Chef’s Thoughts with James Patterson

By | October 12th, 2016

img_0848James R. Patterson III, originally from Wilmington, N.C., became Executive Chef of Sedgefield Country Club, a McConnell Golf property in Greensboro, N.C., in March 2014. Patterson has been with McConnell for more than ten years and his dishes feature local ingredients prepared with an upscale Southern flair. Before joining McConnell, Patterson’s resume featured restaurant experience in Charleston, S.C. (Cypress Restaurant), Durham, N.C. (Four Square), and Chapel Hill, N.C. (Grille at Glen Lennox).

Sedgefield CC plays hosts to numerous events throughout the year, including The Wyndham Championship, a PGA Tour stop that it hosted again in August 2016.

  1. You’d be surprised to learn that I am a San Diego Chargers fan stuck on the East Coast.
  2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be either Joel Robuchon, who does classic cuisine; Grant Achatz, who does cutting-edge cuisine, or Craig Deihl, who is my personal mentor.
  3. One of my most memorable meals was when I was leaving Charleston in 2003 and Craig Deihl took me out to McCrady’s for a farewell dinner. Executive Chef Michael Kramer prepared a 12-course tasting menu that was handwritten on a scroll, with wines paired for our table. It was unbelievable.
  4. My go-to drink is Makers Mark.
  5. My last meal would be a classic wedge salad followed by a thick ribeye pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet with butter, garlic, and herbs, served with creamed potatoes and sea salt-roasted asparagus, and a bottle of port for dessert.
  6. My worst culinary creation was an early attempt at rolling sushi.
  7. If I could change one thing about my club I would love to have my own farm for chickens, eggs, produce and herbs.
  8. My favorite junk food is Little Debbie donut sticks.
  9. If I wasn’t a chef, I’d love to be a food writer. Food is fun.
  10. I knew I wanted to be a chef when I learned that cooking inside with my mom kept me from having to work in the yard with my dad. Although grilling with him on Saturdays is one of my fondest memories.
  11. You’ll never see endangered game on the menu at my club, because I don’t believe it’s right.
  12. The most ridiculous member or guest request I’ve ever had was from a member who loved to order a half-beer (Michelob Ultra in a bottle, no less). He never questioned his bill, but I’m pretty sure it was always rung up as a full beer.
  13. I love being a club chef because it allows me to know my clientele well.
  14. When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m at home with my wife and daughter, probably on a culinary adventure.
  15. My biggest mistake when I first started as a chef was when I lost all of the recipes, menus, and notes I had collected from the time I got serious about cooking until my first position as an Executive Chef. They’re irreplaceable.
  16. If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want these five foods with me: thick-cut ribeye steak, steak-cut fries, Joyce Farms chicken livers, Carolina gold rice and oyster mushrooms.
  17. I eat C-Loaf and Souse Meat at home, but I’d never serve it at the club.
  18. If I could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, it would be my father. He passed on April 23, 2016. I would love to cook one last pig with him.
  19. The most valuable piece of advice I’ve ever received was: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
  20. My favorite celebrity chefs are Clarissa Wright and Jennifer Paterson from the show “Two Fat Ladies.” They had fun with each other and embraced their own style of cooking with flavor.
  21. The most important thing in my kitchen is my staff.
  22. I want to learn more about healthy eating, because I want to be around to see my daughter grow up.
  23. My favorite ingredient are diver scallops. Lobster is the most overrated ingredient. Honey is the most undervalued ingredient. I detest And I can’t live without old-fashioned, country-style, whole-hog sausage links.
  24. The rules of conduct in my kitchen are: Have fun with what you’re doing. Love what you’re doing. And never stop learning. (If you feel you can’t learn anymore, it’s time to move on!)
  25. My most embarrassing moment in the kitchen was when my pants ripped in the middle of a shift in a semi-open kitchen. I had to wear two aprons—one tied each way—the rest of the night.
  26. I would like to see more club chefs push the envelope with ingredients, especially when it comes to working with local farmers on sourcing produce and proteins.
  27. My favorite books are Sean Brock’s Heritage, Patrick O’Connell’s Inn at Little Washington Cookbook, and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
  28. My favorite movie/TV show is The Mind of a Chef on PBS.
  29. My favorite kitchen hack is using a pair of tongs or a chef’s knife to crack open a cold brew at the end of a long shift.

4 Responses to Chef’s Thoughts with James Patterson

  1. Peb Hendrix says:

    Congrats JP. Well deserved accolade!! Hope to see you soon.

  2. Leigh Clary says:

    So proud of this man! I’ve known him since he was a small child and I am so impressed with his accomplishments!

    • Leigh, thanks for the kind words! It takes a village to raise a child! I was fortunate to have you in my village! I can’t say enough about the memories I have from growing up with you all!

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