Prime Beef Tartare, Recipe by Derin Moore, CMC, Executive Chef / Director of Culinary Operations at Grey Oaks Country Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Capturing moments in time through photographs has been a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Before that, stories were conveyed via artists’ paintings and drawings, including many of food.
Why does a club need professional legacy-quality food and beverage images?
Preserving the Club’s Culinary History
Photography is an integral element of preserving a club’s culinary history. With the current generation of members often joining as social members, the club culinary scene is becoming even more relevant. Legacy, quality images chronicle a private club’s pride in its food and beverage, which has the potential of placing the club front and center ahead of its competition and in front of potential younger members seeking clubs to join.
Many private clubs spend a fortune on the golf course and clubhouse photography and leave the food as an afterthought. Private clubs have come a long way in the last 15 years, and thanks to publications like Golf Kitchen and Club and Resort, strides have been made to give many opportunities to highlight the culinary talents in the club industry on a high level. A club should pay attention to and devote resources to its culinary marketing.
Many chefs spend hours and days perfecting a recipe, its plating and design and then take a quick iPhone snap, completely ruining the image they wish to convey. Worse still, they post photos on social media for the world to see. Nothing is worse for a club or a chef than having unprofessional food images in member newsletters or to fulfill media requests. This certainly does not convey professionalism.
In this age of storytelling, recipes and photographs have unique stories. My experience in the restaurant world and interacting with legends of cuisine, has taught me that preserving these stories and images creates a visual record and leaves a legacy for future generations of members. But remember, be prepared for your photoshoots as it all starts with what is on the plate.
A Club Chefs Portfolio should be built as a Marketing Document.
A strong resume and visual culinary portfolio are vital for any Private Club Chef as they highlight their kitchen skills, abilities, and creativity.
The portfolio should comprise a well-presented written resume and a professionally photographed marketing document of images of relevant menu items that showcase the best of the best that the chef has to offer. Note: It is essential to be creative and not just stick to the standard items. Your professional food photographer can advise you ahead of your photoshoot and answer any questions.
Menu designs and any awards or recognition that the chef has received can also be included in the portfolio.
By presenting a portfolio, potential employers or clients get a glimpse into the chef's style, expertise, and experience, which can be crucial in securing a job or contract. It also helps chefs stand out in a highly competitive industry and demonstrates their commitment to their craft.
There’s something about small bites that are just so visually appealing, especially when plated with simplicity and elegance. I photographed this Pan Seared Port Lincoln Scallops recipe by Nigel Munzberg, Executive Chef at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Seaton, South Australia, in 2015, and it’s stunning. It still looks as mouthwatering today as it did then. It’s incredible how a well-plated dish stands the test of time.
Soups are always satisfying and comforting, no matter what the occasion. Showcasing your best soups in photographs is a great way to entice members to return for more. A well-composed photo of a bowl of soup can make mouths water— this photograph of a New England Clam Chowder recipe by Michael Ruggiero, GlenArbor Golf Club, New York, is a fine example.
Don’t forget the Salads!
Salads may not always be the most exciting dish on the menu, but when crafted by a skilled chef, they can be a true work of art. If
your club has access to a talented culinary team, don’t hesitate to showcase their impressive salad creations in your photography.
Stunning visuals can truly elevate the perception of a salad. often-overlooked category. This Honey Crisp Butternut Squash recipe by Jonathan Hancock at Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennesse, has been published internationally.
Pasta is a favorite among golfers, members, and guests. Its a filling meal with many different styles that cater to all taste buds. This
Pappardelle with Manilla Clams and Porcini was shot at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, and was created 2017 by former Executive Chef Zach Bell.
Don’t be afraid of Beef!
Even with the rise of plant-based diets, many golfers still crave a good beef dish. However, it seems that capturing the perfect shot of these meaty creations can be quite a challenge. Believe it or not, this Brandt Beef Bone Marrow Bread Pudding recipe by Doug Blair at Cassique at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, took four hours to create and shoot!
Are your members passionate about Asian cuisine? If so, why not showcase this preference by creating visually stunning photographs of their favorite dishes? I shot this Tuna Sashimi with Avocado, Citrus, Almond Crunch and Tataki Sauce recipe by Scott Haegele at Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Naples, Florida in 2018.
There’s something about the sight of a decadent dessert that can make your mouth water with anticipation. Whether it’s the rich, creamy texture of a chocolate mousse or the flaky, buttery crust of a fruit tart, there’s no denying the power of a beautifully crafted dessert to create lasting memories. I photographed this Huckleberry Pie Gelato at Cassique at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina. It looks like you can eat it right from the page.
In todays world, its crucial to present your bar’s best cocktails with high-quality photographs. With the current emphasis on creative concoctions at clubs across the country, having impeccable photography can make all the difference in attracting customers and standing out from the competition. This Campfire Old Fashioned was created by Junior Sous Chef Jeremy Bland at The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, Texas, and is an example of how some clubs are highlighting their bar offerings.
Matt Marrero, Sous Chef, Bonnie Briar Country Club, Larchmont, New York
When holding a professional photo shoot at your club it’s important to include the entire culinary team—in the organizing and planning process. Editorial quality images may be used in media features, event promotions, newsletters, portfolios, social media posts, websites, and even resumes.
Aaron Ruble, Executive Sous Chef at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Chrissie Bennett, Executive Chef at Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York