Chef’s Thoughts with Jonathan P. Moosmiller, CMC

By | July 5th, 2017

As the Executive Chef of Southern Hills Country Club (Tulsa, Okla.), Jonathan Moosmiller is one of only 67 Certified Master Chefs in the world.

As the Executive Chef of Southern Hills Country Club (Tulsa, Okla.), Jonathan Moosmiller is one of only 67 Certified Master Chefs in the world.

Moosmiller, a native of Indiana, holds an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and apprenticed under Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins in Mougins, France. Before coming to Southern Hills CC, Moosmiller held positions at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., and the Genesee Valley Club in Rochester, N.Y.

He assisted the ACF Culinary Team USA at the 2008 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung—or culinary Olympics—in Erfurt, Germany, as a sous chef, and was named ACF Northeast Region Chef of the Year in 2008.

Chef Moosmiller presented on “Building a ‘Ranch to Table’ Steakhouse Concept and Brand” at the 2016 Chef to Chef Conference in San Diego, and was featured in a Chef to Chef interview in the January 2015 issue of Club & Resort Business (“Continued Mastery”).

  1. You’d be surprised to learn that I volunteer to wash dishes once a month at my children’s school. It gives me an opportunity to sit and have lunch with them, too.
  2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Auguste Escoffier.
  3. One of my most memorable meals was at Moulin de Mougin in France after my stage.
  4. My go-to drink is black coffee.
  5. My last meal would be a crawfish boil.
  6. My worst culinary creation was poached foie gras with pickled grapes and a banana puree.
  7. If I could change one thing about my club, it would be our banquet kitchen. It really needs some love.
  8. My favorite junk food is Snickers.
  9. If I wasn’t a chef, I’d love to be a professional hockey player.
  10. I knew I wanted to be a chef when I was asked to help in the prep kitchen while I was a dishwasher in high school.
  11. You’ll never see curry on the menu at my club, because I can’t stand the smell of it.
  12. The most ridiculous member or guest request I’ve ever had was a chicken and cheese quesadilla with no tortilla.
  13. I love being a club chef because of the wide variety of foods we get to prepare.
  14. When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m hanging with my wife and kids.
  15. My biggest mistake when I first started as a chef was thinking I knew everything.
  16. If I were stranded on a dessert island, I’d want these five foods with me: salt, butter, bacon, rice, and Cajun spice.
  17. I cook instant oatmeal at home, but I’d never cook it at the club.
  18. If I could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, it would be my Grandma Moose. I miss her dearly.
  19. The most valuable piece of advice I’ve ever received is: “Everyone’s idea of success is different. Be happy in what you do, and don’t compare yourself to others.”
  20. The most important rules in my kitchen are: Be ready. Be on time. And ask for help if you need it.
  21. I want to learn more about my staff because it’s always great to hear everyone’s story, learn how they got to where they are, and discover what makes them tick.
  22. My favorite ingredient is extra-virgin olive oil. Tarragon is the most overrated ingredient. Vinegar is the most undervalued ingredient. I detest feta cheese, and I can’t live without butter.
  23. The rule of conduct in my kitchen is: Treat everyone as an equal. You never know who can teach you something or help you out of the weeds.
  24. My most embarrassing moment in the kitchen was when I had given a cook who had broken some plates a lecture about being careful, because china is not free. Then, no more than two seconds later, I bumped into a cart and knocked over a huge stack of plates.
  25. I would like to see more clubs pay cooks a wage that better matches the expectations of what they have to do every day to satisfy members.
  26. My favorite book is Le Guide Culinaire by Auguste Escoffier. I still use it almost every day at work.
  27. My favorite movie/TV show is “The Walking Dead.”
  28. I am inspired by my children. They help me slow down and take time to enjoy life and be silly. I’m also inspired by the students who pass through our kitchens every year with a deep passion and desire to learn new things. They keep me sharp and on my toes.

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