Recipe by Patrick Heymann, Executive Chef at Kohanaiki, Kona, Hawaii, USA.
Yield: Makes 18, 3" round cheesecakes
CHEF NOTE: Lilikoi is the Hawaiian term for Passion Fruit.
Macnut Butter Crust
In a bowl, with a blender mix the cream cheese with the sugar and cornstarch.
Start the mixer on #1 and slowly work up to #2, add the sour cream, eggs and then the passion fruit puree.
Place into your preferred molds or trays, place into the freezer until firm.
Macnut Butter Crust
Chop up the butter and put into the freezer.
Add the flour and brown sugar into a mixer and pulse.
Remove the butter from the freezer and add butter and Macadamia nuts until fully mixed.
In a pot, mix the sugar, butter and Lilikoi puree in a pot and bring to a boil.
Wisk the eggs together in a bowl.
Add the warm mixture slowly to the eggs then pour the incorporated mix back into the pot and slowly cook to a mayonnaise-like consistency and strain into a chilled bowl.
Evenly divide the Lilikoi curd among the tops of the unbaked cheesecakes and swirl into the mixture.
Bake cheesecakes with the Macnut bottom at 300 ºF for approximately 48 minutes.
Once the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, remove from mold and place in center of a small dessert plate.
Garnish with a small dollop of fresh whipped cream and raspberry sauce then drizzle with some sliced fresh fruits.
Dolce Late Harvest Wine.
Recipe by Anthony Villanueva, Executive Chef at Edgewood Country Club, River Vale, New Jersey, USA
Chef Note: This is a beautiful and flavorful heart-healthy dish that provides beauty and elegance perfect for an intimate wine dinner or Mediterranean based diet plan. Enjoy!
Rosé Poached Halibut
Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Whole Grain Cous Cous
Sweet Stem Caulinini
Rosé Poached Halibut
Season halibut filet with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, thyme and parsley.
In a shallow frying pan or sauce pan, place halibut in center of the pan, cover half way with rosé and heat up liquid to a light simmer.
The beauty of this technique is that the fish is halfway submerged in the rosé that gives the halibut a beautiful visual of a two toned layer of sophistication.
Add lemon zest, shallots and lightly poach in rosé for 8 minutes.
Pull off of flame and let rest in poaching liquid.
Reserve until assembly.
Kalamata Olive Tapenade
In a mixing bowl add all chopped ingredients and mix gently.
Add lemon zest, sea salt, cracked pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and gently mix together. Taste for seasonings.
Cover in a bowl and set aside until assembly.
Chef’s note: The tapenade is fabulous to use as a healthy dip or Mediterranean bruschetta with hummus, crostini or flat breads. I like to eat it by the bowl!
Whole Grain Cous Cous
In a small appropriate sized bowl add in the whole grain cous cous.
Boil or steep the broth or hot water.
Add the olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper.
Pour hot broth or water over cous cous and cover with food film or aluminum foil and let steam gently cook the cous cous for about ten minutes covered.
When ready to serve uncover cooked cous cous and mix cous cous ingredients together.
Sweet Stem Caulinini
Heat up a sauté pan.
Add extra virgin olive oil.
Lightly sauté sweet stem caulinini for 2 minutes.
Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Pull off of flame and reserve for assembly.
Keep al dente.
Use appropriate sized dinner plate and place halibut in center of plate.
Mold or spoon cous cous next to halibut filet.
Spoon generous amounts of tapenade over halibut, be sure to add enough liquid from the tapenade to flavor fish.
Gently place sweet stem caulinini next to halibut and cous cous.
Recipe by Warwick Hilli, Executive Chef at Kingston Heath Golf Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Serves 8 - 10
Chocolate and Hazelnut Marquise
5 Egg Yolks
115 gm. Caster Sugar
15 ml. Hazelnut Liquor
190 gm. Belcolade Dark Chocolate Button
175 gm. Unsalted Butter (diced)
50 gm. Cocoa Powder
375 ml. Pouring Cream (semi-whipped)
Raspberry sorbet. (makes 1 liter)
180 gm. Caster Sugar
60 gm. Glucose Syrup
200 ml. Water
550 gm. Raspberries (pureed)
Dark Chocolate Soil
Red Velvet Biscuit (crumbed)
Chocolate and Hazelnut Marquise
Whisk the egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl then add the hazelnut liquor. Place over a double boiler on a low heat and whisk until thick (approx. 10 minutes).
Meanwhile in another double boiler melt the Belcolade dark chocolate buttons, diced butter, and cocoa until smooth.
Fold one-third of the egg mix into the chocolate mixture and combine, fold in remaining egg mix, mix gently until smooth and glossy.
Fold the semi-whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
Place into your preferred molds or trays, and place into the freezer until firm.
In a saucepan, place the sugar, glucose, and water, bring to boil, cook until sugar has dissolved and has a syrupy consistency.
Combine with the raspberry puree and place into a blast chiller/fridge to cool.
CHEF NOTE: Follow the instructions for your ice cream machine and churn.
When chocholate and hazelnut marquise are set remove from molds and place as shown in the center of a plate.
Garnish with fresh raspberry puree, biscotti, dark chocolate soil, red velvet biscuit crumbs and some semi-whipped cream.
House of Arras Grand Vintage 2015 Sparkling.
recipe by Clara Lene' Kelly, Mixologist at Kohanaiki , Kona, Hawaii, USA
Muddle the berries and mint leaves in a mixing glass.
Add the liquids and ice, then shake and double strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
Garnish with the top of the mint sprig.
Multiple General Managers in the northeast have informed me about the progressive culinary programs at Medinah Country Club. After visiting the Club, and meeting Michael and his team, I discovered their unique formula, which has been built as a marriage between the culinary team and the membership. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Michael, tell us about your Italian upbringing.
I come from a big extended Italian family, we all grew up on the outskirts of Chicago within a few blocks of each other. We were always together. Everything was about food, because my nonna was a fantastic cook and that is what gave her joy. By the time I was 12 years old, I had started working in my uncle's restaurant; I was bussing tables, making salads. I've always been a workhorse. I love working, it's rewarding, and I feel like I have a purpose. I knew from that age that restaurants were for me. I always wanted to own one, so when I was old enough, I went to culinary school at Kendall College. I said myself, "if I'm going to own a restaurant, I'm not going to let someone push me around, I need to know how to run the kitchen." I was 19, and something just clicked. This was it for me.
When I was in school, I worked at a French bistro as a Sous Chef, and I worked for a catering company and a bakery. I didn't know the direction I wanted to go in, so I held all three jobs throughout obtaining my degree. Right after I graduated, I had this fantastic opportunity to become the sous chef at Spiaggia, which was the only four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago. They had been open for 20 years, and the food was gorgeous there. Spiaggia opened doors for me. I learned about making homemade pasta and what real good cheese is, how to fly things in from Italy, and how to make gelato properly.
After two years at Spiaggia, I was recruited to work with Rick Tramonto, and over a period of a year and a half, I opened four restaurants for him. After working for Rick, I was asked to go to Volare, which is an iconic Chicago restaurant owned by the Benny Siddu. He wanted me to help his team open a restaurant in the suburbs. I also spent several years with Portillo's consulting for them, and then one day I got a phone call from the owner of Rosebud Restaurants, Alex Dana, and he said, "What are you doing?" I had never met this man before, and I said: "I am at work." He goes, "Well, you're going to come and work for me." I said, "No, I'm not, thanks and goodbye." He was very persistent, and I eventually said, "OK, I'll have a cup of coffee with you." He said, "I have two locations, Schaumburg and Rosebud on Rush, which is right in the heart of downtown, a celebrity hangout area, the whole thing, the gold coast, which one would you want?" I said, "Which one's busier?" He said, "Rosebud on Rush." I said, "I'll take that one." I started working there, and within six months I moved up to a corporate chef role, and in another six months, I became director of operations. I was 26.
It was such a busy restaurant. Within the first month, I dropped labor by four percent and we started getting noticed by magazines again and having a larger celebrity presence. We had 11 restaurants that we were overseeing, and Medinah Country Club Assistant General Manager Mark Jablonski was also a part of our team then. I also opened a restaurant with them, which we ended up closing because the partnership didn't work. When I left Rosebud, I was debating what I was going to do next, and my stepfather, John Pappas, who was a member at Medinah said, "Hey, Medinah is looking for a chef." I said, "I'm not going to go to a country club!" But he said, "You should check it out." I was against it, because in the restaurant world clubs are seen as a place to go to work after you retire, how incredibly wrong that perception is.
When I came in and walked in the front entrance, I was like, wow! I have never been intimidated by a job interview. I wasn't scared about the job itself; I knew I could do the job, I was intimidated by the mere presence of the venue. Barry Garrett, the general manager at the time, had a lot of interviews with master chefs, and club lifer chefs. During my interview, he asked me, "Why do you want to work in a country club?" I said, "I don't." He's like," Well, what do you mean?" I said, "I don't want to view these areas as club dining rooms, I want to treat them like restaurants. A lot of the members here are old customers of mine; they frequent the restaurants where I used to work. I don't want to serve meatloaf every other Tuesday and things like that, I want to make it great." He said, "I want you to start July first because I want you here for Fourth of July." Fourth of July in any club is huge; here we do about 2,000 people. I came from restaurants to this huge 2,000 person event! I was thinking to myself, "What did I just do!"
The team was made up of fantastic people. At the time, many of them had been here for a while, and working with them was great. It took me about six months to understand Medinah. I took my time, and I asked a lot of questions, surveyed a lot of the members in person. I would ask them, "Where do you like to eat? What are you looking for here? What are you looking for when you go out?" We started to make some changes. When General Manager Robert Sereci and Assistant General Manager Mark Jablonski came on board, things really took off. We've increased F&B revenues over one million dollars in the last four years alone. We saw a 30 percent increase after the first year in just food sales, which was huge.
After about a year and a half, I wanted to do more. At this point, we had already switched all of our steaks over to antibiotic and hormone free upper one-third prime, all-natural steak, humanely killed from Meyer Ranch, we had changed to Amish chickens, and we had started to bring a lot of ingredients in from Italy. The team and I reviewed every little thing here, threw it out the window, and restarted. We focused on the small things that add up to make a big difference. When we had used up all of our resources I was wondering what was next? I remember it was January, and the idea to tap the maple trees on the golf courses came up. I started educating myself about it online and watching YouTube videos.
At the start, we tapped five trees and ended up with about four and a half gallons of maple syrup. I thought to myself "Oh my goodness, that's a process!" It takes 38 gallons of sap to get one gallon of syrup. This past year, we tapped 30 trees and we got 30 gallons of syrup. That's over one thousand gallons of sap! As challenging as it was, I thought, we are going to give our members and guests an experience that's unique to Medinah, one that you can't get anywhere else. The maple syrup was a hit, with the members, so the next year we doubled the number of trees we tapped, and then we doubled it again.
GK: Do you sell the maple syrup?
We don't produce enough to sell; we serve it to our members. When they have breakfast pancakes or waffles, they are served the Medinah Maple Syrup. From here, we began to make our own sourdough bagels and red wine vinegar. I don't get too fancy making every single item from scratch, because I think there are things I can buy that are better than what I can make, but we're continually looking for what we can do that is excellent and real.
GK: Tell us about the Medinah chicken coop.
I had always wanted a garden here, I asked Robert Sereci about it, and he said, "I'm going to give you enough freedom to do it." I said, "Thank you." I wanted it out where the members could see it, but with the way with the tournaments are set up that wasn't really possible. Robert said to me right after he started working here: "What about a chicken coop?" I said, "What am I going to do with a chicken coop? I'm not going slaughter birds in the kitchen," He said, "For eggs!" So we combined our ideas and built a chicken coop and a garden. It just continues to grow. Bees are the next thing on our radar, and I'm terrified of bees, but I want to do this, regardless. I started studying the process and built a presentation. I talked to a few chefs that have bees, and spoke to a few farmers. Now we are just waiting until it's right for our situation to do it. We are currently in the middle of renovations and construction, and I didn't think it was safe for the bees with all the building going on.
GK: Are you upgrading all of the restaurants on the property?
Yes, it has been the biggest reward for us when the members voted to upgrade all the restaurants.
GK: How do you relate to the membership here?
The thing that keeps me here, more than anything, are the relationships I have built. The members, for example, when my kids were born, they called me to see how my family was, and they sent me congratulations cards, little personal touches. I feel like I'm part of something bigger than a job. I've been with these members for five years. I've been with them through births and marriages, and I have made real connections with them. I know I am still an employee of the club, but I'm an employee who cares about the people I'm serving, and in turn, they care about me as a person. That's what would make it hard to leave Medinah.
GK: Tell us about your cooking approach.
My focus on cooking is a little different than most. My focus is on real food. Have you heard of the ugly food movement? I'm all for that; I buy from imperfect produce at home, because I support that. Ugly food tastes better than the picture-perfect stuff. What I mean by that is that there is nothing wrong with having discoloration on your apples and it's probably tastier and better for you.
My approach is to keep it simple and give the absolute best we can, and it doesn't mean buying a $500 bottle of olive oil. It means that the olive oil has to be real and made from a producer that I trust and understand, I need to know the types of olives they are using and the conditions in which they are grown. We buy our pigs from a local farm, and I know when and how the pigs are raised. It's about being real and true to what I'm serving. Cooking for members and guests is no different than cooking for my family, I want to make sure that they are taken care of. I want to make sure that what I serve them proudly represents the club and me.
I am not a fan of commodity items. It doesn't mean everything has to be organic because I don't think there's value in that either. I think that the product needs to be respected and taken care of and thought through. I won't buy just a burger patty. We came up with our own blend, which is a mixture of hanger, skirt and chuck steak. I have the percentages. I know where the beef comes from, and I sell tens of thousands a year. There's a lot of pride that comes with that.
I am very strong with Italian cuisine, and I try to stay with a Chicago American style. I'm very against mixing cultures. You cannot properly execute five diverse cultural styles and really do it from the heart. For example, if I open a Sushi Bar, all we would serve would be Japanese cuisine.
GK: Tell us about your team.
I have an incredible team that I work with here, and I am very goal driven by my staff. I try to find their strengths and guide them in that direction, so that they excel. If one of the team said, "I want to work on bread baking,” I 'll say "OK, let's do it." There's a reward for us and a reward for them. Let's focus on this, just give me three years, and I'll help you to get where you need to be after that.
GK: You are really making an impact in the industry. Tell us about that.
We've been fortunate to have a lot of publications cover us lately because of what we are doing. We're making a statement in a sense, and I'm not trying to be cutting edge, I'm trying to be old school. I want to give the members the tomatoes that my grandparents grew up with. I want to show them what a real tomato smells and tastes like. I think that's what's gaining the attention, is we're taking those extra efforts. We aren’t doing it for the media attention; we are doing it because we care.
Recipe by Anthony Giacoponello, Executive Chef at Sebonack Golf Club, Southampton, New York, USA
(Yields: 2 quarts)
• 3 tsp. Olive Oil
• 4 Mangos (peeled and cut into medium chunks)
• 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
• 2 ½ cups Spanish Onions (small diced)
• ¼ cup Fresh Ginger (minced)
• 1 cup Red Bell Peppers (small diced)
• 8 oz. Orange Juice
• 4 oz. Cider Vinegar
• ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
• 1 ½ tsp. Curry Powder
• 8 oz. Raisins
• 8 oz. Dried Cranberries
(Yields: ½ sheet )
• 5 cups of Water
• 2 tsp. Salt
• 13/4 cups Yellow Cornmeal
• 1 sprig Thyme
• ½ sprig Rosemary
• Parmesan Cheese
(Yields: 1 pint)
• 2 Medium Carrots (medium diced)
• 1 Large Spanish Onion (medium dice)
• 4 Stalks Celery Medium Dice
• 3 pounds shell on shrimp
• ½ cup Brandy
• 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste
• 1 quart Fish Stock
• Salt and Pepper
• ¼ cup of olive oil
• 4 U8 sized Prawns
• 1 Tbs. Butter
In a mixing bowl add the orange juice, vinegar, curry powder,and sugar. Whisk until smooth.
In a medium Sauturn pot on a medium heat add the oil, pepper flakes, and the onions until soft.
Next add the ginger and red peppers until the peppers are soft.
Now add the mangos and cook until they are soft.
Add the wet ingredients to the pot and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
To finish add the raisins and the craisins.
Scrape on to a lined half sheet tray, spread out and chill
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan and add the salt.
Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and season to taste. At this time pull out the thyme and rosemary. Scrape on to a lined half sheet tray with parchment paper and chill.
After they are fully cold cut in to long triangles, cover the polenta with Parmesan cheese and broil them until golden brown
In a medium sauce pot heat the oil until it just starts to smoke.
Add the shrimp; stir and mix them around every 30 seconds until the shrimp have a nice caramelized brown color.
Add one Tbs. of oil, the carrots, onion, and celery to the same pot. Mix until they are nicely brown and caramelized.
Lower to a medium heat, and add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
Return the shrimp back in to the pot and stir until the shrimp are coated.
Turn the heat off and add the brandy. After the initial shock return the heat on high and reduce the brandy by half.
Add the cilantro and cover with fish stock and reduce for 30 min. on simmer.
Strain through a fine strainer and cool.
In a very hot sauté pan place the shrimp in one by one away from you.
Let cook for 1 ½ minutes and then turn over and Let cook for another 1 ½ minute.
Turn off the heat and deglaze with a ¼ cup of brandy.
Turn the heat back on high and reduce the brandy with a the butter and baste the shrimp for another 30 seconds and take out of the pan
In a large shallow bowl place three spoonfuls of chutney in a triangular format.
After you melt the cheese on the polenta place one triangle on each spoonful of chutney all facing in the same direction.
In the middle space lean one prawn on each section with the shell face up.
Place the last prawn in the center of the plate with the head up.
Carefully spoon the broth over the prawns until the bottom of the plate is covered evenly.
Image left: Tom Capobianco as a young teenager selling Christmas trees. Image right: Tom Capobianco today.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Tom in 2007, at the Hartford Club by the General Manager / COO, Mr. Till. There is a special feeling you get when speaking with Tom. His passion for life and the business is inspiring. ~ Leo Bushey
GK: Tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in the Morris Cove area of New Haven, and by the age of 12, I was stocking shelves and stamping prices on canned goods at my dad Vincent Capobianco's store, Tom's Market, in Fair Haven, CT. I had a paper route and did other odd jobs like shoveling snow and raking leaves. I made a shoeshine box and began shining shoes for a quarter at Tweed New Haven Airport. I was also an altar boy at Saint Bernadette’s Church in the cove area in New Haven. The 60’s were simple back then; I loved it looking back.
In 1969 my family fell on hard times, my parents lost their money to a builder who took their life savings, they were never able to find him. Within the first five months of my freshman year, we had moved three times as we didn't have a permanent place, to live. At times my three siblings and I were living in a one bedroom apartment or a basement of relatives while trying to find a permanent place to live. The challenges of changing schools, routines, and faces were awkward and sometimes embarrassing, but in the long run, it made us tougher.
During my last year of high school, I was selected to be the pitcher for the baseball team, and at the same time, my dad’s business was going under due to the emergence of the big supermarkets in late 60’s. I still remember when he would try to put $5 in my pocket when I worked for him. I wouldn't take the money because I knew things weren’t going well at home or the store. I will never forget walking up to Coach DeMayo, my psychology teacher, and coach and said, “Coach, I can't play on the team this year, my dad needs me at the store, he’s there alone.” This was heartbreaking as I had a real passion for baseball. I would take my dad to work at 5:30 a.m. and go to school, my schedule was modified so that I was able to leave early by 11:45 a.m. I had no breaks, 18 hours a day between school and work, just to make ends meet. I still see myself driving in his 1964 brown Chevy station wagon three-speed standard on the column pulling into the school parking lot.
GK: You have a love of the Christmas tree business?
Yes, at the age of 18, I started making Christmas grave pillows, blankets, wreaths and selling Christmas trees from November 1st- December 23rd. I did this for 15-16 years, until my wife Cynthia said, "you can’t do this anymore we have our third child on the way, and you are never home." I still miss the Christmas tree business to this day, but I love spending Christmas with my family more. Every year my wife puts up five Christmas trees throughout the house! I think it takes until February to take all the decorations down.
A few years after my father passed, my wife and I met Mr. Silver the owner of Silver’s Drugstore, who had given my dad $1200 worth of medication for pancreatic cancer. Mr. Silver helped out the non-profit organization Ronald McDonald House in New Haven, CT. They provide housing to families with sick children who cannot afford hotels while their child is receiving treatments in the hospital. Every Christmas he held a fundraiser, we donated a Christmas tree which my wife and children decorated with Yankee decorations and four tickets to a game at Yankee Stadium. There was an Angel Tree that had a lot of tags with children’s names ranging from 1 - 15 years of age. Every year my wife picked out five tags to help these children that are less fortunate to have a Christmas gift. Now it has been 11 years since my father passed, and I can feel him looking down on me. It makes me so happy to give back; it’s so rewarding there are no words to explain it. It is so much better to give than receive.
"We have profiled Tom and his HAFSCO team's design projects for some 20 plus years. His ability to understand what makes a foodservice operation at a club is simply unmatched. He creates a vision for an environment in which a la carte dining and catering can coexist seamlessly."
Publisher, Total Food Service
GK: Tell us about HAFSCO.
HAFSCO was established in 1934 as Howard Arnold Inc. Originally it was a Frigidaire distributor on Crown Street, New Haven, Connecticut. I started working there late 1973. I applied for a driver position while I was working two other part-time jobs and I needed more money. A year later I was on the road in sales at the age of 19. I went to gin mills and small restaurants selling; cherries, shot and beer glasses, and cases of high ball glasses. The market was different back then. The purchaser for Howard Arnold at the time was released from his position a few years later, and I was asked to take over his position of purchasing. I knew it was a step up, I was gaining knowledge and moving up in the company, I enjoyed learning all aspects of the job, so I moved back inside to sales and purchasing. In 1986, Howard Arnold had sadly lost one of their partners Mr. Bianchi, and it was in the process of selling to a company named Kingston Industries, which was a big exporter of food service equipment back then. A few years later I read they went bankrupt. Mr. Bianchi had promised to make me a small owner in 1985. The agreement that was promised. We met, and they both promised to sign me in as a small partner of the company. The area we were located in at the time was undergoing redevelopment in the New Haven ninth square. In 1988-1989 I found the building we are presently in Railroad Avenue in West Haven, which at the time I rented with the option to buy, and after almost 30 years now I purchased the building and property and we are currently putting on an addition because of our continued growth.
GK: You have a large following in restaurant and golf industry, how have you created that reputation?
I’m a workaholic. If I'm home, I'm in my office, and often I get home between 10-11 p.m. I'm there until 2 or 3 in the morning to take care of our revised drawings, quotes, etc. My children, Mario, Austin, Briana, Demi, and Darren, are following suit and they all work until they get things done. They work from home, and they work on weekends/ vacations. This business is not 9 to 5, far from it. This business is a seven days a week job.
I always try to do the right thing. It's more about being good to other people in your life, not just selling supplies and equipment. In general, good things will happen if you are kind and do the right thing and I believe that people recognize that. I try to instill this in all five of my children, work hard, be honest, be a good person in general in life and good things will come to you. Forget about just the business itself. We keep it old-school; it’s still a people vs. people business. Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Connecticut, 1986, was the first club that we did the design for and now we service over 50 clubs. Westchester Country Club, Winged Foot Golf Club, Baltusrol Country Club, Glen Head Golf Club and The Apawamis Club just to name a few. We also service resorts, restaurants/diners, universities, nursing homes and golf/yacht clubs from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.
One day about 3-4 years ago, General Manager Tom Nevin who was working at Sleepy Hollow Country Club called me and wanted me to come by and visit the club to see if we could do some business together. I still remember afterward how he showed me around the club and drove me to the grounds where the horse show takes place. It was amazing. Afterwards, we sat down in his office, and he said to me “I think you should go see a gentleman I know in Greenwich so he can write a book on you!” I said “Tom there’s no story here! Besides, the only person that would buy that book would be my mother!” I never did take him up on that, but I appreciate his genuine feelings.
We serve our customers in more ways than one. We are all hands on, and we try to go above and beyond what our clients want and expect. That market was held very tight by other dealers in the 70’s and 80’s. Brooklawn Country Club was our first club. At that time a lot was going on between the food industry and the equipment supply industry. A lot of these big players were selling food and adding foodservice equipment supplies.
GK: You came up with an added value concept?
I had an innovating concept, to build a service department and to fix and repair equipment from dishwashers to refrigeration steamers, ovens, building walk-in coolers, and a complete installation department. We have our Cad art department in-house that develops all of our drawings with me designing the set-up of the flow of the kitchen. We stock all brands of paper goods as well as imprinted cups, golf shoe bags, napkins, and candy.
GK: What was one of the finer moments of your career?
I had my meeting with Mr. James and Mr. Paul Brock, of Westchester Country Club during the interview process and had told them that I would send the club my resume and consultation contract of about 40-50 clubs that I've designed. He stated, "we don't need to see your reference list. We spoke with other clubs, so you don’t have to send in any references. All we need is for you to give us a competitive bid. We need two other bids and would need to check everyone’numbers." I was eventually awarded the job, and we had job meetings for 8-9 months every Thursday. We finished the job just before their season, their kitchens were completed, and they invited myself and my wife and everybody that worked on the job, as well as the members, to their open house in the Travis Room. I'm standing there that night in the new Travis Room that they had just unveiled to show off the new renovations of their club and opened up to this whole new sports grill room, bar, new tables and chairs, and kitchen. I'm standing there and suddenly, Mr. Pisano, the club President stands up with a microphone and starts talking and thanking everybody involved in the project. He said, “I’d like to thank the construction committee and all other companies and individuals who were involved in this project, how beautiful everything came out.” He turned around in the middle of his speech standing in front of everyone and said, “And I'd also like to thank probably the best food service consultant on the east coast.” I'm saying to myself; I hope it's not me. So, Tom, could you just please raise your hand?” It was astounding to me to see and hear all the members applaud my hard work and dedication of what they witnessed happen to their club. I was a little choked up with that one. I didn’t know how to react. The emotions took over; I was at a loss for words, that meant more to me then I could ever explain. I was just doing this job the way I handle all other jobs.
Feeling wanted is important to me. There was an exceptional feeling that made me feel good inside hearing that. I just did this job as I would do any other job. Everybody wants to be wanted, I don't care if you live by yourself, if you're single, if you're married, you have kids, or you don't. There's a part of us in life that just wants to be wanted; it feels good. You could be the best landscaper, the best roofer or the best painter. There's a particular love to that connection of being wanted. I’m still just a blue collar worker that loves to work 18-19 hours a day, and I love it as sad as it sounds.
Raising a family is a job in itself, it has ups and downs every day. One day I realized I must have done something right when the youngest of my five children, Darren, calls me on a Tuesday during the Glen Island General Managers show, before his high school Division I championship hockey game between Notre Dame-West Haven and Fairfield Prep. I answered the phone and said, “Darren are you okay?” He innocently said yeah I’m just going to see grandpa at the cemetery before the big game tonight (who has just passed away in 2007). My father loved watching my boys play hockey and baseball. I was so choked up I could barely say goodbye to him, and to this day it still chokes me up, but when I look back, maybe I did raise my children the way I hoped I would. I could only hope and pray that one day my children pass the business down to their children.
GK: What are you most grateful for from all this?
Right now, I’m very thankful for my blessings and that I'm still here. I'm alive. My beautiful wife Cynthia, we have been married almost 37 years. My kids are healthy. My two beautiful grandkids, Bradley and Noelle, and I employ lovely people.
"I’m just a kid who shined shoes." ~ Tom Capobianco
by Leo Bushey, Briana Capobianco and Diana DeLucia
Recipe by Dana Iannelli, Pastry Chef at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida. USA
Pour the milk into a small bowl then stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside.
In a saucepan, stir together the heavy cream, vanilla bean and sugar, and set over medium heat. Bring to a full boil.
Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved.
Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and strain.
Pour into six individual ring molds lined with acetate.
Place in the refrigerator to chill about two hours until set.
Chef Note: Keep the ring molds on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator and pour the Panna Cotta directly into the molds in the refrigerator so that you don't need to move the tray once the Panna Cotta is in the molds.
In a small sauce pot combine the mango purée and half of the sugar and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl combine the remaining sugar and the agar-agar. Mix well to combine.
Once the purée comes to a full boil, slowly add in the sugar and agar-agar mixture.
Whisk and return to a boil.
Pour into a shallow dish then place in the refrigerator until completely chilled.
Once chilled, place the mixture into a blender and pulse until a smooth gel forms.
Put ¾ of the coconut purée into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface to soften.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining coconut purée and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Stir the purée and gelatin into the warm purée and stir to dissolve the gelatin.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl then let the cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream and vanilla bean paste to medium peaks.
Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the cooled coconut mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain.
Pipe the mousse into half sphere molds and place in the freezer until completely chilled. Approximately 1 - 2 hours.
The night before making the caviar, place 2 cups of vegetable oil in a tall glass or container and keep in the refrigerator for a minimum 4 hours or overnight.
Pour the raspberry purée into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl combine the sugar and the agar. Mix well.
Once the purée comes to a full boil, slowly add in the sugar and agar mixture.
Whisk and return to a boil.
Pour the raspberry mixture into a squeeze bottle with narrow top.
Drop small drops of raspberry mixture into the cold oil. The drops will slowly sink to the bottom of the container forming caviar on the way down.
Once complete, strain the oil to collect the raspberry caviar.
Rinse the caviar with water to remove the oil then set aside until ready to use.
Peel and slice allthe fruit thin and lengthwise. On a flat cutting board, place 10 pieces of mango in a line overlapping slightly where each end meets. Repeat on top of the mango with the kiwi and repeat once more with both fruits. Keep aside until ready to use.
Using a stencil of your choice, spread the mango gel onto the plate with an offset spatula. Apply pressure so the gel fills the stencil nicely.
Unmold the panna cotta and place on top of the stencil. Carefully pick up the fruit with your offset spatula and wrap it around the panna cotta base.
Place the raspberry caviar around the plate.
Unmold two coconut mousse domes then trim with a border of desiccated coconut and place one on top of the panna cotta and the other on top of the stencil.
Sprinkle lime powder and coconut slices on top of mousse.
Recipe by Rhy Waddington, Executive Chef at Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York, USA
1 lb. Ricotta
¼ cup Olive Oil
4 large Heirloom Tomatoes
1 cup Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Yellow Peach (ripe)
½ cup Strawberries
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
⅓ cup Moscato Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbs. Poppy Seeds
¼ cup Basil Leaves
¼ cup Purslane
Whip the ricotta with olive oil then season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside at room temperature.
Slice the heirloom tomatoes into random bite size pieces and cut the cherry heirloom tomatoes in half.
Thinly slice the peach and strawberries.
Mix the extra virgin olive oil and the moscato vinegar then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread a liberal amount of the whipped ricotta on the center of the plate.
In a mixing bowl add the sliced tomatoes, strawberries and peaches.
Add the basil leaves.
Dress with ⅔ of the moscato vinaigrette.
Place the dressed tomato mix on top of the whipped ricotta.
Sprinkle some poppy seeds on top of the peaches.
Garnish with basil, purslane and vinaigrette.
Joseph Drouhin Poully Fuisse
Recipe by Clara Lene Kelly, Mixologist at Kohanaiki Golf Club and Resort, Kona, Hawaii, USA
Muddle Lemons, oranges, sugar cube and bitters.
Add liquors and shake with ice.
Double strain into rocks glass with large ice ball and garnish with orange and cherry on a pick.