In the face of how the pandemic has dramatically altered the employment landscape, chefs and food-and-beverage managers at club and resort properties are pulling out all the stops to still attract and retain the best fits for their kitchen and dining-room staffs.
The new emphasis on outdoor dining has prompted club chefs to also make al fresco cooking a greater part of their repertoire, and has shed new light on how to turn everyday meals into special events.
Mark Sokolofsky, Executive Chef at Essex County Country Club in West Orange, N.J., believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a more efficient cleaning system for his club.
Whether for dine-in or takeout, pre-entrée starters or entire small-plate meals on their own, chefs are using innovative flavor profiles and presentations to offer new upfront enticements to club and resort diners.
The combination of COVID and winter’s cold have cranked up cravings for familiar, hearty foods. But members are expecting a more elevated style of their favorite fare, and their clubs’ chefs are delivering.
While the pandemic is keeping Americans from enjoying many of the things they love, club members can still take comfort in special sweet treats, whether dining outside, inside or at home.
The pandemic has made club members crave comfort foods more than ever, and chefs are responding by providing feel-good favorites for indoor, outdoor and takeout dining.
Prior to the world coming to a screeching halt, country clubs across America were either in the planning stages or the midst of retooling their kitchen operations and, in some cases, adding and/or upgrading equipment. But then the coronavirus outbreak required on-the-fly adjustments, to keep members safe and well-fed with innovative takeout programs.
Strategically curated collections of spirited and non-alcoholic beverages, selected to span the entire day and accommodate the full scope of members’ and guests’ preferences, are helping the “B” in F&B take off.
Reports of formal dining’s demise at club and resort properties have been greatly exaggerated. Many chefs report that the tradition is still alive and well, with proper nods to today’s eating preferences.
Inspired by regional and national food trends, seasonal ingredients and members’ cravings, club chefs are leading efforts by their F&B teams to draft a series of menus that can hit the sweet—and savory—spots year-round.
Chefs across the country are finding that cooking sous vide is more than just a time and labor saver. It is also one of the easiest and most effective ways to deeply infuse ingredients and brine foods for different flavors and textures.
When hunger pangs strike during a round of golf, members and guests want something quick, neat to eat and delicious. Chefs around the country are upgrading their on-course foodservice with new items and high-level ordering and delivery services.
Cooking outdoors makes any meal a special occasion, and gives clubs and resorts opportunities to showcase their properties and amenities year-round.
Creating the ambiance and experience that members and guests expect for a la carte dining and special occasions calls for a team effort and a deft ability to combine the right variety of tabletop components.