The final session at this year’s event in San Antonio brought together four General Managers who engaged in a discussion about creating productive relationships between GMs and Executive Chefs. Participating GMs included John McGee, Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas; Phil Kiester, The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Va.; Christine Pooler, Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.; and Eric Dietz, Interlachen Country Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
The closing session of the 2014 Chef to Chef Conference in San Antonio on March 4 brought the worlds of management and cuisine together with a panel discussion that included the voices of four General Managers from leading properties, topping off two days of presentations and demonstrations by successful and innovative chefs.
John McGee, Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas; Phil Kiester, The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Va.; Christine Pooler, Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.; and Eric Dietz, Interlachen Country Club, Minneapolis, Minn., comprised the panel, taking questions from the crowd of club chefs about how to maintain the harmony and balance between club management and the kitchen.
Before the panel, McGee and Kiester spoke to the group individually about their personal journeys to club management through the kitchen.
“Every successful club has a successful F&B program,” Kiester said.
That morning, Nelson Millan, Executive Chef, San Antonio Country Club, shared “Innovative Buffet and Brunch Presentations That Please the Eye, Palate—and P&L,” discussing his successes with creating smoked salmon in-house. Millan finished his demonstration with an ice carving of a fish as Todd Rogers, Miramont CC Executive Chef and Millan’s mentor, shared his insights on the practice, which he referred to as “a melting art.”
Millan played a substantial role in bringing Chef to Chef to San Antonio, and served as the local conference coordinator.
Afterward, Tina Haldeman, Executive Pastry Chef, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, showcased her pastry skills, including a perfected apple pie that she noted took 40 attempts to get just right. Haldeman also shared techniques for creating savory biscuits that kitchens can produce without a pastry chef.
Daniel Pliska, CEC, Executive Chef/Assistant Manager, University Club of Missouri/University Catering, Columbia, Mo., who also led a breakout session during “Chef to Chef Live,” demonstrated techniques for producing globally themed dinners that pay homage to worldwide cuisine, with his interpretation of lamb biryani.
Just before breaking for lunch, Gary Whitecotton, Executive Chef, The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Va., presented his creative approaches to cooking for outdoor events. Whitecotton also enlisted the assistance of Pablo Corales, Executive Sous Chef at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian, Va.
For coverage of the San Antonio event on clubandresortbusiness.com, click here, or follow @Club_and_Resort on Twitter for photos. Full coverage will be included in the April 2014 issue of Club & Resort Business.