Nestled in the hills of northern Sonoma County, California, not far from the charming town of Healdsburg, Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. When I discovered this stunning property, I knew that the culinary team here had to be incredible as there is no shortage of outstanding restaurants in the region.
Scott Pikey is an Executive Chef that is both a mathematical thinker, and a creative thinker. He has a deep desire to educate and uplift his kitchen team. With this collaboration of culinary ideas, and an abundance of outstanding organic produce in the region, he is able to continuously deliver menus that the members and guests at Mayacama continue to return for time and time again. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: How did your interest in cooking arise?
I was born in the Midwest in St Louis, Missouri, to working-class parents with high values. I think it is part of the reason that I am where I'm at today. My parents taught me that I needed to have a passion for whatever I was going to do with my life.
A lot of my buddies in St. Louis were cooking in clubs, and I was very interested. I don't know if this resonates or not, but my grandfather was a chef, and I remember when I was growing up, it was just something I took for granted, but now when I think about it, he had a significant influence on my life. I decided I would give this cooking thing a decent shot.
GK: Where was your first position?
It was at Old Warson Country Club, which was a private, family orientated club with a premier golf course and a great dining program. The chef was Irish, and a Master Chef named Aidan Murphy. I asked Aidan if I could come in to do a stage at Old Warson. He agreed. I loved everything about the kitchen at Old Warson, the hard work, the camaraderie, and me being a Virgo, well, I believe its ingrained in me to be immersed with work and managing many moving parts. After a while, I sat down with Chef Murphy to tell him my thoughts on my future in the industry. He told me that I could go through the ACF (American Culinary Foundation) and do their apprenticeship program. He told me it would be a 3 ½ year program and that during that time, I will be a part of the United States Culinary Olympic Team. I will be expected to go to school and to compete throughout the Midwest and work six days a week. He said, "If you want to commit to this, I will take you on." I committed immediately without hesitation.
GK: Tell us about the Culinary Olympic team experience.
It was a fantastic experience, I mean, just the competition aspect of it, the dedication and drive it takes is phenomenal. You utilize the foundation of skills you are learning, which is very important when you are young. I became immersed in the culinary world after that; I wanted to work in a Michelin Star Restaurant in France. It was in the mid 1990's, which was a time that was challenging for Americans to go to France to stage in Michelin or Relais & Chateaux Restaurants. Still, I was determined I wanted to experience international cuisine.
GK: Where did you go first?
I ended up moving to Ireland for seven months as I got a position at Sheen Falls Lodge in the town of Kenmare in County Kerry. I worked for trade, they housed me and fed me, and I worked in the kitchen to gain more experience. Ireland was fabulous; they are such hospitable people, friendly, kind, and funny. Sheen Falls was a hunting lodge at the time, and the kitchen was truly international, I met and worked with cooks from all over the world who speak different languages. There was no dominant nationality in that kitchen; it was diverse. After I got a feel for the Michelin and Relais & Chateaux experience, I wanted more, so I decided to travel Europe for the next five months to get more exposure.
GK: When did you return to the United States?
In 1998 I came back to the United States, and I spent some time in a little town called Telluride, which was a former Victorian mining town in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, to take a break and get my compass going. I had secured a position at the Peaks Resort and Spa, and they put me in charge of this little kitchen that wasn't being utilized. I turned it into a tapas-style situation. I loved the town, but it wasn't known for its culinary scene, more so the skiing. I got bored and made the move to Vail. I met Chef Thomas Salamunovich, who was partnering with Vail Resorts on a 10 000 square foot restaurant named Larkspur. I took the position as a cook and became immersed in a different more Californian style of cooking with a lot of vinegars and verjus, much lighter fare as opposed to the heavy sauces in Europe. After six months, I became the sous chef and stayed for three years. I loved the job and meeting all the chefs that came through there.
There was one guy I really liked, his name was Richard Reddington who had worked for Daniel Boulud and Roland Passot for a long time and was currently the chef at Auberge du Soleil, which was Napa Valley's first fine-dining establishment. I believe it was founded in 1981 by visionary French restaurateur, Claude Rouas, and to this day has maintained its legacy as a "must experience" culinary destination.
After he left the restaurant, I had decided I wanted to work for Richard. I gave notice to Larkspur, traveled to California, and just showed up at Auberge de Soleil! Richard gave me the line cook position and then I was offered the sous chef position, where I stayed for two years. Towards the end of two years, I heard the CEO Rick Reiss mention they were opening a new place, Calistoga Ranch in Calistoga, CA. I told him that I would love to be a part of the opening team. He gave me the job, and I stayed for two years.
After two years, Rick asked me if I would be interested in moving to South Carolina as the chef de cuisine for The Inn at Palmetto Bluff. It was exciting going to the south; there is so much indigenous cooking because they stay tied to their heritage, and the product I was working with was so cool. We were near the May River, and we were pulling out oysters, crabs, and shrimp, it was fantastic. We became the number one resort by Condé Nast in the two years I was there.
GK: What took you back to California?
I was feeling the urge to return to California's wine country, and I found out that Mayacama Golf Club was looking for a chef. I flew to Cordillera Resort in Aspen, Colarado, which was owned by the same family to go for the interview. They interviewed many chefs, and I was asked to return for a second interview. They loved what I was cooking and gave me the position. Ironically the owners, the Wilhelm's, were from St. Louis, Missouri, and our families knew each other well.
I was super excited when I started, there was a lot of work to be done, and as you know, I love managing things, and we turned the kitchen around from a food cost and quality perspective. We butchered our own products, and we began to utilize the entire product whether it was chicken, beef, or whatever. Being in Northern California, the resources like fish, and other proteins, cheeses, vegetables are abundant. I try to use the farms within a 100-mile radius of Mayacama. There is a great farmers market in the town of Marin, which became one of the third largest farmer's markets in California, and on Thursdays, it was a chef's market. The farmers selling their products there are so passionate about what they grow. I am so fortunate, and its one of the reasons I am still here, my food wouldn't look as good if it wasn't for these farmers.
GK: Tell us about some of your favorite farmers.
I love the product from Full Belly Farms, Riverdog Farms, and David Little, which are certified organic farms located in the beautiful Capay Valley of Northern California.
GK: You are quite the farm to table chef then?
Farm to Table is so much an overused term; people have been doing it for generations; I prefer to look at myself as a responsible chef. I try to source products from farmers and fishermen who are producing or growing in an ethical fashion that is traceable and sustainable down the line. I need my menus to be fresh and healthy, and for the most part, I feed the membership here as protectively as I feed my family. I have been here for 12 ½ years now, which is crazy for a chef, and we have developed an incredible culinary program.
GK: Tell us about your farm initiative at Mayacama?
We have a small farm here that sustains about 60% of our greens. Still, we have about an acre of land we could utilize to have a bigger growing footprint. I envision growing microgreens and edible flowers; we could hold farm to table events right there on the farm so guests can experience the intense flavors of product that is coming straight from a vine or the ground. There is such a massive difference in the smell and taste of the product picked and served almost immediately.
GK: You have an excellent bee program, has it been affected by the fires?
About five years ago, together with our superintendents, we installed our first colonies. The first year the yield was magnificent, but then the fires came and ripped through this valley. The hives remained, but the bees left. After several months they began to return, and we have stabilized them, and now have nine healthy colonies that provide us with honey for most of the year. It's rewarding to see other golf and country club properties installing hives across the world; it is a critical responsibility to be stewards of the land.
GK: Tell us about some of the proteins you bring in from and other areas. I heard you have some favorites.
I love Millbrook Venison, its probably the best I have ever had, and Akaushi (Japanese Red Cattle) beef which originated and evolved in Kumamoto, Japan, but is now available in Texas, and I love Snake River Farms in Idaho. Our poultry and squab and duck are all from California. Petaluma, at one time, was the capital of poultry in America.
GK: Tell us about your team?
The culinary side of Mayacama is a team effort. I believe in raising my team members up and I value their ideas and creativity. Collaboration brings about a more diverse menu and united team in the kitchen.
GK: You are fortunate to work with 40 of the best vintners in Sonoma and Napa Valley. Does that influence your menu?
Actually no. The menu is created first, and then we challenge our wine director Jeff McCarthy to find the perfect pairing.
.Mayacama Golf Club. Image courtesy Mayacama Golf Club.
Toast the bread and grill the bacon. (to your liking)
Place bread on chopping board.
Add the mayonnaise, lettuce, egg, tomato, chicken and cheese on top of each other in a layered formation.
Place the other piece of toast on top, cut in half.
Place one half of the sandwich on top of each other & hold together with a skewer.
Serve with homemade chips and tomato sauce.
Wine / Beverage Match
Royal Melbourne Chardonnay, Regional Victoria or Peroni Draught Beer.
Official wines at The 2019 Presidents Cup
Royal Melbourne 2018 Chardonay left. Royal Melbourne 2015 Shiraz right.
Recipe by Oscar Bonelli, Executive Pastry Chef at Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Naples, Florida, USA
Image by Stephanie Starr
Salted Peanut Popcorn Bavaria
Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan and then infuse with fresh Popcorn for 20 minutes. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the sugar and melt until caramelized. Chef Note: This should take about 4 minutes at medium heat.
Add the heavy cream slowly, and incorporate using a wooden spoon.
In a large pan, soak the gelatin sheets in cool water until soft and add to the mixture.
Add the salt and stir with the spoon to incorporate it. Set aside.
Salted Peanuts Popcorn Bavarian
In a medium saucepan, slowly heat the Popcorn infused milk.
In a saucepan, whisk the milk, egg yolks and sugar and cook on the stovetop until to 185 degrees °F.
Bloom the gelatin in cold water until soft, then add to the Popcorn infused milk.
Put the milk and dark chocolate into a stainless-steel bowl and pour the hot popcorn milk over the chocolate and allow it to dissolve. Whisk to incorporate.
When the mixture is cool, start to fold in the whipped cream with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into four 4- inch semi-sphere molds,
Fill each mold to the top edge and place in the refrigerator to cool and set. Chef Note: This will take about 8 hours.
Remove the chocolate popcorn Bavarian from the semi-sphere mold and set in the center of an 8-inch plate.
Spoon the caramel over the top the Popcorn and the Bavarian and allow it to run slightly down the sides and onto the plate.
Finish the top of the Bavarian with some popcorn and drizzle with more caramel sauce if desired.
Far Niente Dolce Dessert Wine
- Matthew Selva
Food and Beverage Manager / Sommerlier
Royal Poinciana Golf Club. Painting by Graeme W. Baxter.
This painting took one month to paint. Baxter creates eight paintings a year.
Recipe by Brian Weber, Mixologist at The Tuxedo Club and Co-Author of Cocktails Made Simple
Image by Diana DeLucia
Maple Simple Syrup (make ahead of time and store if desired)
Maple Old Fashioned
Maple Simple Syrup
Combine the maple syrup and water in a saucepan.
Add the cloves, allspice, cardamom and sea salt.
Boil until reduced by half. Let cool.
Maple Old Fashioned
Pour the whiskey, maple simple syrup and bitters into a mixing glass.
Add the ice and stir until very cold, about 15 seconds.
Strain into the glass over new ice.
Using a peeler, make an orange twist about 2 inches long.
Express the oils from the peel, rub and twist on the rim and put into the drink.
Mixologist note: Try using black walnut bitters from Fee Brothers in place of the Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
TO BUY COCKTAILS MADE SIMPLE CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE
Recipe by Gerry Adams, Executive Chef at The Rosewood at Tucker's Point, Bermuda
Nutmeg Scented Milk
Saffron Tomato Sauce
Gruyere Cheese Crisps
Crisp Fried Leeks
Nutmeg Scented Milk
Warm the milk, shallots, bay leaf, and nutmeg in a pot until the milk is scented to your liking. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, soak the brioche with the scented milk then strain with a fine sieve to make a paste.
Chop the lobster into small bite sizes and in a bowl bind with the passata. Shape into 1 ounce balls and set aside.
Roll the rested pasta through a pasta machine at 1.2 and then roll a second time. Lay the pasta on the table and mark half with a ravioli ring as a guide to placing the filling.
Brush the marked side of the pasta with a slightly wet pastry brush and place the lobster ball filling into the pre-marked circles.
Fold the other half of the pasta on top and with a fluted circle cutter, cut, and then seal to make each ravioli. Set aside.
Saffron Tomato Sauce
In a frying pan, lightly sautee the garlic to release its flavors, then deglaze the pan with white wine. Add the canned tomatoes and bring to high heat and reduce to simmer. Stir constantly with a heavy whisk to break down the tomatoes.
Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Keep warm.
Cut a fine julienne of leeks and fry at 150 Celcius until lightly golden and crisp. Carefully remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper. Season lightly.
Grate some Gruyere cheese onto some parchment paper and layout in a thin layer, making sure all the shreds are connected. Microwave for 30-second intervals until the cheese melts to form a solid sheet. Continue until the sheet is crisp. Remove from microwave and cut into the desired shape.
Boil the ravioli in water for approx. three minutes until the pasta is just cooked and the filling has warmed through to the center.
Toss into a pan a little butter, olive oil, and water from the ravioli pot. Season lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Spoon three circles of the saffron tomato sauce onto your chosen plate.
Place a ravioli topped with the crisp leeks and cracked gruyere.
Garnish with pea shoots
Serve immediately after assembly.
Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre
The Rosewood at Tucker's Point, Bermuda. Image courtesy of The Rosewood at Tucker's Point, Bermuda
Recipe by Scott Pikey, Executive Chef at Mayacama Golf Club, Sonoma County, California, USA
Soft Chocolate Ganache
Honey Comb Candy
Mandarin Orange Segments
Mandarin Orange Fluid Gel
Soft Chocolate Ganache
Bring the heavy cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Allow the cream and chocolate mixture to sit for five minutes.
Slowly stir the cream into the chocolate and mix until the mixture is completely emulsified and all the chocolate is melted. Set aside and keep warm.
Soften the gelatin in cold water #1.
Mix together agar powder and cold water #2.
In a small sauce pan bring the agar/water mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Strain the gelatin and add it to the hot agar/water mixture and whisk until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
Whisk the gelatin mixture into the chocolate and strain. Pour chocolate ganache into a parchment lined 8x8 cake pan and place in the refrigerator until completely set. About 4 hours.
Honey Comb Candy
Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper.
In a small sauce pot, mix together the sugar, water, honey and corn syrup.
Cook the mixture until it reads 270° F on a candy thermometer. Quickly stir in the baking soda and pour candy onto the parchment lined cake pan.
Allow to cool slowly at room temperature for two hours.
Break into small pieces using a fork and store in an air tight container in a cool dry place.
Mandarin Orange Segments
Peel the mandarin orange and carefully pull apart the segments.
Clean as much of the white pith off of the segments using a small paring knife.
Lay the segments flat in a shallow pan.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil making sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
Pour the hot syrup over the mandarins and allow the segments to cool in the refrigerator.
Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Mandarin Orange Fluid Gel
In a small sauce pan whisk together the water and agar powder and bring to a simmer.
Cook for three minutes then add the sugar and cook for 10 more seconds.
Whisk the mandarin and lemon juice into the hot syrup. Quickly pour the mixture onto a lightly oiled sheet pan and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least one hour.
The gel will be hard, cut into ½ inch cubes and place in a blender.
Slowly blend the mixture until it reaches a smooth paste. Place in a piping bag and store in the refrigerator.
Slice the kumquats into rings about 1/16 th of an inch wide, removing all of the seeds.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the kumquats in cooking for 30 seconds.
Strain the kumquats and cool in ice water. Repeat the process one more time.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil then add the kumquats.
Simmer the kumquats until 75% of the syrup has been reduced.
Pour onto a sheet pan and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Unmold the chocolate ganache onto a cutting board.
Using a hot dry knife cut the ganache 1 inch by 4 inches.
Place the soft chocolate ganache onto a serving plate and top with the honey comb candy, mandarin orange segments and candied kumquats.
Pipe dots of the fluid gel around the ganache.
Mayacama Golf Club from the 18th fairway. Image courtesy of Mayacama Golf Club
Recipe by Blake Burgard, Executive Chef at The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, New York, USA
Bread and Butter Pickles
Slice the cucumbers to about 1/8-inch thick on a mandolin then combine with salt.
Chill for one hour. Drain and rinse.
Combine the sugar and the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer (making sure the sugar has dissolved). Remove from heat.
Place the cucumber slices in a jar. Pour the hot vinegar over the cucumbers, allow to cool for one hour.
Cover and refrigerate.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Split in half.
Mix half of spice mix with 2 cups All-Purpose flour
Mix the remaining half of the spice mix with buttermilk and quails (Split in half). Allow to marinate at least six hours.
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and put on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes or until flavors have married.
In a large bowl w/ whisk attachment mix eggs, sugar, and buttermilk until well combined.
Add all dry ingredients.
Mix well and scrape down sides and continue mixing until smooth.
Add melted butter.
Pour into greased half hotel pan.
Bake 350 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Cut ¼” thick long slice of cornbread and toast on a lightly buttered griddle.
Dredge marinated quail in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour. Place on wire rack and spray lightly with water to moisten the flour. Let sit at least 30 minutes before frying.
Deep fry quail at 330F until cooked through (3-4 minutes)
Place griddled cornbread slice on dinner plate.
Place a nice pile of pickles next to cornbread.
Drizzle lightly with Spicy Honey .
Place two roasted aji dulce peppers and pea tendrils for garnish
2017 Plumpjack Napa Valley Chardonnay
The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, New York, USA
Image courtesy The Tuxedo Club
Recipe by Hailey Clower, Mixoligist at Sebonack Golf Club, Southampton, New York, USA
Fill a wine glass with ice, then add the Aperol, Moët Champagne and top with club soda.
Garnish with the half orange wheel and a maraschino cherry.
Image courtesy of Sebonack Golf Club and Larry C. Lambrecht
Recipe by Anthony Dole, Executive Chef at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
Image by Diana DeLucia
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the chocolate.
In a mixing bowl, combine the whole eggs, yolks, and sugar to form a sabayon and add the flour and mix well.
In the mixing bowl combine both mixtures and reserve in the fridge for 20 minutes.
When ready, fold a mold with silicon paper and fill it with the chocolate mix.
Place the chocolate pudding in the oven for 9 minutes at 180º
Place the chocolate pudding onto a serving plate a gently take off the silicon paper.
Finish with the pistachio nut ice cream and cream Fraiche.
Garnish with the seasonal summer fruits and berries, then sprinkle with icing sugar.
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club overlooking 18 East and the Clubhouse.
Image by Gary Lisbon.
Recipe and cocktail photography by Shaun C. Lewis, Executive Chef / Assistant General Manager at
Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey, USA.
Apricot Infused Bourbon
Chef Note: Prepare in advance.
Combine all in a vacuum bag and Cryovac.
Store for 24 hours under refrigeration and strain through cheesecloth.
Harvest Moon Cocktail
Stir all ingredients in a flask with cracked ice and pour over a large ice cube in a rocks glass.
Toss gooseberries in Demerara simple syrup lightly before skewering.
The stunning Liberty National Clubhouse. Image courtesy Liberty National Golf Club