By Fred Bollaci
Inside the Kitchens of the World’s Finest Private Clubs.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I WAS ENJOYING A GOURMET DINNER with my late uncle Brian Bollaci, a retired golf pro, at my regular high top table in the stylish Styr lounge at the exclusive Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach, Florida, when something—rather—someone caught my attention. As a food connoisseur and writer, I frequently photograph my food and find myself striking up conversations with likeminded strangers, wanting to know—What are you enjoying so much? This particular evening I met a woman with a charming Aussie accent who was taking a lot of food photos at a nearby table. Within a couple minutes we were seated together, enjoying some wine, and kibitzing about our shared passion.
I learned that my new acquaintance was none other than the dynamic food photographer and founder/publisher of Golf Kitchen, Diana DeLucia. After chatting a few minutes, we realized we had a lot more in common than just food. Diana is from Melbourne, Australia, a cosmopolitan city I have very much enjoyed visiting, where my aunt Alice owned her famed Italian restaurants, Luigi’s and Pappagallo.
In showcasing the culinary scene in the golf and private club world as founder of Golf Kitchen, Diana has explored some familiar places, including Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, where my uncle worked during his storied career as a PGA professional. Growing up, my dad, grandparents, and I would travel to renowned golf clubs across the country when my uncle was in charge of merchandising at US Opens and other golf tournaments. Many wonderful memories were made on our summer getaways to famous golf destinations that included epicurean adventures at the best area restaurants handpicked by my dad, as well as meals in the members’ only dining areas of these storied clubs, courtesy of my uncle! I immediately felt a kinship with Diana, and toasted to the wonderfully familiar combination of golf and gourmet cuisine!
Diana was at Addison Reserve, one of the finest golf and country clubs in America that evening working on a story for her Golf Kitchen Magazine on the stellar culinary scene at our club, which has garnered all kinds of accolades, including a spot in my first book, The Restaurant Diet, How to Eat Out Every Night and Still Lose Weight, where Addison was featured among 100 top restaurants nationwide with healthy gourmet recipes.
The Golf Kitchen concept was initially born at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, Long Island in 2010, where DeLucia created her first book, Golf Club World, Behind the Gates.
The recipes and culinary stories proved to be very popular. Now living in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Diana sought to unlock the very special, private world inside of kitchens and dining rooms of renowned golf clubs, taking readers behind the gates and hedges for a tantalizing taste of this exclusive, privileged world. Since establishing Golf Kitchen, Diana has traveled the United States and the world to uncover some of the finest Private Golf and Country Club and Resort teams, which would be featured in her first Golf Kitchen book, a gorgeous 500+ page “coffee table” collectible that offers a sumptuous collection of recipes, photos, and interviews from the kitchens and fairways of 16 illustrious golf destinations, including Winged Foot Golf Club, The K Club (Ireland), Sebonack Golf Club (NY), Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Florida), Emirates Golf Club (Dubai), and The Greenbrier (West Virginia), among others.
Golf Kitchen Magazine, a luxury, biannual collectible publication was the natural follow-up to the Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence.
The magazine is seen in the best private clubs in America and abroad. The second book in the Golf Kitchen series, titled Golf Kitchen America will launch in the second half of 2020.
“Swing into Action” with Golf Kitchen, the Finest Private Golf Clubs, and Domaine de la Rivière Wines to support an Iconic American Farm, The Chef’s Garden
Venü Magazine is delighted to introduce Diana DeLucia to our audience as we welcome an exciting collaboration with Golf Kitchen and their partners to bring the best of farm-to-table cuisine, wine, sport, and camaraderie to our individual and shared audiences. In this challenging new world where travel and large events may not be possible or practical, we are working together to imagine new ways to celebrate the gifts of great food, wine, and friendship virtually, though we are all looking forward to the a time when we can collectively break bread together in-person.
“I’m delighted for Venü Magazine to collaborate as a media partner with Diana DeLucia’s Golf Kitchen to champion her initiative “Swing into Action” supporting The Chef’s Garden, the leading grower of artisanal vegetables in the United States.” said Tracey Thomas, President & Editor-in-Chief, Venü Magazine.
The family-owned Chef’s Garden farm in Huron, Ohio, was created three decades ago with Michelin starred restaurants and hotel destinations in mind. The Chef’s Garden has been delivering specialty products with optimum shelf life, quality, flavor and nutrition direct from the farm to the world’s most discriminating chefs for over 30 years, traditionally shipping exclusively to the very best restaurants and private clubs across the country, many of which were forced to close temporarily due to the COVID-19 crisis. This left The Chef’s Garden with literally tons of beautiful produce and nowhere to send it. With the COVID 19 shut down, the farm needs to pivot to move product due to its seasonality, dedication to the land, and to keep its 140 staff and families afloat. Diana DeLucia, who has known Farmer Lee Jones for over 15 years, immediately thought that the Private Golf and Country Club industry and members could not only help but also receive the finest quality, nutrient rich produce to experience in their homes.
In response to COVID-19, Golf Kitchen Magazine launched its private golf and country club initiative, “Swing Into Action,” to support one of America’s greatest farms, The Chef’s Garden, in Huron, Ohio, Showcasing the Delicious Synergies Between Golf Kitchen, The Chef’s Garden, and Domaine de la Rivière Wines from Sonoma County, CA.
“From our farm to your table, we are all in this together… We can use our talents to make a difference in the world as we navigate challenging times.” –Farmer Lee Jones https://www.chefs-garden.com
Through the “Swing into Action” initiative, the exclusive Golf Kitchen family of private clubs and their chefs collaborated to support The Chef’s Garden by bringing their superior product—used by the finest restaurants and Michelin Star chefs—to the tables of members, residents, and guests of the exclusive group of participating clubs. Exquisite produce from The Chef’s Garden can be on your table as well!
Each week a different private country club chef in the Golf Kitchen family created and shared one-of-a-kind recipes from ingredients that were included along with the recipe in the weekly Provision Pack.
The renowned Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey lead the charge with talented Executive Chef Shaun Christopher Lewis creating the first Golf Kitchen Chef’s Garden plant-based dinner box, complete with recipe and fine plating instructions. The iconic Liberty National Golf Club, situated along the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ boasts striking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline. www.libertynationalgc.com
The second stop on the Swing into Action tour was Naples National in Naples, Florida. The exclusive course was named one of Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Executive Chef Jason Voiselle has worked in some of Southwest Florida’s finest clubs before coming to Naples National in 2019. Prior to that, he was the owner of Main Street Grill in Brevard, North Carolina, and had worked in some of Atlanta’s best restaurants, including the French-southern inspired Bacchanalia. www.nngc.net
The third club in this elite group was GlenArbor in Bedford Hills, New York. The clubhouse was built on the site of the White Estate, which was one of the largest, historic estates in the Town of Bedford. Designed by Mark Finlay of Fairfield, CT., the GlenArbor clubhouse is situated on a commanding site overlooking the golf course, providing countless amenities in an intimate and comfortable environment. Executive Chef Michael Ruggiero, a CIA graduate who initially cut his teeth in his family’s Italian deli in Rosedale, Queens went on to work in top restaurants in Connecticut, New York and Chicago before coming to GlenArbor.
Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach, Florida, a legendary residential club community, was the fourth and final club in this exclusive group. Addison Reserve offers its residents full service luxury resort-style amenities in a gated, park-like subtropical setting. Executive Chef Peter Toole oversees seven dining venues that offer something for everyone. Toole began his culinary career in Charleston, South Carolina at the Peninsula Grill before enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Program in Paris. Upon returning to the United States, Peter moved to San Francisco to work with Michael Mina at Aqua and became a corporate chef for his restaurant group, then back to Charleston at FIG Restaurant before coming to Addison Reserve and being named Executive Chef in 2019. www.addisonreserve.cc
The recipes were all paired with carefully selected Domaine de la Rivière wines by Marla and Geoffrey Bedrosian. Domaine de la Rivière is a limited production family-owned winery in the heart of Sonoma’s famed Russian River Valley, producing less than 800 cases each year with scores of each vintage earning 90 points or above. “One of our goals has been to have our wines connect the dots between family and friends… A sense of community at a moment in time where we are all separated.” www.domaineriviere.com
We were delighted to participate in what have become some of the few positive memories made during the COVID-19 pandemic. We enjoyed preparing the meals at home and enjoyed them along with the beautiful wines virtually with friends via Zoom!
For more information about Golf Kitchen, visit www.golfkitchen.com. ☐