Recipe by Jason Voiselle, Executive Chef at Naples National Golf Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Chef Note: Garnish supplied by The Chef’s Garden, Huron, Ohio
Chef Note: Chill beef thoroughly ahead of service time.
Cut beef into approximately 1/8 inch dice. In a small stainless-steel bowl, combine capers, shallot, Dijon and olive oil, mix well. Fold in the diced beef, mix well, and season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Place 1/2 cup microgreens in the center of the plate and set the marrow bone over the nest of greens. Gently spoon one-quarter of the tartare mix evenly into marrow bone. Using a small spoon, place a divot into the tartare mixture and place a quail yolk in the hole. Using a microplane grate the cured egg yolk over the tartare. Top the tartare with the freshly shaved truffle. Arrange the flowers and nasturtiums on and around the tartare.
Carte Blanche Pinot Noir 2017.
~ Dan Ano is the Food and Beverage Manager/Wine Consultant at Naples National and has developed one of the leading wine programs in the private golf club industry.
Naples National Clubhouse
Image by Evan Schiller, courtesy Naples National Golf Club
Peter Zoole, Executive Chef at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Image by Gideon Heller
I initially interviewed Chef Zach Bell at Addison Reserve in 2017 when I first began producing the second Golf Kitchen book. At the same time, Golf Kitchen was growing quite quickly, and I had many dreams of what I wanted Golf Kitchen to be as a business. Since 2017, we have introduced a magazine, events, and a culinary awards program specifically for the Private Golf and Country Club industry. Fast forward to 2020, after many delays, Peter Zoole has taken the helm at Addison Reserve. I have enjoyed the journey and getting to know Peter as much as I enjoyed getting to know Zach. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: When did your interest in cooking arise?
I was born and raised in Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina, and I wasn’t interested in cooking at all. We had a structured family dinner, but it was meat and potatoes, and I didn’t give it much thought.
GK: How were you introduced the the culinary world?
I got into the food business in high school at a place in Spartanburg called Heavenly Ham, and I was washing dishes, nothing exciting. When I went off to college at Francis Marion University (FMU) I returned to Heavenly Ham on my summer break. One of my coworkers, Laurel Phillips was opening a restaurant and said that if I wanted a summer job the following year to please come and see her. The following summer break, I worked for her in the front of the house bussing, answering phones, waiting tables, a bit of everything. I fell in love with the whole thing, the pace of service, and the excitement of entertaining guests and everything that comes with it. I was intrigued by what the chefs and the cooks were doing in the kitchen. I was 19 or 20 at the time and had realized my passion.
I didn’t want to go back to college; I was not a good student and my grades were poor. I wanted to pursue a career in the culinary field, I needed to tell my parents. My father has a law degree, and my mother has an MBA, I felt that was expected of me. When I told my father I wanted to pursue a culinary career, he was surprisingly supportive, and it was a significant relief.
GK: Which culinary school did you attend?
I intended to enroll in Johnson and Wales in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved there shortly after making my decision. I needed a job to support myself and got a job at a restaurant called The Library at Vendue, once again washing dishes. I was so fast at washing dishes that the sous chef Chef Brian Kleinbub took me under his wing.
I worked my way up the ranks, and the Executive Chef Paul Tinsley, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), told me that I didn’t need to go into debt. I could learn more working for him than from textbooks, and not have a massive liability at the end of it. I was able to work as a waiter several days a week and in the kitchen on other days. I knew both the front and back of the house, which was very advantageous.
In 1995, Chef Paul Tinsley had the opportunity to open a new restaurant at Kiawah Island called the Sweet Grass Cafe, and he asked me to work for him there. It was being built from the ground up. I was learning from the consulting chef’s operations, such as purchasing equipment and menu creation. I stayed there for the season and then I had to find work in the offseason. I was on unemployment as I wanted to return to Kiawah the following season, but I was offered a job as a line cook at a restaurant at Folly Beach called Cafe Suzanne, which was owned by Lee and Susan Chewning.
It was a casual place and a lot of fun; however, I wasn’t learning much and had much desire to advance. The chef ended up leaving and that is when I got a big break, Lee and Susan offered me the Executive Chef position!
GK: That was fast. Tell us about that.
I didn’t know what I was doing, but I took the job regardless. I figured the first thing I would do is organize the kitchen and make sure it was nice and clean. I started buying cookbooks and searching for recipes and inspiration. I had a good run at the cafe. I stayed for almost three years and left with a fair amount of knowledge.
A friend of mine, Boyd Rose, was working at the Penninsula Grill, which was one of the founding father restaurants in downtown Charleston and one of the best. Boyd and I used to hang out often and talk about anything and everything to do with cooking and kitchens. One day he called me as said, “A position has opened at Penninsula Grill, I am leaving.” He offered to introduce me to the Bob Carter, the Executive Chef. I got the job, and it was big-time for me, it was fancy and expensive.
I started out making salads and I began to learn about chefs, chef de cuisine, and sous chefs positions. I worked with Sean Brock, who is a very successful Chef today. We were good friends, and he’s a couple of years younger than me, and he started at Penninsula after me, and I trained him at the salad station. Jacques Larson and Tyler Brown also worked that line, we were all in our mid-twenties, and we challenged each other a lot.
Many celebrities and famous football players would dine there - George Clooney, Robert Redford, Martha Stewart, Jimmy Buffet, Dan Marino, John Elway, and Chief Justice Clarence Thomas. It was the hot spot to be, and it was always exciting.
My now-wife Jennifer was attending Johnson and Wales and working at Penninsula in the pastry section. We got along really well and began dating. It was about five years since I had made the decision not to go to culinary school. I had learned a lot, but I started thinking that I needed to have that piece of paper to validate my career and keep moving up the culinary ladder. I started looking at different schools like the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Johnson and Wales, and then Le Cordon Bleu in Paris caught my attention. It was a year-long course, very reasonably priced and the best thing it was in Paris. I applied and was accepted. My parents scraped together the money, and I moved to Paris with my wife and my Labrador retriever Jed. We didn’t know what we were expecting, the apartment was tiny, just 10 square meters.
GK: Tell us about Le Cordon Bleu?
The classes at Le Cordon Bleu were a very different experience from what they have here in America. There were no textbooks or computers, it was all chef demonstrations that were a couple of hours long, they would show us various techniques, and then we would have to attend small kitchen classes with maybe 10-15 students.
We all had a stove and oven workstation, and we would make the dishes that were assigned, and the chef would critique them at the end. It was hands-on learning, they were older teachers, but they were terrific, the techniques that they demonstrated I had never seen before.
GK: Did you enjoy Paris?
We were relatively poor during that time, but Jennifer and I would go on marathon walks and try to get lost in Paris, we explored every inch of the city on foot and the metro.
Halfway through my course, Jennifer was getting homesick, she wasn’t working, and we decided for her to live with her grandmother in California. I would stay in Paris with the dog to finish the year. After I graduated, I moved to California to be with my wife.
When I returned, we decided that we wanted to live in San Francisco. Everything we owned was in South Carolina, so we flew back, booked a truck, and drove it to San Francisco. Once we were settled, I hit the bricks looking for a new position. I went to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Gary Danko’s, and a few others. I walked past Aqua Restaurant, and I had heard all about it, so I stopped in to drop off my resume. The receptionist told me that they were not hiring, and I begged her if she could give my resume to one of the chefs. Before I even got home, I had a message asking me to return for an interview as soon as possible.
I was super excited to be starting the next phase of my career at Aqua, one of the most excellent restaurants in San Francisco! They asked me what my goals were, and I said, "I didn’t drive a truck 3000 miles to make salads all day. I want to learn.” They put me with sous chef Ben Jenkins that was on loan from the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He was one of the most talented sous chefs I had worked with. I will never forget when I had to make a scallop dish, he grabbed the pan out of my hand and said, “Where the heck did you learn how to cook? Don’t touch anything, just watch, OK?” I was instantly humbled.
The Chef / Partner at the time was Michael Mina, who had several restaurants, and the chef and sous chefs would tell me in advance if he was going to be in the kitchen. They warned me not to screw up when he was there. I was terrified as my station was right near where Michael Mina stood, it was so humbling, but I didn’t quit and kept moving up the ladder, each day thinking I was going to be toast, but I figured it out and did very well, and within a year I became the sous chef, I was 29.
The restaurant group that owned Aqua had a falling out and parted ways. Some staff followed Michael Mina, and some stayed. I stayed, and a well known French chef Laurent Manrique took over. I was doing very well at Aqua, and during that time, we were awarded two Michelin Stars. The owners wanted to take over a steakhouse that was not far away, the chef who was well known was leaving, and I got offered the job. They called the restaurant C & L Steakhouse. This was a massive deal for my career, Michelin even mentioned C & L in the guide, although we didn’t have the stars there.
After a few years I returned to Aqua, I was burnt out and longed for the East Coast. I asked my wife what she thought. She was all for it, and we moved back to Charleston, and I took a job with Mike Lata, who was a James Beard Award Winner.
During that time, I had a sidekick job as a restaurant consultant in the Bahamas. That fizzled out, but it was fun flying to the Bahamas in a private jet with designers and engineers! I stayed with Lata for about a year and then began working for the Lowery Group in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with Chef Eric Sayers at the restaurant CQ’s.
Eric and I got along great, and we did all kinds of experimentation. It was when sous-vide was becoming popular. We didn’t have a circulator. We didn’t have a fancy cryovac machine or a vacuum sealer, so we made our version out of cheap goods from Target! I called it the hillbilly circulator on the stovetop. We challenged ourselves, and it was a great experience all around. I was working seasonally at CQ’s and would switch to one of the other restaurants in the group in the offseason. I was settling down and needed security, and this is what brought my attention to private clubs.
I had always believed that club chefs were making powdered mash potatoes, but was soon to learn differently. I interviewed at Colleton River Club in Bluffton. It was hard to leave the Lowery Group, but we wanted to start a family, and the clubs had many of the health insurance and perks that restaurants didn’t have.
I was the interim chef, and I had the opportunity to hire my boss, Chef Robert Wysong. We had the best time in the kitchen there; we got along very well. I desired to become the Executive Chef at a Club, and I knew Robert wasn’t leaving anytime soon, so I hired a chef agency to find me an Executive Chef position. They contacted me and said, “This isn’t an executive chef role, but it’s an executive sous chef job. The club is Addison Reserve Country Club down in Florida, and it’s the best there is. This is better than having an executive chef job right out of the box. I asked the General Manager at Colleton, and he said, “Addison is one of the best clubs there is, I know the GM Michael McCarthy very well.”
I told the chef agency that I was interested in the position. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but after doing some research on Google about Zach Bell, the executive chef and Michael McCarthy, and the club, I got fired up.
Angela Rodriguez is the head of human resources at Addison Reserve and she called me up, and she said, “I have to tell you that I got your resume from Charlie at the agency, and then five minutes later, my boss, the CEO of the club comes in with your resume in his hand. So I had to call you right away.” One thing led to another, and I did several phone interviews and Skype interviews with Zach. I came down for a weekend and toured the property and cooked for everybody and got hired!
Zach and I discovered that our backgrounds were pretty similar. We were the same age and kind of came up through the ranks the same way. He worked for Daniel Boulud and, I was in San Francisco working for Michael Mina and Laurent Manrique.
I moved the family down here in September of 2014, and it was right before the season started. I had towards the end of September to get settled, and then it started to get busy into October, I had just a few weeks to get acclimated. Before you know it, it hits hard! We got a lot of interns from overseas to work for the season. There were over 20 cooks that dropped in one day, and I had to figure out what their skill levels are and what positions they can fill.
The first season for me was a blur. There was so much going on, the volume, with the banquets, the regular dining, everything, it went by quickly. Zach was great to build and grow with. He is one of the most, if not the most incredibly talented chefs I’ve ever worked with and has a wealth of knowledge. Whatever project he works on, he excels. If he is buying a refrigerator, he becomes an expert in that fridge. He learns how to pull it apart and put it back together. He is that detailed.
He pushes himself, and he’s incredibly driven. He pushed the rest of our sous chefs and me; he sets the bar high for everybody. He questioned and challenged us to create and come up with new and crazy ideas. Although he was tough on us, it was for our progress. I respect Zach immensely.
When Zach left Addison in 2019, I got promoted to Executive Chef; I was nervous. Zach’s gone, and nothing’s ever going to be the same and it’s been quite the opposite. I’m very grateful and very vocal about about his achievements but we were excited for the change, eager for something different at the same time. The members asked, “You’re still going to do The Vault, right?” Of course, we wouldn’t be changing the Vault anytime soon, but I wanted to put my mark on things and my ideas about menus, food, and cooking.
When Zach left, it was not widely known that he was resigning, they sent a newsletter out to the members announcing Zach has left, but Peter is here, and Peter Zoole will be the new Executive Chef, and everything is going to be great!
GK: What plans do you want to execute on the culinary side that’s coming from your heart and soul and your palette?
I typed this long email to all my chefs. It started with accolades to Zach, and I explained that we all agree he was our hurricane force and how great he made us through all of his hard work. I wanted to reach out to the team and explain what his original mission was, as you tend to forget over the years. I wanted to reset that.
The next phase of the operation for me was to slowly start to roll out some new menu ideas that were my own. I would run them as specials to start and see what feedback I would receive. At the time, we were also developing menus for our brand new restaurant that was still under construction. Using the membership for a sounding board was how we were going to see the future, mainly working on the menus, and the expectations were extremely high for the new restaurant.
GK: How have you grown as a Chef since your became the Executive Chef?
In my first season as Executive Chef at Addison Reserve, we had a close brush with Hurricane Dorian, and we opened a brand new restaurant where the expectations were very high. The project was super delayed due to construction issues, opening the week before Thanksgiving was the height of our high season! The restaurant has been wildly successful, exceeding my wildest dreams!
We bulled through the rest of our 2019 Season and into 2020. Throughout the season, I kept telling myself that I couldn’t wait until this time next year-there were so many things that I learned on the go. I saw an opportunity for improvements the whole way and I made copious notes, and planned a major overhaul of events, all of which could be structured over the Summer.
GK: And then Covid-19 hit. What now?
In the beginning of March, we started seeing the first effects of COVID-19. In just a few short weeks we were forced to dramatically overhaul the entire way that we do business here at the club. No department has been unaffected. We quickly shifted our operations to a touchless food delivery within our gates. In addition to a la carte delivery, we offer so much more: from groceries to Trivia night, and live music events via Zoom.
As we slowly open our dining rooms to our members, we have learned that our delivery service is here for good. We have been tirelessly working on all new programming that includes exciting and fun events that our members can enjoy while staying safe and practicing proper social distancing. Not only that, but we have also rewritten the book on keeping our staff safe and healthy.
Our upcoming season here will be different than anything we have done before. I am fortunate to be surrounded by positive and intelligent leadership that contribute daily to our progress in this new landscape that we all find ourselves.
The lifestyle complex pool at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Image by Gideon Heller
Left: Phil Iannuccilli, Executive Chef at Greenwich Country Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.
Right: Prosciutto, Figs & Biscotti prosciutto-figs-biscotti.html
I am an Australian ex-pat, and I have lived in Connecticut for 18 years and have traveled to over 48 countries covering chefs in private golf and country clubs. It comes with great joy that I am featuring my first home state Executive Chef Phil Iannuccilli, and the prestigious Greenwich Country Club ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Tell us about your upbringing?
I grew up on Long Island. As a kid, I never thought being a professional chef was even something to consider. My father was a New York City detective, and my mom was a homemaker, or “nurturer”, she liked to say. I attended Chaminade high school and worked part-time at a local restaurant. At some point, I realized that I liked the restaurant business. I liked the interaction with the customers. I enjoyed the mechanics of it, from open to close, every aspect. So, I decided to study management and continued working. When I was nineteen, I was trained, and became a manager. I did everything, from scheduling, to purchasing, to mopping the floors at the end of the day. I learned how to control costs. I learned how to motivate people. At one point, they decided to put in a salad bar, and the cooks didn’t really know what to do. The boss said to me, “go get a book, and make some salads.” I went to the bookstore, I bought a book and started making salads. There were eighteen holes in that salad bar. Every day, I made eighteen distinctly different, perfect salads… and they were always delicious. I was meticulous about it. I had exact quantities, rotating backups, and it was impeccably clean. I had a friend, who left the restaurant to go to culinary school at Johnson and Wales. He stopped in to visit and saw what I was doing. He was visibly surprised. He watched for a while. Then he said, “you have talent, you should go to culinary school.” Almost immediately, I switched gears and was studying at The Culinary Arts Center at New York Tech.
GK: What led you to Country Clubs?
When I started culinary school, I didn’t have any professional cooking experience. My first instructor said, “I have a friend you can work for at Cold Spring Country Club. You can get some hands-on experience while going to school.” So, I worked there, and I learned a lot. The beauty of a club is that you gain experience in every area. I worked breakfast, lunch, dinner, weddings, barbecues, social events and holidays. You gain experience in both a la carte and buffet styles of service. It’s all good. Eventually, I got to the point where I had to choose a place to do my externship. I wanted to learn from the best.
GK: Where did you decide to go?
My school was celebrating Bastille Day, and I was in the kitchen. There were lots of local celebrities in the dining room. There were a few politicians and well-known chefs at the time. I said to my instructor, “who’s the best chef out there?” He opened the door so we could peek out, and he said, “you see that guy, that’s Guy Reuge from Mirabelle, he is by far the best chef on Long Island!” I snuck over to him, when no one was looking. I crouched down next to him, introduced myself, and said, “I need a place to do my externship, and I would really love to work for you.” I gave him my resume, which had almost nothing on it. He called me the next day and said, “you come Tuesday, and we’ll do pastry”. I’ll never forget it. Mirabelle was in St. James, New York, and it was a true temple of gastronomy. The whole time, I couldn’t believe I was working for a real French Chef - a great one! It was amazing. I did my apprenticeship, and then I stayed longer. I learned so many things. I learned, to be a great chef, you must know how to do everything. At Mirabelle, I made ice cream and sorbets, I made puff pastry and hot soufflés. I made duck confit, duck rillette and duck prosciutto. I worked every station. I learned how a real, reduced veal stock should taste and feel on your tongue. I have so many memories, and throughout my career, I’ve often thought back to how we did it at Mirabelle.
GK: What happened after that?
I reached a point in my curriculum where I could no longer stay at Mirabelle. I had a friend who had just started working for Brendan Walsh at Coyote Grill. Brendan was a rock star chef. He was nationally recognized, and one of the best chefs of his generation. I walked into his kitchen and introduced myself. He was cutting up a fruit. He said, “do you know what this is?” I said, “it’s a papaya.” He then told me how no one in my life will ever understand or appreciate the path that I chose. Then I went to work. Brendan was a bold American chef and what I learned from him was that an American chef can be just as good, if not better, than any other chef in the world. I’ll always appreciate that. I worked on the line, while still in school. I graduated with honors, first in my class. Almost immediately, they offered me the pastry chef position. I could now work full time and I was supplying two busy restaurants with all their breads, pastry, cakes, pies and plated desserts. I stayed for more than a year, but I still wanted to learn more.
GK: So, what did you do next?
I went to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for some continuing studies. I traveled the west coast and landed a job at Square One, in San Francisco. After returning to New York, I took the pastry chef position at a two-storied supper club on the upper east side of Manhattan. Soon after, they fired the chef and said, “We want you to be the chef.” I knew I could do it, so I said yes. In Manhattan, I held several Head Chef and Pastry Chef positions at various New York City Restaurants - Oceana, One If By Land, Two If By Sea and Sutton Grill, to name a few. This became a pattern going forward - I could work in any capacity. I could work as a full-time pastry chef or as a head chef and train other people to do pastry. As a matter of fact, I’m certified by The American Culinary Federation as both a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Executive Pastry Chef, which is quite rare.
GK: Can you tell us a highlight of your career?
After I got married, I met a real pro. He had worked all over the world. He spoke five languages. He and his wife were relocating and rebuilding their restaurant in Nassau County. It was called Maxxels. It had great style. He told me, “you can showcase your talents, you can do whatever you want”. I was sold. I remember, it started off a bit slow. Then, out of nowhere, someone spotted the food critic from The New York Times, in the dining room.. I began pacing like a lion, waiting for that ticket to come in. I was all over it. I made every dish myself. She returned two more times, for a total of three visits. Then I received a phone call. We talked for quite a while. She asked me lots of questions. She ended by saying, “you better get ready, I’m giving you an excellent rating”. When the review came out, it said, “The genius in the kitchen sending out this United Nations of tastes is Phil Iannuccilli”. That day, the phone started ringing and it didn’t stop for two full years. We were packed every single night. We did two hundred and fifty dinners, every night, off a three-man line. It was glorious!
GK: You got the international travel bug, tell us where that began.
I always wanted to see the world and work overseas. My wife is from Indonesia and I wanted to see where she grew up. My son was one, and I figured I could go for a few years before he had to start school. So, we packed up and landed in Jakarta. I secured a two-year contract at a five-star hotel, as chef de cuisine of the fine dining restaurant. During this time, we traveled all over Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam. After successfully completing my contract, we flew directly to London. There I had the great pleasure of working at The Duke of Cambridge, London’s first and only certified organic pub. After London, I worked at Comerç 24, in Barcelona. There I got an inside look at traditional Catalan cuisine and the Michelin starred wizardry of present-day Spain.
GK: You’ve been at Greenwich Country Club for five years. What do you love most about it?
I’ve had a great deal of success here. What I love most about the club is that it provides endless opportunities to do great things. You can design a great market table, or a themed flight of dishes, you can do down home rustic cooking, at the same time you’re plating Michelin starred works of art. One member might go to the pool and tell me how much they loved the fish taco. Another might go to a wine dinner and tell me how much they loved the stuffed rabbit loin. There are so many opportunities to cook at different levels, in different styles, from casual to spectacular.
GK: Tell us about any new plans you have at Greenwich Country Club?
We recently started an in-house dry aging program. We assigned a specific walk-in, just for that purpose. It’s a perfect environment. We’re currently serving 30-day dry aged ribeyes. We have an extensive amuse-bouche collection, and we bake our own breads. Our dessert and pastry offerings continue to change. We just added a coffee house semifreddo, with a chocolate fudge center and a roasted banana rum caramel. We also added my famous “Nuts of Dough”, which are fresh-fried beignets, served with two dipping sauces… perfect for sharing. Our house-made petits fours include chocolate truffles, Florentina, candied orange and designer marshmallows. All a la carte pastas are made by hand. We’re currently working on fresh-made whole wheat and gluten-free pasta. We’re playing around with our pizza crust to offer a variety of alternatives. We’re building our salumi and charcuterie offerings. Currently, we make our own hot dogs, terrines, pâtés, rillettes, jerky… this will continue to develop. We’re also doing more and more wine dinners, popup restaurants and dining excursions.
GK: What programs have you introduced, during COVID-19, that will continue?
We started creating market baskets with high- end grocery items that our members can pick up and take home. This also included hot and cold prepared foods. It became very popular. Eventually, it will evolve into gourmet baskets of our own proprietary products. Every week we do a new take-home kit. At the moment, most of them are outdoor friendly. They change every week and have quickly become a club staple. We also just added weekday family meal plans, which are a take-home three course meal of comfort food favorites.
The 18th green overlooking the back of the clubhouse at Greenwich Country Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Image by Image by Henry Cardenas
Recipe by Jason Voiselle, Executive Chef at Naples National Golf Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Chef Note: Garnish supplied by The Chef’s Garden, Huron, Ohio.
In a small stainless-steel bowl, combine lobster meat with mayonnaise to the desired consistency, mix well and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Reserve in refrigerator for service.
Season the truffle stock and in a blender shear in the Gellan Gum. Transfer to a saucepot and bring to a simmer while stirring continuously, allow to simmer for one minute. Transfer to a container. Allow to cool and set. Transfer to a blender and purée, adjusting consistency and seasoning.
Generously fill cone with lobster salad. Top lobster salad with 1/4 teaspoon Kaluga. Garnish with a Egyptian Starflower and Pea Tendril. Serve immediately.
Freeman Pinot Noir 2017.
~ Dan Ano is the Food and Beverage Manager/Wine Consultant at Naples National and has developed one of the leading wine programs in the private golf club industry.
The Clubhouse at Naples National Golf Club. Image by Evan Schiller.
Left: Jason Voiselle, Executive Chef at Naples National Golf Club. Right: Lobster Cone
When I met Jason Voiselle, it was just before the Covid-19 shutdown began in New York. I spent an incredible five days at the club learning about the impressive dining scene as well as the advanced wine program at the club. On Saturday night, I was to have dinner at the club with guests from Outlier Jets, and we were all blown away by the evening menu, wine program, and service. My guests had a hard break to leave at 8.30 PM. However, they were so impressed with the evening they stayed until 11 PM! ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Where were you raised?
I grew up in a restaurant family. My grandfather owned restaurants and steak houses, and my family worked for him. When I was very young, I was already prepping and making hamburger patties. The kitchen was home to me. By the time I was 14, I had worked as a busser, then in the dish room. When there were no dishes, I’d help with prep work, and that is when I felt gravitated to cooking in a more significant way. During high school, I worked at a restaurant called The Trolley Station, where we made soups and sandwiches from scratch. It was in Venice, Florida, and it was trendy. The menu showcased familiar, comfort foods, but they were famous for their soups. When I graduated high school, I was the lead line cook, and I would continue to work there during the summer breaks in my college years at Florida State University (FSU).
GK: What were you studying?
I was initially working towards a pre-med major, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I took a year off to figure out what I desired to become. During this time, I worked during the day doing lawn care and the evenings at The Trolley Station.
When I returned to FSU, I took a job at the Ramada Hotel in Tallahassee. The hotel had a full-service restaurant, and it was a step up from what I had been doing at the Trolley Station. It wasn’t fine dining by any means, but I was learning a different business aspect.
For personal reasons, I left FSU during my Junior year, I moved to Brevard, North Carolina, as my dad was building a house. I helped him complete the home over the next two years.
After that, I took a job at Connestee Falls Country Club, and it was at this time that I decided that if this is what I am going to do, I need to take it full steam. I looked at several culinary schools such as Johnson and Wales and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), but I didn’t want to leave Asheville.
I started looking for a local school and found that Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (ABTECH) had a culinary program that was well regarded. I applied and started shortly after. Two years later, I graduated at the top of my class. One of the most memorable experiences at ABTECH was competing in the Junior American Culinary Federation (ACF) competitions.
GK: Where did you do your internship?
They had excellent administrative staff at ABTECH, who encouraged us to find internships in places away from our hometown. I took my training at Bacchanalia, a highly regarded restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia; it was the first time they had an intern as no one had ever approached them before. I had a second internship at 1848 House, a restaurant in Marietta, Georgia, on Sundays. I was working six days a week, trying to soak in as much as possible from these two very different restaurants.
After I graduated in August of 2001, I moved back to Southwest Florida. I took a job at The Colony Golf and Bay Club in Bonita Springs. I only stayed for a short time as unforeseen circumstances took us back to North Carolina. I took a job at an Italian Restaurant Chianti’s to help the owner get the restaurant established as he wasn’t experienced in menu creation and things of that nature. My family had a five-year plan to open a restaurant, but a space became available near where I was living. It was a large area of an old furniture store. My parents and I pulled the trigger, and we did it, we signed a ten-year lease and built a restaurant. I was 27, and it took six months, and we opened in December of 2002, and it was named Jason’s Main Street Grill. I ran the restaurant for almost seven years and decided to sell it in 2008 as the recession was taking its toll. I moved back to Florida with my wife Corey in 2009, we have been married for 11 years, and I adore her.
I needed a break from the food industry, so I helped my father out with his business dealing in imported architectural stone. In 2012 we decided to move to Fort Myers. I had stayed in touch with my old boss Jim Iacovino over the years. I initially called him to see if he knew of any positions available in the area, and he hired me back at the Colony Golf and Country Club. I had a large gap from cooking, so I had planned to use this job to get my feet wet again. Three months later, he was promoted to the General Manager position, and I took over as the Executive Chef. It was the right timing. I stayed for six and a half years.
GK: Where did you land next?
I worked at several places for short periods, but I wasn’t content with them. In the fall of 2018, I was approached about a position at a place called The Club at The Dunes. The Dunes is a substantial resort-style community with seven condominium towers and a vast swimming pool.
They were building a brand new clubhouse when I arrived. We opened two modern kitchens in the 11 months I was there. It was a great job. We had the Tiki Bar, casual fare, and a fine dining restaurant in the main clubhouse. It was great having the two different styles of dining and kept us busy. I have over 100 cookbooks and am continually searching for new trends online, and having two different dining venues was an excellent way for me to bring new menu items. I feel I left them with a great dining program.
GK: How did you go from The Dunes to Naples National Golf Club?
I had spoken to Dan Ano, the Wine Director at Naples National over the years, but I had never actually met him. He called me one day out of the blue and asked me if I’d be interested in taking the Executive Chef role.
I went to interview with the General Manager Scott Garvin and Dan, I was thinking of the future, and having the ability to excel as a chef and also be able to spend quality time with my family. I took this position in 2019, and it has been an excellent fit for us.
GK: Tell us about your menu process at Naples National.
The menus at Naples National Golf Club are what we like to call a “living” menu. We make changes to it often, but nothing drastic. We observe what is in season as well as what the membership desires and try to build from there. I work closely with my sous chef Zac Schatzman to try to walk the line of comfort and cutting edge. Zac and I have worked together for the last seven years so we seem to share the same vision for what we are trying to achieve.
GK: How has Covid-19 affected the dining scene at the club?
We had to shut down our clubhouse in mid-March as well as all operations for about six weeks. In May, we opened our Tern snack bar for carry-out deli sandwiches and snack items as our golf course was still open throughout the season. Our facility closes for the season after Memorial Day every year though mid-October, so we have plenty of time to develop a plan for the following season.
GK: When the season opens, what plans do you have in place?
We will be following the restaurant guidelines set in place by our county. We will also be adjusting our events as needed, such as our buffets will be more chef operated action stations trying to minimize the potential for cross-contamination. It will be a learning process for sure.
The Naples National Clubhouse. Image by Evan Schiller.
Recipe by Leandro Jaszchuk, Restaurant Chef at Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Image by Stephanie Starr
Ricotta Spinach Filling
Fettuccine Truffle Butter
Orange and Balsamic Beurre Blanc
Debone the Dover sole and portion into four filets.
Ricotta Spinach Filling
Blend in a robot coupe, the spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper.
Put the mix in a pastry bag and save it in the refrigerator.
Place Ricotta Spinach filling on one end of the filet and roll until you get a cylinder.
Bake for 5 minutes at 400°F.
Boil salted water in a pasta pot.
Cook the pasta for about six minutes
Heat a pan with butter, add the truffle slices, salt, pepper, and white wine, place the cooked pasta in the butter and finish with pecorino cheese.
Orange and Balsamic Beurre Blanc
Reduce 1 cup of white wine with chopped shallots, oranges, and balsamic vinegar. Add little by little the 1/2 pound of butter.
With a brush, draw two crossed lines with the squid ink; at the crossroads, place the fish and face the pasta aside from the sauce. Decorate with microgreens, edible flowers, and broccolini.
Chane Bleu, Rose, Rhone, France.
The Royal Poinciana Clubhouse. Painting by Golf Artist Graeme Baxter
Recipe courtesy Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, USA. Image by Gideon Heller.
Mixology Note: A smooth, spicy cocktail with oaky undertones and a perfectly bittersweet taste.
Pour the alcohol and liqueurs into a shaker and muddle with fresh Blood Orange juice.
Add 2-3 pods of Star Anise and shake well.
Strain and pour into your favorite glass.
Garnish with Dehydrated Orange or freshly sliced Blood Orange, and Star Anise.
Welcome to Autumn!
Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, USA. Image by Gideon Heller.
Recipe by Christina Ferraiolo, Pastry Chef and Garde Manger at Edgewood Country Club, Rivervale, New Jersey, USA
Yield: Two 10-inch Cheesecakes or 12 individual 3-inch Cheesecakes.
Mix cheesecake ingredients until smooth and well blended. Pack into 10-inch mold pan or individual ring molds lined with foil. Pour in cheesecake batter bake for 1 hour at 300 °F until firm yet jiggly in the center. Cool for one hour in refrigerator. Add frosting on top of cheesecake once chilled.
Add Oreos to a food processor and pulse gently until it becomes crumbs. Place Oreo crumbs into a bowl and pour melted butter over and mix well. Pour crumb mixture into molds or cake pans and gently press down coating the bottom and halfway up the sides, Chill in refrigerator for 1/2 an hour until ready. Pour filling into molds 3/4 full and follow instructions for baking.
Add all berries into a mixing bowl. Add the Melba sauce and gently fold mixture together to make the compote. Add the granulated sugar and continue to gently mix berries together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until plating dessert.
Chef Note: If you are making the two 10 inch cheese cakes, once chilled well generously spoon the compote on top of the cheese cakes and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, remove cheese cakes from refrigerator and use a thin cake knife or cake spatula and dip the knife into warm water and gently slice the cheese cake making sure to wipe the blade of the knife in between slicing of the cake as not to have a messy slice on the plate. For the three 8-inch individual cheese cakes, gently remove the bottom foil of the ring molds. Use a paring knife dipped in warm water to gently remove the cheese cakes from the ring molds. Use a small chilled dessert plate and place the cheese cake in center of the plate. Generously spoon the berry compote on top of the cheese cake and garnish with addition fresh berries and micro mint leaves.
Mascato D’ Asti: It comes from North West Italy and is a sweet wine that is low in Alcohol and comes from the Piedmont area of Italy. It is made in small batches. It is named as such because of its Earthy musky Aroma. The wine is a light honey like dessert wine that really compliments the cheese cake.
The Second one I recommend is also From the North East region of Italy. Prosecco Mionetto: It is a light straw color with bright yellow highlights. It has aromas of golden apples, honey and white peach. It is well balanced and has an acidity that provides a fresh and lively feel on the palette. It is perfect to drink with your meal and especially this cheese cake with hints of vanilla and berries. Perfect Dessert wine or aperitif.
The Ballroom at Edgewood Country Club, Bergen County's Award Winning Event Venue. Image courtesy Edgewood Country Club
Recipe by Peter Zoole, Executive Chef at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida. Image by Gideon Heller.
Yield: 6 Stuffed Crabs
Tomato and Corn Relish
Old Bay Hollandaise
Yields 12-14 cakes plus a few for experiments
Melt the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Gently pick through the crab to remove any pieces of shell. Chef Note: Be careful not to break up those beautiful lumps of crab too much.
In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, egg, and onion/celery. Mix thoroughly.
Gently fold in the crabmeat and the crushed crackers. Chef Note: The mixture will appear a little loose, give the crackers a few minutes to absorb. Season with Old Bay to taste. Brush the reserved butter over the top of the crab mixture.
Bake in a 350 °F oven for 20 minutes until the crabs are hot and golden brown. Chef Note: My Mom always told me that the least amount of ingredients you add (besides the crab) to crab cakes, the better they taste!
Tomato and Corn Relish
Roast the corn on barbeque grill until it is lightly charred. Remove and allow to cool. Chef Note: Alternatively, corn may be broiled in an oven if a grill is unavailable. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. Place the corn and the tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl. Add the shallots, olive oil, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the relish on serving plate or platter, garnish with celery and parsley leaves.
Old Bay Hollandaise
In a metal bowl whisk together the yolks and lemon juice. Place the metal bowl over a double boiler and whisk quickly. Once the whisk begins to trace lines in the egg mixture, gradually add in the butter. Continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened, and all of the butter has been incorporated. Season to taste with the Old Bay.
Cover and reserve in a warm place until ready to serve. Chef Note: Hollandaise can be tricky the first few times that you make it. Everything has to be not too hot, not too cold, and the butter has to be whisked in carefully. If you go too fast the the sauce will break. Old Bay is a name brand for a spice that can be purchased in just about any supermarket. I purposely left out salt and pepper in this recipe as they are included in the Old Bay spice blend.
In a bowl, mix the cornmeal sugar and salt. Pour in the boiling water until a tight paste forms. Add in the milk until the consistency of a pancake batter is achieved. In a skillet, melt a teaspoon of butter and add a spoonful of batter to form a 3-inch cake. Cook the cake on each side until golden brown. Chef Note: I have found that when making Johnny Cakes or pancakes, the first few never come out nicely. Experiment with the pan temperature and cook time. Be patient. These can be prepared slightly ahead and held warm if need be.
Place the Johnny cakes onto a plate, or skillet and spoon the tomato and corn relish over it.
Place the devilled crab on top, and pour hollandaise over. Sprinkle lightly with Old Bay spice and garnish with celery leaves.
Radio-Coteau “Savoy” Chardonnay 2018 Anderson Valley.
This organically grown Chardonnay from California’s Anderson Valley is perfectly autumnal — think pie crust, baked golden apples, and brown butter. While it certainly goes well with richly sauced fish dishes and roast chicken, it will also be lovely with braised pork shoulder or a well-spiced vegetarian main.~ Steve Monti, Director of Dining Operations.
The Clubhouse at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida. Image by Gideon Heller.
Recipe by Cory Saffran, Director of Food & Beverage, Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee. USA
In a champagne flute or wine glass, add the red wine, bitters and pomegranate syrup.
Top with club soda and crushed ice.
The Clubhouse at dusk at Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Image courtesy Richland Country Club