the first annual golf Kitchen invitational and the fourth annual Golf kitchen Culinary Excellence awards, 2022 at GlenArbor golf Club
Left to right: Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic, Executive Sous Chef at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida, Zouhair Bellout, Executive Chef at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia, Anthony Capua, Executive Chef at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Dwayne Edwards, Culinary Director and Shawn Olah, Executive Chef at Highlands Falls Country Club, celebrate with a martini at Chef Bellout's live-action station during the cocktail hour. Image by Wei Liu
On September 8th, 2022, the first annual Golf Kitchen Invitational and the fourth annual Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards, sponsored by the National Golf Course Restaurant Association (NGCRA), took place at GlenArbor Golf Club, Bedford Hills, New York.
The Golf Kitchen Invitational kicked off at 11:00 AM with well wishes via video from Rob Labritz, Tour Champion and Director of Golf at GlenArbor. A continental breakfast, and a Transfusion station supplied by Fred Evanko, Owner of LinksDrinks, and practice shots at the driving range started the day. At 12.30 PM, foursomes enjoyed a shotgun start by GlenArbor Starter, Keith Hernandez, and the entire Golf Shop and Outside Service Staff and proceeded their day on the renowned Gary Player designed golf course.
Local area club chefs were stationed out on the course and served up a mini-feast that was enjoyed by participants and members of the prestigious club. Matt O'Connor, Director of Culinary Operations at Wee Burn Country Club, Darian, Connecticut, served up first-class course cuisine and signature cocktails including Citrus Cured Ahi Tuna with Avocado Terrine, Imperial Caviar, Yuzu Scented Crème Fraiche, Poppadum Crisps and Cilantro paired with a Tequila Lime Sparkler. Matthew Norman, Sous Chef at Pine Orchard Yacht Club, Branford, CT served Seared Diver Scallops with Native Corn, Chili Infused Tomato and Cucumber Froth paired with a Basil Cucumber Gin Fizz; Daniel Hess CC. CHS Chef de Cuisine at Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, New York created a Street Taco Station with Pulled Pork, Shibazi Chicken and Duck Tacos with Lots of Add-Ins and paired a classic Azalia cocktail. Kelly Morrow, the Executive Chef at Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield, New Jersey, served Tennessee Hot Chicken Sliders with Pimento Cheese, Habanero Hot Sauce, and Spicy Pickles and then packed a burning hot taste with his Cherry Moonshine Lemonade!
Winners of the Invitational were announced during the awards dinner; Gross Winner: Warren Burdock, Brian Conroy, Chris Meringolo and Philip Manceri of Wee Burn Country Club, Net Winner: Matthew Mosebrook, Branden Komm, Tim Hughes and Tim Mullen of Chefs Warehouse, Closest to the Pin on Hole #11: Patrick Waxin of the National Golf Course Restaurant Association and Longest Drive on Hole #15: Scott Vallary, Business Development, DE Title
Members of GlenArbor, Invitational participants and guests began arriving at 6:30 PM for this annual event's cocktail hour on the Lakeview Terrace. Michael Ruggiero, Executive Chef, and his staff at GlenArbor provided an amazing experience with not only Passed hors d'oeuvres but a fantastic live-action station consisting of Veal Breast, Wild Mushrooms and Butternut Spaetzle. Zouhair Bellout, Executive Chef at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia delivered his live-action station of Black Garlic Macaroons, Kabusha Squash, Cured Duck, Rosewater Pickled Onion Jam, and Micro Mustard Greens and his action station Crispy Rice, Tuna, Chili Garlic, Spicy Mayo with Caviar, Green Onions, and Micro Greens.
Cocktail hour tastings were provided by The Macallan, Wines by Caymus and Martinis by Lucinda Sterling, Managing Partner at Middle Branch cocktail lounge in Manhattan. A cover band led by Johnny Bliss entertained with classical jazz and Spanish music fitting for the occasion.
“It was a great experience; cooking with all the different chefs and meeting other industry individuals is always fun. Needless to say, being a part of the movement of showcasing the high level of culinary talent at golf clubs is a great honor.” said Zouhair Bellout, Executive Chef at Reynolds Lake Oconee.
The weather was perfect from start to finish, and at 7.30 PM, guests were ushered to the main dining room for more culinary adventures.
Fernando Silva, Wine Director, Sommelier, and Wine Critic, at GlenArbor, was the evening's MC and opened the dinner with an entertaining speech for which he is renowned, followed by Golf Kitchen's President Diana DeLucia. Delucia discussed the event's development and purpose and future initiatives and introduced Steve Cohen, President of NGCRA, the event's Lead Sponsor.
The first course was a Korean Braised Pork Belly with Red Beet Gnocchi, Yuzu Compressed Melon, Chipotle Honey Gastrique, Pork Fat Crumb, Strawberry Fluid Gel, Carrot Ginger Silk, Upland Cress, Basil Crystal, and Finger Lime created by Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic, Chef de Cuisine at Addison Reserve Country Club and the 2021 Golf Kitchen Rising Star awardee. Silva paired the dish with Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc, Fairfield, California, 2021.
The first awardee of the night in attendance was Chrissie Bennett, Executive Chef at Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York. DeLucia presented Chef Bennett with the 2022 Rising Star Award with a heartfelt statement about her journey to one of the industry's finest golf establishments.
Chrissie Bennett, Executive Chef at Winged Foot Golf Club receives the 2022 Golf Kitchen Rising Star Award.
Image by Wei Liu
The second course was served by Wes Tyler CEC, CCA, WCMC, Executive Chef at The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, Texas. His Epigrammes de Filet de Sole au Grand-Duc with Poached Crayfish Tails, Buttered Asparagus Tips, Sliced Autumn Truffles, Mushroom Liquor, and Soft Herbs was a hit and was paired with Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Saint Lucia Highlands, California 2020.
The Purveyor of the Year award was presented to Natalia Cabrera, President of Khayyan Specialty Foods, who has been a strong advocate for Club chefs and continuously brings superior products from Spain and Italy to the industry. Next, The Culinary Excellence Award for an Outstanding Private Golf Club or Country Club was presented to Wes Tyler on behalf of The Club at Carlton Woods.
The third course was Herb Crusted Loin of Domestic Lamb Cauliflower Cream, Golden Raisin, Parisienne Potato, Maitre D, Natural Ash and Griotte Cherry Glace presented by Shawn Olah, Executive Chef at Highlands Fall Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina, paired with Caymus, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California 2020.
Marisa Hernandez, the Executive Pastry Chef at GlenArbor Golf Club, ended the dinner flawlessly with a Brown Butter Hazelnut Cake with Lemon Mousse, Grapefruit, and Poached Red Wine Pears, paired with Peyraguey, Premier Cru Classe de Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2009.
Fernando Silva presented the second annual Golf Kitchen Wine Program Award to Alfredo Hildebrant, Assistant General Manager at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“After an exhaustive review of Wine Lists and Wine programs from all the Private Clubs, I found that the most suitable candidate for this prestigious award was definitely Alfredo Hildebrandt at Sycamore Hills Golf Club”. The passion and sincere thirst for knowledge is key in defining role of the Modern-day Sommelier or Wine Director! It was a great Honor to discover such talent and qualities in an individual like Alfredo.” expressed Fernando Silva.
“The fourth annual Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards Dinner was a memorable night for all in attendance. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming from right when you walked in until the moment you left. The menu was outstanding with delectable dishes and the perfect pairing of wines. Every chef exceeded my expectations and took the time to speak about their dishes with such thoughtfulness. The awards ceremony throughout the night highlighted such wonderful and talented individuals. It was such a special night,” added Caroline Assumma, Member Communications and Social Media Coordinator at Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York.
Silva closed the event with a tasting of The Macallan, tea, and coffee, and guests signed the traditional aprons and collected gift bags.
“The Golf Kitchen Invitational and Culinary Excellence Awards dinner is a truly spectacular event that showcases the work of great Chefs from around the country. The planning, networking, and passion that went into every aspect of the day exceeded all expectations. The NGCRA was proud to be the Lead Sponsor!” ~ Steven Cohen, CEO, National Golf Course Restaurant Association.
“One of my Board members and I were privileged to be able to attend the Golf Kitchen Invitational and Culinary Excellence awards dinner at GlenArbor Golf Club. The young talent being showcased, including our own Executive Chef, was a unique gathering of outstanding professionals transforming the dining experience in Country Clubs across the U.S and beyond. The efforts by Golf Kitchen magazine to not only recognize these Chefs but also to help grow and recruit more talent to the country club industry is an effort I wholeheartedly support. Kudos to a job well done!” ~ Jason Macaulay, CCM, CCE GM/COO at Highlands Falls Country Club, Highlands, NC
Special recognition to Morgan Gregory, President, Fernando Silva, Wine Director, Sommelier and Wine Critic, Alisha Turchick, Director of Events, Jessica Perez Director of Concierge and Assistant Director of Events, and Michael Ruggiero for your hard work these past years making this event run as smoothly as possible!
Thank you to the NGCRA for your sponsorship and support, all members and guests, media partners Venu Magazine, and Total Food Service for your continued coverage of this industry event.
Thank you to Wei Liu, AMSE NYC & Your Concept Branding Consultancy and Ryan Rodrieguez for capturing the event with your photography and videos.
Thank you to Addison Reserve Country Club, The Club at Carlton Woods, Highlands Falls Country Club, and Reynolds Lake Oconee, for allowing your team to participate. Anthony Capua, Executive Chef at Sycamore Hills and Dwayne Edwards, Culinary Director, thank you for volunteering to help the culinary team, I know they appreciated having you there.
Robert Orlando, thank you for assisting us on the golf course! Dave Pasternack, it was an honor to have your presence at the event, your feedback is much appreciated. Hopefully next year our friend Jose Carles Fabregas can return to compete in the event in 2023!
Ann Liguori, renowned Radio and TV Sports Talk Show Host, WFAN-NY, Author and Business Woman and Scott Vallery, Business Development, DE Title, Highlands Falls Country Club, Wee Burn Country Club, Chefs Warehouse, Comport, NGCRA and Sycamore Hills Golf Club and all team members thank you for supporting our first invitational and I hope to see you next year.
The National Golf Course Restaurant Association team! Left to right Kip Mewborn, Senior Vice President, Faith Mewborn, Administrative Director, Patrik Waxin, Chairman/ Co-Founder, Peter Fischbach, Regional Director of Business Development, Steve Cohen, CEO/ Co-Founder, Tory Eulenfeld, National Director of Member Services and Programs Oliver Schindler, Executive Vice President