Third Annual Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards

Club Chefs Create a Magical Dining Experience at GlenArbor Golf Club

Photos by: Michael J. Fiedler | Clubhouse image: Courtesy GlenArbor Golf Club

The third annual Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Awards at the prestigious GlenArbor Golf Club, Bedford Hills, New York, was a sell-out event after missing the 2020 event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Distinguished guests arrived at the clubhouse at 6.30 p.m. The GlenArbor clubhouse was built on the site of the White Estate, which was one of the largest historic estates in the Town of Bedford. GlenArbor’s master plan concept was to re-establish the property’s historical roots and preserve the quintessential Bedford homestead feeling.

Designed by Mark Finlay of Fairfield, Connecticut, the 30,000 square feet clubhouse is situated on a commanding site overlooking the golf course and provides countless amenities in an intimate and comfortable environment.

The focus of the main floor is the dining room and grill room, which open onto traditionally covered porches and take advantage of sweeping views of the first and eighteenth fairways. The clubhouse is a preferred location for intimate dinners and more significant events of up to 160 guests.

“The GlenArbor Experience is one of the finest in the world. Preserving the traditions of golf through a delicious combination of design, challenge, concierge service and instruction at one of the most beautiful courses in the USA!” ~Gary Player

Guests were greeted with a 2021 Rolls Royce White Ghost parked in front owned by New York Socialite Roman Rakovsky, followed by a caviar tasting by Haute Caviar Company paired with sparkling wines provided by E & J Gallo and Wilson Daniels.

From here, enthusiasts were escorted to the stunning patio that overlooks the gorgeous valley and 18th green below. Wines were generously supplied by E & J Gallo and Wei-Lui, portfolio consultant. Liberty National’s Shaun C. Lewis, Executive Chef \ Assistant General Manager created Clubhouse Cocktails, and mixologist Rachel Holden prepared them.

Mike DiChiara of Cohesity hosted the renowned Floating Green, which sits on the right of the patio always a favorite among guests trying to land their balls onto the floating green on the lake below.

Members and guests were treated to small bites and hors d’oeuvres by Michael Ruggiero, Host and Executive Chef at GlenArbor Golf Club and Keven Sullivan, guest chef at Innes Arden Golf Club, Old Greenwich, CT.

At 7.30 p.m., members and guests were escorted to the main dining room for a dinner to remember. A room of fully vaccinated people came together and enjoyed this intimate dining industry event.

The event started with GlenArbor’s President Mr. Morgan Gregory’s heartfelt opening speech with his staunch support of the GlenArbor and Golf Kitchen initiatives. Fernando Silva, Sommelier and Wine Director, followed this, announcing the first-ever WineRating System targeted to the Private Golf and Country Club industry worldwide. Silva also announced the new Wine Program award and is building a high-profile committee in the Wine Industry globally to ensure its complete success.

The first course was created by Juan Pablo de la Sota Riva, Executive Chef at Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Naples, Florida. Guests were wowed by this decadent “Smoked Florida King Fish & NC Marshallberg Farm Osetra Caviar, Potato Causa, Nero Sauce, Sweet Potato Pillow, Corn Salsa, and Aji Limo Leche de Tigre” paired with Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis Premier Cru, Burgundy, France 2018.

Diana DeLucia, President at Golf Kitchen, announced the Golf Kitchen initiatives and presented the Golf Kitchen Certification of Culinary Excellence for an outstanding golf or country club to Ed Stone, Executive Chef, on behalf of Baltusrol Golf Club Springfield, New Jersey. DeLucia then presented the Golf Kitchen Culinary Excellence Award for Outstanding Executive Chef at a Private golf or country club to Ed Leonard, Culinary Director, and former American Culinary Federation (ACF) president.

The second course prepared by Dominic Calla, Executive Chef at the very private golf club Round Hill Club in Greenwich, CT. Calla served up “Chicken Fried Sweet Breads, Red Cabbage Mustard, Shaved Brussel Sprout Slaw, Amber Bacon Sauce” paired with “Maison Joseph Drouhin, Puligny Montrachet, Burgundy, France 2018.”

The most emotional moment of the evening was the Golf Kitchen Rising Star Award presentation to Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic, Executive Chef at Mizner Country Club, Delray Beach, Florida. At 28, Mihajlovik has single-handedly created awareness of the talent the younger generation possesses. Tears flew from DeLucia and Mihajlovik as they shared memories of the past year.

DeLucia then introduced Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Laurent Drouhin, who presented the first-ever Wine Program award in the Private Golf and Country Club space to Mr. Morgan Gregory and Fernando Silva. Smiles followed as these initiatives keep coming for the Golf Kitchen and GlenArbor brands.

The third course was “Dry Aged Ribeye, Little Carrots, Green Peppercorn Jus, Matsutake Cream, Button Chanterelles, and Petite Lacinato Kale” paired with “Maison Joseph Drouhin, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru ‘Proces’ Burgundy, France 2017.”  This recipe was presented by Jonathan Hancock, Executive Chef at Richland Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee.

Hancock is another young 33-year-old Executive Chef that has an extraordinary flair with plating and flavor. Hancock accepted the Golf Kitchen Visionary Leader in Club Management Award on behalf of Martel Meyer, a renowned General Manager who is known for turning around the culinary side of a private golf and country club space.

DeLucia presented the final award, the Golf Kitchen Purveyor of the year, to Thomas Capobianco, President at HAFCO, New Haven, CT. Capobianco is a darling in the private golf and country club kitchen world.

“Capobianco has worked hard to make it in this industry. I doubt anyone can capture the market in the North East as Tommy has. He has an endearing family that no doubt will follow his legacy for years to come.” said DeLucia.

Dessert prepared by Marisa Hernandez, a much-admired pastry chef at GlenArbor, was a “Chocolate Cardamom Cake with Kumquat Compote, Raspberry Ice Crème, and Almond Brittle” paired with “Castello di Volpaia, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 2014.”

A Silent Auction presented by Grandstand Sports followed for the Golf Kitchen scholarship program, whose initiative is to ultimately raise the full tuition for a culinary student that will pursue a career in the private golf and country club industry. DeLucia insists on a full scholarship program as she is trying to raise awareness to the younger set that culinary positions are abundant in this industry.

Special thanks to Morgan Gregory, President, Rob Labritz, PGA, Director of Golf, Fernando Silva, Sommelier and Wine Director, Michael Ruggiero, Executive Chef, Jessica Perez, Director of Concierge and Assistant Director of Events and Alisha Turchick, Director of Events for your continued support. The evening was a smashing success due to the Jessica and the GlenArbor team’s flawless execution and attention to detail throughout the event. From the beautiful floral centerpieces provided by Flowers & Flowers by Adam Manjuck in Darien CT and the gorgeous Dark Green Pintuck Linen the dining room looked truly spectacular. Thanks to Francois Belizaire, for bringing some exciting guests in from Manhattan and Venu Magazine for generously donating a follow-up story in your 2021 Fall/Holiday issue. Thank you, Maison Joseph Drouhin, E & J Gallo, Haute Caviar, Wilson Daniels, for generously supplying high-quality products for this event.

To all the members and guest that attended, we are thrilled to hear your positive feedback and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!

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