Derin Moore, CMC, Executive Chef at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia, USA
Image right - Prime Beef Tartare
Reynolds Lake Oconee is one of the most stunning Golf Real Estate communities in the country, and to match the beauty of the community, they hired Derin Moore, Certified Master Chef (CMC), to upgrade the culinary elements from average to sensational. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Where did you grow up, and who, and what influenced your interest in cooking?
I was born and raised in Southeast Michigan, but I spent the summers with my grandpa in Orchard Park, New York. That’s where the spark of cooking and fresh food began. I was very young and one of six children, four boys, and two girls. I was the middle child. I loved my grandpa. He used to pick me up right from school, and then I’d spend the entire summer with him.
We were a large family, and every Sunday, he would always have people over for dinner. He had a big house, a vast garden, and a lot of land. We would plant and pick his garden all summer long. Grandpa did a lot of canning, and he would make creamed corn and jellies out of the fruit trees. There were always activities outside of the kitchen; however, I’d still be up making homemade muffins before church. As I got older, we did a lot of harvesting and cooking together.
When I was in 10th grade, Grandpa took me on a trip across the New York State Thruway to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He knew Joseph Amendola, a culinary mainstay at the CIA in Hyde Park, New York. Amendola gave me a tour of the facilities, and I was mesmerized; he had such an extensive knowledge of his craft. He was known as the teacher who teaches the teachers. After a few days on the property, I was hooked.
GK: What year was that?
It was around 1982; at that time, the CIA was still relatively small. All the master chefs were there, including Ferdinand Metz, the President, Tim Ryan, and Mark Erickson. I had found myself in an ideal learning environment, and I was just 18. Many of the chefs in my class were older, and many were changing careers; they could all go out on the town, but because I was underaged, I just knuckled down and studied. It was a different school at that time, but it was an excellent education, and I made a lot of great contacts that I still have today. As time went by, I got on the United States Olympic Team while getting ready for my Master Chef exam. A lot of my instructors at that time became mentors and pushed me into the competition direction. I had graduated CIA by the time I was 20. After that, I returned to Michigan.
GK: What did you do next?
The Detroit area was bustling with higher-end cuisine and the integrity of good food and good cooking. There were many certified master chefs in Michigan, and I was able to easily find work in fine dining restaurants, where some of the best chefs could mentor me. These restaurants (The Bijou, The Pike Street Restaurant, and The Golden Mushroom) were all servicing celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, mainstay executives from the big three automotive companies, and sports teams. You don’t think of Detroit as a restaurant town anymore, but there are many great clubs there. They’re trying to come back, but there was a lot more support with the big three being so successful, and the auto industry thrived. I was in the right place at the right time, and I learned from some of the best chefs in the area for 12 years. I worked with Brian Polcyn, who wrote three books with Michael Ruhlman about charcuterie. Milos Cihelka, who was like the godfather of sorts for most of the successful chefs in Michigan, mentored Brian Polcyn, who in return mentored me for eight years at Pike Street. My gosh, I got the benefit from those relationships in the Detroit area.
GK: Tell us about the ACF and US Olympic team competitions.
I had an opportunity to enter culinary competitions hosted by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). I competed in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and Detroit.
Everybody was competing in cold food competitions, and you’d get critiqued by Ferdinand Metz, Tim Ryan, and Mark Erickson. That was a precious experience, and it was fun to win gold medals. After that, I was invited to try out to compete on the US Olympic team. Keith Keough was the team manager and the ACF President. I traveled and competed from 1996-2000 on the National team. I was blessed to have traveled to Scotland, Switzerland, and Germany twice. The practices were at Disney.
GK: Where were you working during your US Olympic team years?
I was at The Golden Mushroom and Charlotte Country Club with General Manager Damon DiOrio. When I left the team, I went to Dunwoody Country Club in Georgia to work with John Knobbe, the General Manager. I was only off the Olympic team for a short while before I got my Certified Master Chef (CMC) accreditation in February of 2003.
I wasn’t looking to leave Dunwoody Country Club when I received a call from Medinah Country Club in Schaumburg, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. I interviewed with Michael Wheeler, who was the General Manager. I stayed five years, it was a great club with a considerable reputation and fabulous members, but it was so cold in the winters and snowed way too much! I was not looking for a new position when I got a phone call from Lawrence McFadden, who at one time was the corporate chef for The Ritz-Carlton and transitioned to the Food & Beverage Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples.
Lawrence called me and said, “Hey, listen, you are familiar with five stars, five-diamond, and we’d love for you to come to talk to us about this job.” I said, “Lawrence, I’m running an operation with four food outlets and 45 culinarians, and you’re asking me to come to one with 20 outlets and 170 culinarians?” Regardless, I took the role.
GK: How did you land at Reynolds Lake Oconee?
It was 2012, and my wife and I got tired of moving around. It was fun during our twenties and thirties, but you know, we had three young kids who were starting to get older and had never grown roots anywhere. I was in and out in four or five years at several jobs because attractive offers at prestigious places kept presenting themselves. We’re bringing our kids along, but we realized that they hadn’t had a chance to develop friends and relationships. We decided to pick a part of the country, and then I’ll focus on finding a job there. We liked the Georgia area from when we lived here when I was at Dunwoody Country Club. We moved back to the area, and then the opportunity came up at Reynolds Lake Oconee. The kids were starting college, so it was good timing to make one more move.
In our business as chefs, you don’t get to sit in the big jobs and the rewarding careers unless you’ve gained that experience. You can’t manage larger kitchens and multi-facet operations without an extensive background.
Reynolds offers a multitude of opportunities and is in a great location. You’re in the mountains in two hours, and you’re down on the beach in four hours. We are right in the middle of everything and can easily get to anywhere in the world from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport just down the road. When I got here, we had several clubhouses, but they were all very similar traditional menus. When you look at how the property is laid out, there was no reason for members to navigate to one of the other clubhouses; they just stayed with the clubhouse nearest to their home. That was one thing that I noticed when I started in July of 2015 here at Reynolds. When I assessed the membership needs, I wanted to define themes in restaurants with distinctly different menus and styles of dining. Doing this offers our members a unique dining experience from each of the restaurants across Reynolds. I also wanted to implement seasonal changes. We do three full property menu changes a year for all the restaurants, snack bars, and cafes. Fast forward five years, the members will ask us, “when are we getting another menu change?” We’ve gone through that whole cycle where the membership looks forward to it and expects it.
We opened The National Tavern, a hybrid of one of the restaurants I did in Naples called Bites. It was a tapas-sharing, casual concept that we created for the lobby. We put this concept together pretty quickly, from the menus to the china. This concept has become very popular at The Tavern, and pre-Covid, we were five deep at the bar and bustling every night.
GK: Are you busy when the Masters comes to Augusta National?
April is the start of the season, and the Masters takes place just about an hour down the road at Augusta National. Folks come to stay here and go down to the tournaments daily. Every house and room is booked.
GK: Tell us about the restoration that Jack Nicklaus recently did at Great Waters.
Jack Nicklaus oversaw a total restoration of the Great Waters course, which reopened in the fall of 2019. At Great Waters, we have The Overlook Restaurant and the Waterview Pub with a bar, indoor and outdoor seating, and a full kitchen. Both offer great views of the lake, and I like to keep the pub golfer friendly with casual pub fare.
It took me a little while to determine what menu items appealed to our members when I started. Most of our members travel and eat in high-end fine dining restaurants, so I had to balance that level of expectation and find menus that appeal to our members every day. In the end, it’s their club, and my job is to keep them happy by offering a selection of menus to give them different experiences to enjoy.
GK: What do your peers say when they visit you at Reynolds?
When I have colleagues come in, they say, “Man, you have everything from chicken fingers all the way up to luxury fine dining menus?” My reply, “I now have ten different dining locations to make that happen!”
GK: Tell us a little about Chef Zouhair Bellout at The Creek Club at Reynolds?
I enjoy working with him, all I have to do is poke him a couple of times, and then he wants to brainstorm. We come up with items that sell, what doesn’t sell, what’s working, and what’s not working. Many of our chefs are from different cultures or have traveled to many countries, so we can bring those influences to create our menus here. It is gratifying. Chef Zouhair is from Morocco, so once a month, we run a traditional tagine special for the members, which is going very well. Zouhair loves to go to the markets on his day off. He brings back the most incredible produce locally and worldwide to integrate into his specials.
GK: What are your plans at Reynolds Lake Oconee in the next few years?
We’re opening up new areas of development, and we’re continuing to see a great demographic mix of people move to the lake with a trend of younger buyers, especially with expanding work-from-home opportunities. We have a great variety of community members from different backgrounds and ages, which gives us so much freedom to create menus and events for all age ranges—from the grandparents, grandkids, young families, celebrities, and professionals.
GK: What new and current events do you have in 2021? Are you excited, and why?
Events, for the most part, are still on hold for 2021 due to Covid. One program that we have started over the last few months has become very popular for members is our meal kits. Every 2-3 weeks, I’ll offer a meal kit for two and shoot a video on preparing the meal. The kits include all ingredients portioned out for the meal, and I demonstrate how to prepare the meal from start to finish, including a select wine pairing from one of our sommeliers.
The 16th green at Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia, USA.
Image by Evan Schiller, courtesy Reynolds Lake Oconee
October 21st, 2020, Stamford, Connecticut – Golf Kitchen®, the only organization dedicated to identifying and showcasing the world’s finest golf and country club culinary offerings—has launched an international certification program for club food and beverage teams, a way for the most sophisticated and advanced private clubs to distinguish themselves from their competition.
The Golf Kitchen Certification of Culinary Excellence is based on a rigid set of criteria and a club’s ability to produce an exemplary product, as evaluated by an independent review of the entire food and beverage operation, including but not limited to:
“Private club members have no way of knowing when they’re thinking of joining a club, or even when they’re in the club, the quality and caliber of food,” said Diana DeLucia, founder of Golf Kitchen who has amassed 10 years of experience reviewing and visiting private golf and country club kitchens. “This is the first time that a set of standards have been packaged into a certification program for culinary operations of golf and country clubs and will be the new benchmark for excellence.”
The evaluation criteria and process were created by an advisory board comprised of noted private club managers, chefs, and culinary consultants. As part of the process, clubs must complete and submit an application to be considered for certification, followed by an on-site evaluation and a series of interviews with the culinary team and management, when it is safe to do so.
DeLucia believes that club dining rooms will become the “go-to” restaurants of the future, an observation made even more likely in the era of COVID. “With more younger people coming back to private clubs, in particular younger couples and families joining clubs and moving into golf communities, the club’s culinary offerings are increasingly important,” she said.
The inaugural certified clubs include Sebonack Golf Club, Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Addison Reserve Golf Club, Richland Country Club, GlenArbor Golf Club, Liberty National Golf Club, Greenwich Country Club and Naples National Golf Club.
For more information visit https://www.golfkitchen.com/certification.html or call (860) 406-1782.
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About Golf Kitchen
Golf Kitchen was founded in 2014 by Diana DeLucia, an internationally recognized culinary writer/photographer, to recognize private golf and country clubs for the quality of their culinary offerings. The Golf Kitchen portfolio includes a bi-annual magazine, books, special culinary events, and an annual program, the Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards.
Hunter Public Relations
Please enjoy a preview of one of the many creative recipes in the new book by Farmer Lee Jones.
Yields 8-9 dozen
Beet marshmallows bring a grown-up twist to classic s’mores when roasted over a fire. They’re also perfect for old-fashioned root-vegetable casseroles. Play around with using juice from other vegetables. Instead of corn syrup, you could use honey or maple syrup. Figure on this taking about 5 hours before the marshmallows are ready to eat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine half the beet juice with the gelatin. Have the whisk attachment standing by. Let sit until gelatin is softened.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining beet juice with the granulated sugar, cor11 syrup, a11d salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat.
Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. With the bowl in place and the machine on medium speed, gradually and carefully pour the hot beet syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture.
Increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture becomes very thick, bright pink, and is lukewarm, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla seeds during the last mi11ute of whipping.
Lightly spray two 9 by 13-inch baki11g pans with the vegetable oil.fe
In a bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cor11starch. Dust the baking pans with some of the mixture and shake the pans to evenly coat the surf ace; tap out any excess onto a plate and reserve.
Using a lightly oiled spatula, transfer the beet mixture to the pans and spread evenly. Dust the top with just barely enough of the remaining cornstarch mixture to lightly cover; reserve the extra for later use. Let stand uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
Turn the marshmallows out of the baking pans onto a cutting board and cut into I-inch squares. Lightly dust all sides of the marshmallows with the remaining cornstarch mixture.
Recipe by Dominic Calla, Executive Chef at Round Hill Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Shuck the oysters separating the bottom abductor mussel as well.
Cut the tops off of quail eggs with a knife and separate the yolk and the white.
Gently roll the egg yolk into each oyster shell. Place one piece of Uni in each oyster shell.
Place a spoonful of caviar into each oyster shell. Arrange oysters on top of the salt, pink peppercorns, and microgreens.
Serve immediately after assembly.
Chef Note: Any left-over Uni can be turned into Uni butter by puréeing in a food processor and adding softened butter, lemon juice, and sea salt. Roll the butter in parchment paper and freeze to be used in another dish.
Bodegas del Palacio de Fefinanes, “1583”, (oak aged) Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 2019.
These ingredients are earthy, briny and rich (yolk.). I would look for a wine with a bit of oak/texture to hold up to the egg but a salinity that will marry with the oyster. ~ Mary Schaffer, Assistant General Manager
Ed Stone, Executive Chef at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey, USA
Image by Michael J. Fiedler, www.working-journal.com
I have always had a robust interest in the history that surrounds private golf clubs. Baltusrol is no exception. Upon entering the Clubhouse, I was taken on a journey back in golf history. I was working with esteemed Executive Chef Ed Stone, and at the same time, mesmerized by the passion Baltusrol has for golf and preserving its heritage. I am proud that this story will become a part of that. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Where did you grow up, and where did you get your first taste of kitchen life?
I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to parents who had to move a lot as we were a military family; however, I have lived in New Jersey for most of my adult life. Wherever we lived, no matter what, we always made room for a garden to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and things of that nature. My earliest memories are of fresh Bibb lettuce, fresh corn, and green beans. My grandfather of my father’s side raised bees, so we always had honey. I can’t really say this inspired my career, but it was my introduction to fresh ingredients.
When I was in high school, many of my classmates worked in restaurants to make extra cash. I was 15 when I got my first job, and they used to leave the window cracked open for me to climb into early mornings so I could clean the restaurant before anyone arrived. I worked through high school, and it became time to decide what I would do as a career. I liked working with my hands. I liked getting the immediate gratification of cooking. However, in the late seventies, early eighties, it was not considered a respectable career like it is today. My mother would cry and tell me that it was a job that people took if they didn’t go to college, but it did not dissuade me from pursuing a career in the kitchen.
I worked in local restaurants, and then when I got serious about cooking as a career, I had the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on my radar. It was 1980. When I started at the CIA, Ferdinand Metz was the President, and it was when we all had to wear white pants. Classes after ours switched to the checkered pants; that’s how we defined ourselves as the white pants guys. (laughs) It was not what it is today, but it got me started. There was a chef there that took a shine to me, Roland Henin, a French chef. He was probably one of the tougher instructors. He would make people cry. He would yell at you if you made Hollandaise sauce and it was too yellow. He caused quite the backup at the CIA as he failed so many people, and they would need to take classes a second time.
When I graduated, Christian Delouvrier, a renowned Master Chef from the Maurice in Manhattan, sent a contact to the CIA as he was looking for some young talent. Roland Henin recommended me, and that is how I got my first position out of culinary school. Delouvrier was an excellent chef, he was older, and his restaurant Maurice was inside the Park Meridian Hotel in Manhattan. The pay was lousy back then, and we barely made $7.50 an hour. He was old-school French and did not have much respect for the American guys. One time he told me that I wasted my time and money going to culinary school! I spent about five and a half years working for him, and when I left, I was his executive sous chef.
GK: Were there any notable chefs working the line with you at the Maurice?
I worked the line with some excellent up-and-coming stars such as Ed Brown, who is now known from the Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center. Throughout my time there, we had numerous guest chef appearances, such as Jean-Louis Palladin, Marc Haberlin, and Adolphe Bosser, to name a few. I was extremely fortunate to cook alongside those renowned chefs. I even had the opportunity to train under Jean-Louis Palladin for about a year. I left there with solid knowledge, and I still stay in touch with my line team to this day.
GK: Where did you go after Maurice?
I took an Executive Chef position at the Grand Bay Hotel, which was across the road from Le Bernardin on 51st Street in Manhattan. It was a small boutique hotel, and Harry Cipriani had space below. It did not work out for me as they wanted to send me down to Coconut Grove, Florida. I did not want to be a corporate chef as they move you around at a moment’s notice. I was starting a family, and my wife, Ann, had family here in New Jersey. I left after a short period of time and secured a position at The Bernards Inn in New Jersey.
New Jersey, at that time, was not known for cuisine, but I still wanted to go. I heard about it through a friend, and I thought I would go check it out. The Bernards Inn was a boutique hotel in downtown Bernardsville. The owners were putting a lot of money towards renovations but were having trouble getting it up and running. Although it was a challenge coming out of a Manhattan restaurant, I took on the role.
When I first arrived at The Bernards Inn, the dining program had an unfavorable reputation. When I took over, I updated the cuisine to reflect my French training and blended it with American cuisine. We established an award-winning dining program and received various honors, including the Mobil Four-Star Award and the AAA Four Diamond Award. It was rewarding to see our hard work pay off and for the Inn to garner such well-earned acclaim. I was at The Bernards Inn for 15 years and had partial ownership.
GK: Tell us about the foundation you started while you were at The Bernards Inn.
In 1993, I started a charity foundation called Dinner of Hope with Chef Craig Sheldon, Chef Michael Schlow, and Diane Carr from the HobNob in Martha’s Vineyard. The foundation was raising money for children’s charities across the state. We would bring fine dining chefs such as Eric Ripert and other great chefs to cook a course each, and we would sell the tickets. While I was president, we raised over $2 million for children in need. It was a lot of fun working with those guys, and in 2001, we handed over the reins to a foundation, Creative Heartworks.
GK: How did you land at Baltusrol Golf Club?
My partners at The Bernards Inn sold their shares in 2002, and I thought it was time for me to try something new. I needed to reinvent myself to keep things interesting. A member of The Bernards Inn staff, Judy Mann, was hired by Baltusrol as the catering director. Judy knew that I was a little discontent with where I was, and she asked me to get my resume together and start applying for positions. I took her advice and started to explore possibilities. Judy had mentioned my name to Kevin Vitale, the General Manager at Baltusrol. He reached out to me, and even though I had never considered a golf club as an option, I went for an interview.
GK: How was the interview?
I will always remember that first interview with Kevin. He would finish my sentence, and I would finish his! We had and still have an excellent connection. I thought to myself that this is too good to be true. I asked Kevin if he was sure the club was serious about making the changes I was hoping for. I was accustomed to ordering from The Chef’s Garden and other great purveyors. I knew I needed to hear this from the Executive Committee that they wanted to make changes in a real way. They were all very committed. That is how it came about. That was 2004, and after I accepted the position, I had one vendor tell me I was committing career suicide by coming to a private club! I went with my gut this time. Kevin is really a big part of why I am here.
GK: This is an impressive place from my perspective, the amount of golf memorabilia here and the history, the art is just astounding.
I was impressed. At the time, the club was going through a transformation. It was beautiful, but you could see things needed to be updated. Especially the kitchen, it was tired. (chuckles) Kevin had told me that they were planning a kitchen renovation, and I am so thankful they did as I would not have been happy long term in the condition that it was in at that time.
GK: So how long did that renovation take?
I started working here in May 2004, and we started the kitchen renovation on January 2nd, 2005; and we got it done before the PGA event that same year! It was a big year, that is for sure.
GK: In 2004 and 2005, that was about the time when the Food Network became popular. Chefs were becoming their own brand, and fine dining was trendy. How did that reflect on the membership?
Our members are world travelers, and they would have eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the world, so I could not understand why the cuisine at the club was not held to a higher standard. It was my goal to change that.
GK: Tell us about Mr. Jim Davies.
Jim Davies is a member and a real foodie, and a genuinely nice man. He was a member of Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin in in New York, and they would have dinners and tasting menus with great wines at The Sea Grill, Le Bernardin, and Perse in Manhattan. Mr. Davies was incredibly supportive and requested I do a tasting menu at the club. He wanted to allow me to express myself creatively with a dinner. He was a big supporter.
GK: How do you work with your sommelier when creating your menus?
Once we have the menu, Phil Wheeler, our Assistant General Manager and wine expert, will bring a selection of wines to me, and we will taste each one. I have my two sous chefs taste the wines together and get some feedback from them. We listen to what Phil’s comments are, and we take it from there.
GK: Tell us about the fire at the club in 2019; how did it affect you and your team?
I was fortunate. People always assume a fire is going to be from the kitchen. But it was actually caused by some work being done on the slate roof of the Clubhouse. We were able to manage as the kitchen was untouched. The very next day, we were serving barbecue to the membership downstairs.
GK: Did you get emotional when that fire happened? Was that hard to take?
Watching the water come down into that trophy room was emotional and heartbreaking. They had already renovated everything and then lost it before our eyes. When you have worked at a club as majestic as Baltusrol for 15 years, you become invested in it. The memorabilia, the paintings, and trophies were salvaged, and our membership and staff showed great resiliency, as they always have when our club has faced adversity. It was a good feeling to see it be put back together, and now it is even better than it ever was.
GK: It has been a challenging two years for Baltusrol. How is business during COVID-19 in the last 12 months?
When members felt comfortable returning to the club this past summer, we were busy, we lost the banquet element, but the dining element was much busier than most years. With more members dining at the club, I could push to elevate the food level because they could not go to fine dining restaurants. There were new challenges every day, but I am fortunate to work with a great team of talented and creative chefs who worked exceptionally hard to ensure our members enjoyed an exceptional dining experience at every visit.
GK: What are your plans for Baltusrol in the coming years?
The last two years have been uniquely challenging at Baltusrol. Still, our membership has been incredibly supportive and patient as we navigated a clubhouse fire, major restoration of our Lower Course, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff is committed to maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment at Baltusrol. I am looking forward to welcoming our members and guests back to the club this spring as we prepare for a milestone season.
The club is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, and we will be reopening our restored Lower Course in May. In 2023, we will welcome the best golfers in the world to Baltusrol for the 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and we will host our third PGA Championship in 2029. This is an exciting time for our club, and I am excited to be a part of it. Baltusrol has a history of raising the standard of excellence in the industry, and I want to continue to explore new ways to elevate our dining program to new heights.
Recipe by Steve Pinheiro, Restaurant Manager at The Creek Club, Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia, USA
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled coupe glass.
Top with Kenwood sparkling.
Garnish with orange twist.
The dining room at The Creek Club at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia, USA
Image courtesy Reynolds Lake Oconee
Editorial by Karen Moraghan, Hunter PR, Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA
What do Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, CLIF Bar & Company, Seminole Golf Club, and hundreds of other clubs around the country have in common? They’re all supporting causes in their local communities by working through ClubsHelp, a national initiative that connects course owners, club managers, golf professionals, corporate partners, and others into a powerful network for doing good. ClubsHelp, a 501(c)3 Foundation, works to maximize relationships between clubs and the charities that are most important to them. By providing clubs with valuable resources and access to a vast and powerful network resources, ClubsHelp furthers the value of clubs’ philanthropic efforts and contributions in times of crisis.
A Brief History:
The ClubsHelp Movement Began with One Club, and One Big Vision.
It all began with sandwiches: The simple desire of Spring Brook Country Club, in Northern New Jersey, to donate sandwiches to frontline workers at nearby Morristown Medical Center (MMC) at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge was gaining access to the right people. Spring Brook members got on their phones and computers, started networking, and made contact with someone at MMC. A relationship was born.
Sandwiches were just the beginning. Soon after, club members delivered six pickup-truckloads of Gatorade, soda, water, and food to the ER. These efforts caught the eye of a Fox News executive, who thought the story was perfect
for the network’s “America Together” segment on the Fox & Friends morning show. Last April, Spring Brook’s General Manager and COO, David Bachman, talked on air about how his club was supporting frontline workers. Suddenly, a local story was in the national spotlight, where it got the attention of Rob Goulet, CEO of Entertainment Sport Partners, Inc., and manager to World Golf Hall of Famer, professional golfer Ernie Els. A few hours after Bachman appeared on TV, he received a call from Goulet. “Rob says, ‘Hey, I saw what you’re doing. What do you think about growing this nationally?’” recalled Bachman. “I was like, ‘Wow, sure. How do we do that?”
Step one was getting other local clubs involved. Bachman, a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), made a few calls and learned that Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City was in desperate need of supplies. He called John Dorman, General Manager at The University Club in New York and secured his support for Mount Sinai. He also connected Deepdale Golf Club on Long Island with Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
Goulet was also burning up the phone lines. Securing the support of Els to back ClubsHelp, he was able to get him to appear with Bachman on Fox & Friends for a second time. Els also wrote a letter to the board at famed Seminole
Golf Club, where he’s a member, resulting in a contribution of $285,000 from the club to Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. Goulet also persuaded Turner Broadcasting to earmark some of the millions raised by Capital One’s “The Match: Champions for Charity”— which featured NFL legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning playing with golf icons Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at Seminole—to ClubsHelp. Further endorsements came from 18-time major
champion Jack Nicklaus and former LPGA golfer Kris Tschetter, another Goulet client. He also reached out to Gary Erickson, owner and founder of Clif Bar & Company, who donated some 10 million CLIF bars to front-line healthcare
workers around the country. “I started calling people I knew were influencers and saying, ‘Hey, we’re putting this band together and we would love to get your help,’” said Goulet. Several large club-management companies agreed, including Concert Golf Partners, ClubCorp, Arcis Golf, and Dormie Network. In just two weeks, ClubsHelp was supported by nearly 300 clubs nationwide.
Over time and with more clubs and others signing on, it became increasingly evident to Bachman and the other members of the newly created board that ClubsHelp, “wasn’t just a response to COVID-19.” It had become a national
network of clubs committed to supporting many different causes and charities in their local communities, especially in times of need or crisis.
ClubsHelp adopted a motto--“Care Locally. Unite Nationally.” Which is exactly what it’s doing. “We’re just a giant network of helping,” said Bachman. Get Your Club Involved. Through ClubsHelp, clubs receive support to maximize their philanthropy and increase their ability to provide local aid and resources. An on-line fundraising platform helps clubs quickly and effectively raise funds and awareness.
At the present time, ClubsHelp offers three event opportunities:
ClubsHelp’s 100-Hole Challenge
It’s a fundraiser, it’s a marathon, it’s a way to give back to local communities—all through golf. The ClubsHelp 100-Challenge raises funds for local charities nationwide. Amateur golfers, including club staff or teams from local charities (typically in groups of 2 or 3), choose a day to play 100 holes of golf from sun-up to sundown to raise money. Member clubs receive promotional support from ClubsHelp, including a pledge app, national leaderboard, and promotional tool kit.
Golf Kitchen Wine Dinners presented on behalf of ClubsHelp
Memorable evenings begin with a wine tasting, followed by an expertly prepared dinner with wine pairings to enhance the experience. The evening concludes with après dinner drinks and a live auction with unique items availablefor bid. This series of exclusive wine dinners, to be held at prestigious golf clubs throughout the United States, raises money for local causes important to each club through the resources of ClubsHelp.
The ClubsHelp Scramble
This scramble fundraising event starts at the club level and progresses to regional, and eventually national finals. Four-person teams compete, according to their handicaps, with proceeds supporting local charities each step of
Editorial by Karen Moraghan
Karen is a founding board member of ClubsHelp and president of Hunter Public Relations (www. hunter-pr.com), a respected media relations and special events firm, with bi-coastal offices and a stellar reputation for promoting the upscale golf lifestyle.
Recipe by Doug Blair, Director of Culinary Operations at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, USA
1 two pound Live Lobster
1 ounce Grape Seed Oil
2 Bay Leaves
4 Tablespoons Butter
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1 Tablespoons Shallot (brunoise)
¼ cup Porcini Mushroom (brunoise)
3 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil
1 Tablespoons Mosto Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
1/2 Lemon (juiced)
Salt and White Pepper (to taste)
1 Russet Potato
1 quart Grape Seed Oil
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Separate the claws from the head leaving the head and tail intact.
Boil the claws for 5 minutes and the head and tail for 3 minutes then chill in ice water.
Remove the meat from the shell, and split the tail in half.
In a medium hot pan, add 1 oz. of grape seed oil.
Season the lobster with salt and pepper and add to the pan, cooking on each side for 2 minutes.
Add the bay leaves and butter then baste for 1 minute.
Remove the lobster from the pan and place on a paper towel.
Sweat the shallot and porcini mushroom together in the grapeseed oil until the shallot is translucent and chill.
In a bowl add all the ingredients and whisk thoroughly.
With a Japanese mandolin, cut the potato lengthwise into 1/8-inch straws and store them in submerged water.
Heat the grape seed oil to 285°F.
Pat dry the potato straws on paper towel thoroughly.
Fry the straws until a golden brown, then season with salt and pepper immediately upon removing from oil. Place the straws on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Place some of the potato straws on two plates and arrange the lobster on top.
Drizzle the porcini vinaigrette on top of the lobster. Garnish with the bay leaves and serve.
Chardonnay, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, France, 2006
The Cassique Clubhouse at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, USA
Recipe by Phil Iannuccilli, Executive Chef at Greenwich Country Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Chef Note: Albóndigas or “Spanish Meatballs” are typically
found at tapas bars and restaurants in Spain. Most times,
they’re served “en cazuela”, similar to the skillet we use here.
In Barcelona, I once had Albóndigas, swimming in a sauce
with stewed squid. It was both curious and phenomenal at the
same time. Here, I’ve incorporated lots of Arabic influence,
which I love.
(Yield - 1 Serving)
(Yield - 10 Meatballs)
Saffron Tomato Sauce
(Yield - 2 Cups)
Sweat the onion and garlic in a touch of olive oil and let cool. Toast
and crush the fennel seeds. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl
until fully incorporated. Chill the mix for one hour before shaping.
Use a portion scoop or a scale to create 1 1/2 ounce meatballs.
Pan fry or roast them in the oven at 375˚F. Chef Note: Line your
meatballs on a half sheet pan with a touch of water covering the
bottom. This prevents the meatballs from browning too much in
one spot (where they touch the pan). The water should evaporate,
just as the meatballs are finished cooking.
Combine the ingredients in a nonreactive saucepot. Gently
simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly and purée smooth in a
blender. Continue to cool and reserve.
Heat the meatballs in the sauce. Arrange them in a circle at the
center of a small skillet. Top with the sauce, shaved Manchego, raisins,
almonds, parsley and finish with a drizzling of virgin olive oil.
Finca Nueva Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain 2014.
~ Jessica Terry, Food and Beverage Manager.
The Clubhouse at Greenwich Country Club. Image courtesy Greenwich Country Club
Recipe by Amanda Donnelly, Mixologist at Round Hill Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Place fresh cranberries into a flower shaped ice cube mold. Freeze for 3-4 hours.
Add Casamigos Silver Tequila vodka, cranberry juice and lime juice to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until
Rim the coupe glass with rock salt.
Place the cranberry studded ice cube mold inside of the coupe glass.
Strain the mixture into the glass.
Enjoy with a loved one!
The Round Hill Clubhouse. Image by Ambria Michelle, courtesy Round Hill Club