Executive Chef Andre Halston brings his mantra, “food with finesse for a passionate palate,” to the Birmingham, Ala., club.
Andre Halston has brought his mantra to his new role as Executive Chef at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. Sarah Waller of 280living.com in Birmingham, Ala., explained that Halston’s culinary career spans more than 40 years, featuring a clientele list that includes former President Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and the late musician, B.B. King.
“I’ve always thought Greystone was a five-diamond experience,” Halston said to 280living.com. “It’s one of those environments where you can come and get spoiled. And you can get spoiled whether you’re playing golf, dining or working out. These things are great qualities that appeal to me as a chef.”
Halston’s experience has taken him across the country, cooking at unique locations like Camp David and serving the military at Guantanamo Bay. Most recently, he worked in Michigan at the Detroit Athletic Club. Last year, Halston and his wife decided to move to Birmingham to live closer to family.
“This is my last job,” he said. “I’m going to retire here.”
When Greystone hired a new General Manager, they also hired Halston to reinvent the dining experience. With his extensive resume, including several years working for Ritz Carlton hotels as well as time spent as a corporate chef for Champps Restaurants and Salamander Resorts, Halston hopes to not only enhance the quality of the food, but also the entire dining experience.
“I am one to analyze and look at the whole piece: from the club’s culture to the food we are currently doing. And I’m one to have the understanding that we can’t run, so let’s just walk quickly,” Halston explained to 280living.com. “I always want to be thinking about how to make things better, to make the experience above and beyond.”
Halston will be operating all of Greystone’s kitchens, serving the dining rooms at the Legacy and Founders Clubs and planning the menus for all weddings and special events. His philosophy for cooking is simple. “I’m not a preservative fan,” he said. “I want to do it fresh. I want to do it from scratch.”
From salad dressings to dipping sauces, everything is made daily. He even prepares his own seasoned salt for the French fries. Halston told 280living.com he doesn’t mind taking the extra time to achieve the best end result.
“Even when it has taken us hours and hours to create a dish, I’ll put it on a plate, and in five minutes, it will be demolished. That’s okay. As long as I get to have an impact on people through food and through a cultural experience, I’m happy with it,” he said.
Halston focuses on the experience of every Greystone member, including its youngest. “Greystone stands for families, because without them, this is not going to work. It’s not about doing things just for golfers. There are so many ways in which families are using the club every day, and we’re all about creating great family experiences,” he shared with 280living.com.
And if diners find a meal that they simply love, Halston said he would love to share his recipes. “I don’t mind sharing any recipe because there is nothing more flattering than someone replicating something you do,” he said.