique, one-of-a-kind event focusing on chefs from some of the world's most prestigious golf clubs, many of whom also play golf. It is a welcome addition to the menu of events in Punta Mita,” shared Carl Emberson, Punta Mita Director of Marketing and Operations.
A passion for golf, food, drink and ambiance flourished during the event at beach clubs, restaurants and the golf club where breakfasts, a brunch, lunches and dinners were savored. Participating residents and guests took their places as players, competitors, chefs and diners to appreciate and enjoy a four day party at this paradise of splendor that some call home and others a favorite tropical place to visit. Golf Kitchen is likely to become a most anticipated food and golf event each year.
"Carl Emberson and his team did a brilliant job bringing the Golf Kitchen brand to life. The chef teams were masterful in everything they created for the members and guests. They represented their golf clubs in grand style," said Diana Delucia, Editor of Golf Kitchen Magazine.
International guest chefs included Eduardo “Lalo” Palazuelos, Club Bosque Real, Mexico; Gastón Yelicich, Cantegril CC, Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Eva Millán, El Camaleón GC, Mayakoba, Mexico. USA chefs were Executive Chef Doug Blair and Sous Chef José Carlos Fabregas, Cassius, Kiawah Island Club, SC; Sous Chef Chrissie Bennett and Gabrielle Bennett, Winged Foot GC, Mamaroneck, NY; Executive Sous Chef Joseph Klages and Chef Glenn Maines, Sebonack GC, Southampton, NY; Executive Chef Damian Gilchrist and Sous Chef Ed Guillard, Sankaty Head GC, Nantucket, MA. Resident chefs were Executive Chef Pato Pérsico, Punta Mita Beach Clubs; Chef Esther Sánchez and Chef Héctor Leyva, Four Seasons Punta Mita; and St Regis Punta Mita's Carolina Restaurant Signature Chef Jesús Durón.
From the first tee shot of a 4-hole, chef only, shoot out competition on Pacifico golf course for the Golf Kitchen Chef’s Cup to the closing Sunday brunch, the chef's enthusiasm was obvious, as was the appreciation that swept over all who participated in this spectacular event. The Chef Cup winner, Doug Blair, rolled in a lengthy birdie on the final hole to best José Carlos Fábregas. They along with other competing chefs (Joseph Klages, Glenn Maines, Lalo Palazuelos and Gastón Yelicich) put on a splendid golfing exhibition that was followed by impressive culinary performances over the next few days in kitchens throughout Punta Mita.
“The group of chefs that Diana Delucia brought together were world class and I’m honored to consider them friends after the event. The club members were extremely hospitable and they made me feel right at home playing two of the best golf courses I’ve ever experienced. Meeting Carl Emberson and his incredible staff was a true pleasure and I can’t wait to return in the spring to celebrate the second annual Golf Kitchen Punta Mita event. This was an incredible beginning to what I believe will become a wonderful tradition,” noted Chef Doug Blair, Cassique, Kiawah Island Club.
Thursday's opening dinner reception at the Residents' Beach Club was a sensational al fresco affair. Attendees were seated at tables perched perpendicular to the-adjacent beach, allowing for a clear view of the sun as it slipped gently into the sea. The night's culinary adventure conjured an anticipation for menu offerings that would be served up on subsequent days. At individual stations, each chef delivered delightful dishes reflecting their respective golf club: Chef Lalo Palazuelos/Chicken satay skewers, grilled octopus, and tuna brochettes with lemongrass; Chefs Joseph Klages and Glenn Maines/Ceviche martini (Yuzu marinated clams, oysters, scallops, and shrimp) served on a jicama mango slaw topped with crispy wontons, seared foie with poached pears, vanilla infused French lentil bean and pimento pepper salad, and beer braised oxtail over creamy black garlic truffle polenta with spiced tomatillo sauce, and crisp plantain chips; Chefs Chrissie and Gabrielle Bennett/Pan roasted red snapper and seared scallops influenced by their native Jamaica; Chefs Damian Gilchrist & Ed Guillard/ A medley of sea delicacies: shrimp, soft shell crab, oysters, Alaska King Crab, grilled and chilled percebes, Maine lobster cocktail, Georges Bank yellow fin tuna, Nantucket Scallop Crudo and Ossétra Caviar served with Gran Burdeos Patrón compressed watermelon mignonette, anejo caramel; Chef Pato Périsco/Desserts: cherry and chocolate bonbons, mango and chili bonbons, walnut pay, maracuya macaroon, cheesecake, mini lemon cake.
Before each of the Golf Kitchen Cup tournament rounds on Friday and Saturday, a morning meal was served at Tail of the Whale, Punta Mita Golf Club's delightful open-air restaurant. Selections from the Four Seasons' culinary team included: Egg burrito w/oaxaca cheese, black beans, onion and country ham; Chilaquiles – crispy tortillas, green or red sauce, onion, cream, cilantro, refried beans; Fried eggs telera bread sandwich w/cheddar, Canadian bacon and spinach; and Buttermilk pancakes w/maple syrup.
The two days of competition included two person teams contesting in an 18-hole scramble at the Bahia course on day one and an 18-hole best ball round at the Pacifico course the second day. The fields of play at Punta Mita are both Jack Nicklaus designed layouts on the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. The meandering routings incorporate holes with ocean views, rolling terrain and bunker guarded greens, ample fairways and landing areas from multiple tees that are well suited for a variety of skill levels. Pacifico is known for its par three hole #3B, Tale of the Whale, with the world’s only natural ocean island green. Bahia provides ground contours sloping around greens, some guarded by many bunkers. They served as challenging venues befitting tournament play for the Golf Kitchen Cup and Chefs' Cup. I had the pleasure of playing the first round alongside the eventual winning team of residents, Dermott and Martina O’Flanagan, who shot lights out. Second place went to Juan Carlos and David Rosales while Fernando Jose Arrangoiz and Eduardo “Lalo” Palazuelo finished third. Each day's Golf Kitchen Cup round was followed by a refreshing, tasty lunch buffet served adjacent to the 18th green. The spread highlighted signature dishes from participating clubs prepared by Chef Eva Millán, Chef Chrissie Bennett and a Four Seasons Punta Mita culinary team with Chef Esther Sánchez and Chef Héctor Leyva.
"Punta Mita was not only a wonderful and beautiful place... I felt welcomed and at home! Everyone was so kind, friendly and generous. The chefs I met and worked with from around the world were knowledgeable and wanted to share techniques with each other. An experience of a life time,” said Chef Joseph Klages, Sebonack GC.
On Thursday evening additional offerings were served at a number of venues on the property. Chef Doug Blair and Chef Jesús Durón created a South Carolina meets Mexico fusion menu at St Regis Punta Mita's premier Carolina Restaurant that garnered rave reviews. It featured: Snacks– black quinoa tostada of avocado, wild native greens and grasshoppers and a chilled pea soup with lump crab; Starters– smoked bulls blood beets with citrus creme fraiche and sturgeon caviar, a grape and cherry tomato salad, and aged cheese; Entrees– sautéed Pacific prawns prepared with Patrón tequila, bamboo shoots, ramps and fava sprouts on crispy Bomba rice; rabbit fricassee with morel mushrooms over Carolina rice grits; Desserts– Guanabana with aloe vera raspado, almond foam, green leaves and lemon thyme, and petit fours of avocado marzapan and hazelnut with cacao.
I particularly enjoyed a colorful and delicious three-course offering from Uruguayan Chef Gastón Yelicich at Sufi Ocean Club’s Sufito Grill, a picturesque open-air oceanside kitchen and dining spot at the waters edge. The masterfully prepared repast included an appetizer of grilled prawns and octopus with a white bean, tomato and olive salad. The rack of lamb entrée with chives and roasted sweet potatoes followed. Dessert was grilled pineapple topped with lemon curd and crispy coconut. Paired wines: Alamos Chardonnay and Catena Malbec.
"Meeting and working together with chefs from other prestigious golf clubs was a unique opportunity to network and share experiences. We all share similar passions and we have something in common. Many of our menus are for golfers, so learning from each other was fantastic. My culinary team also benefited from the entire experience which makes an event like Golf Kitchen a win win for all involved,” said Chef Pato Pérsico, Punta Mita Beach Clubs.
A relaxing and festive closing dinner from Chef Lalo Palazuelos, Chef Gastón Yelicich, host Chef Pato Périsco and staff brought together essences of Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina in a Latin fusion. The chefs' passions inspired a glorious meal at Kupuri Beach Club amid the sensory ambiance of open-air dining. Chef Lalo’s appetizer of Milpa soup served in a squash bowl was the harbinger of flavors to come. Chef Gastón's tasty striped bass in a prosciutto crust with steamed green beans, peas, artichokes and a hollandaise sauce followed. The beat just kept on coming with another main dish prepared by Chef Pato. His Margret de Canard in Oaxacan black mole with prickly pears, foie gras, fresh sorrel and arugula salad was equally delicious. Chef Pato’s oh so good desserts were a white chocolate ganache; a vanilla, green and orange lemon zest, rum, pineapple compote; a coconut dacquoise and Fior Di Latte ice cream. Complementing wines were Casa Madero's Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Gran Reserva Shiraz.
The laid back farewell Sunday brunch at Kupuri Beach Club was one more palate pleasing feast. It embodied a comprehensive, assorted buffet presented by Chef Pato Périsco and his culinary team that was special by itself, but guest chefs took the brunch to yet another level with additional creations. Stations featuring sensational epicurean delights included: Salmon wrapped crab pillow with smoked salmon, crab and a poached egg topped with chili lime creme fraiche in an English muffin by Chef Joseph Klages and Chef Glenn Maines; Crab benedict poached eggs on brioche toast, a crab provencale with hollandaise sauce by Chef Doug Blair; and a magnificent Maine lobster, smoked sweet corn truffles (huitlacoche), plantain, fried quail eggs, Iberico ham, chervil, maple Patrón syrup, and Padron peppers from Chef Damian Gilchrist.
Punta Mita is the consummate destination and setting for a premier golf and food event. Its facilities and variety of places for food, drink, sports, beach and water access in a lovely tropical environment makes the location ideal for hosting a Golf Kitchen extravaganza. Imbedded in the philosophy and attitude of Punta Mita is a genuine appreciation and passion for chefs and their culinary skills.
This combination was advantageous in facilitating an immersion into all aspects of the inaugural 2018 Golf Kitchen event. “Many thanks to Carl Emberson and his team. I was very proud of the culinary teams who brought their A game for Golf Kitchen Punta Mita and very happy to see members and guests so enjoying the party," said Diana Delucia, Editor of Golf Kitchen Magazine.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a most impressive event that combined two of my favorite things, playing golf and tasting cuisine created by talented and artistic chefs in a tropical paradise of luxurious comfort. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to joining with chefs, gourmands and golfers at the 2019 Golf Kitchen Punta Mita spectacular, April 25–28.
Punta Mita is a luxury 1,500-acre resort and residential community in Riviera Nayarit on an enchanting private peninsula surrounded by lush tropical flora and white sand beaches of the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. It is home to private villas and residences, two upscale beach and spa resorts – The St. Regis and Four Seasons, a tennis center, beach clubs, multiple dining options and two Jack Nicklaus signature golf courses. www.puntamita.com
DINE, Mexico’s premier real estate development company, is the owner and developer of Punta Mita. DINE’s real estate portfolio includes commercial, residential, corporate and master planned communities throughout Mexico. Since its founding in 1978 DINE has established unprecedented quality designed developments. www.dine.com.mx
About the Author
Bill Nestor (aka Guillermo) brings a divergent background as a freelance contributor to upscale publications worldwide. An earlier career devoted to academia and experiential travel study initiated a lifelong interest in exploring environments and lifestyles, cultures and ecosystems. Communicating his observations and experiences has evolved to its present-day style as a writer of stories and articles in a variety of upscale print publications including Cigar Aficionado Magazine Golf Kitchen Magazine; Sayulita Magazine; Golf Style Magazine; St. Regis Punta Mita Magazine; Punta Mita Living Magazine; Mayakoba Magazine; Divot’s Garden State, New York, Commonwealth, Connecticut and New Hampshire Golf magazines; Golf Today; Sustainable Land Development and online at Go Golf and Travel, Cigar Aficionado, Nature Travel Network and Mexico Report.
Nestor was a publisher and editorial director of Divot's golf lifestyle publications; worked with the magazine divisions at the New York Times, Gruner and Jhar, Miller Freeman and Golf Digest; taught natural history, ornithology and environmental studies at New England College and Antioch University New England Graduate School where he developed, led and instructed extended international field study travel explorations. He is a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA), Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) and Metropolitan Golf Writers Association (MGWA).
He lives with his wife Flo in their Vermont hill top home. Bill enjoys time with family, playing golf, fly fishing, traveling, and sharing time with talented chefs while enjoying the flavors of their extraordinary creative cuisine.
To contact the author: email@example.com@sover.net
Recipe by Gaston Yelicich, Owner / Executive Chef at Cuatro Mares Restaurant, Punta del Este, Uruguay. (Friends of Golf Kitchen and Guest Chef at Golf Kitchen Punta Mita, 2019)
Pasta Dough Tag
In a large bowl, stir the flour with the salt and make a large hole in the center.
Put all of the wet ingredients inside the hole and then mix together until you have a smooth consistency.
Cover and allow to rest for three hours.
Chef Note: Make the mussels now.
Open all the mussels and put them in a large saucepan.
Add the garlic, olive oil and reisling.
Put the lid on the pot over a medium heat and allow shells to open.
Allow to cool and then remove the meat from the shells.
Pasta Dough continued.
Need and cut the dough really thin - Tagliolini - using your pasta machine.
In a large pasta pot, boil the water and cook the pasta al dente.
Strain the pasta and add it to the meat and juice of the mussels.
Add the lemon zest, chopped parsley and a splash of lemon juice.
autumn lobster salad with with Curried Butternut Squash, Endive, Shaved Apple, Fennel, Grapes, Arugula and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Recipe by Matthew O'Connor, Executive Chef at Bonnie Briar Country Club, Larchmont, New York, USA.
Compressed Fennel - Chef Note: Must be prepared 24 hours in advance.
(Yields 10 Portions)
(Yields 10 Portions)
Curry Roasted Butternut Squash
(Yields 10 Portions)
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
(Yields 2 cups)
(Yields 10 Portions)
Place all of the ingredients in a food saver bag and vacuum seal overnight.
Remove the fennel branches and thinly slice for service.
Steam Lobsters for 8 minutes at 220 °F and immediately plunge into ice water.
Once cold, remove the meat from the shells.
Cut the tails in half and then slice medallions out of the tail. Cut each claw in half and reserve cold for service.
Curry Roasted Butternut Squash
Peel the butternut squash and cut the end off that does not contain seeds. Chef Note: Reserve the bottom that contains seeds for other uses.
Square off the peeled squash and cut 30 perfect large cubes.
Toss the cubes in the oil, curry, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet.
Roast in a 350 °F oven until tender and browned.
Cool completely and hold cold for service.
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Put all ingredients except for the canola oil in a blender and blend until smooth, while the mixture is pureeing slowly drizzle the canola oil into the vinaigrette forming an emulsification. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and place into a squeeze bottle for service. Chill until assembly.
Toss the curried butternut squash, lobster and endive leaves in a little bit of blood orange vinaigrette.
Place three cubes of butternut squash per plate onto each plate
Place half a tails worth of the sliced lobster medallions onto the plate and 2 pieces of claw scattered around the butternut squash, lean 3 endive leaves against the butternut squash cubes.
Slice 30 slices of granny smith apple and lean them against the red endive.
Scatter the grape slices and compressed fennel slices around the plate.
Place some dots of blood orange vinaigrette onto the plate and place a blood orange segment into each dot.
Garnish the salad with micro arugula, fennel fronds and apple blossoms.