Chef Derin Moore, CMC
Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Operations
Reynolds Lake Oconee | Lake Oconee, GA
How do you describe the personality of your cooking
My roots are in ;ne dining, but I believe that the
success of any chef is becoming completely well-rounded
in your creativity and the types of ingredients you showcase. You have to adapt to the place where you’re working.
At the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, FL—it was
everything from chicken ;ngers at the pool up to a AAA
Five Diamond Restaurant. At Reynolds, we operate like a
resort, so diversity within each level of cooking is a must.
Are you able to fully showcase your culinary creativity
at a country club environment, or are there certain
guidelines to stay inside of?
;is kitchen environment really isn’t very di;erent than
anywhere else. We have a diverse demographic—from retirees
on a ;xed income to younger CEOs and their families—and
want to provide a good experience for each group. We’re able
to do this thanks to the di;erent clubhouses and approachable
menus. People use these restaurants as their home kitchens
and eat here three to four times a week, so it can’t be all rich
sauces and heavy dishes. As far as menu development goes, it
is a bit di;erent than a regular standing country club because
people actually live here. We change all of the menus and
snack bar menus twice a year and run daily features as well. It’s
also important that the restaurants aren’t competing against
each other all the time, so each outlet has its own hours.
What was it that drew you into the country club
As I transitioned from one place to another, I found that
with the clubs, I’m better able to balance my quality of life
outside of work. ;ere’s a down season and that’s attractive.
It’s also a family-oriented environment because the
members get to know the sta; and really appreciate
the work they put into everything. Long-term employees
have grown up with these families. You feel like you are
part of a community and that aspect is appealing to me.
In a luxury resort or at a ;ne dining restaurant, the visitors
come and go. Here, the members know you and that
contributes to the success of the property.
Does a lot of your influence come from the local/
regional area where you reside? And if so, what inspires
We like to set trends, not follow them. As far as the
“farm-to-table” movement goes, that’s how I’ve always
cooked. I absolutely support local and keep an open attitude, but with a place this big, there’s not always enough
supply to meet the demand. Our menus are re;ective of the
cuisine of the region, (like the Southern-inspired chocolate
bourbon pecan pie at ;e Preserve), but they also have a
contemporary edge. We do our best to represent the sea-sonality of the region, but it’s not always just what’s in the
backyard. My focus is on making sure we bring in a good
product. Our trout is from North Carolina and we source
our Gulf ;sh from the gulf and our Maine ;sh from Maine.
A;er years and years of doing this, we’ve been able to
develop great relationships with purveyors. It’s a home run.