Moonstone Bay and Rhode Island. We share them with
members (along with specialties like my New England
clam chowder). We also do Angus burgers right off the
grill and when people smell that charcoal, they start to
crave it. We do portobellos and chicken on the grill,
but the burgers are the hit. We served over 220 burgers
around July 4th.
Speaking of July 4th, what other special events did your
team put on for the members this past year?
For July 4th, the club was filled with extended family
and friends and we had everything from bouncy houses
to live music to the poolside burger bar. Everybody
enjoyed themselves! Another special event is the sunset
celebration we do every Thursday. We do a special raw
bar by the Cabana Bar and folks get to enjoy the sunset
on the horizon with a complimentary champagne toast.
It’s our salute to the sunset and we also have a yachting
cannon we fire off. This sunset celebration has grown to
about 80 to 90 people.
People also still love our Wednesday night Iron Chef
Battles where two of our chefs go head-to-head with
one ingredient and everyone in the dining rooms gets to
taste the dishes. Recently, one chef made salmon cakes
over quinoa salad with a roasted red pepper coulis, and
the other did a 28-hour brined and marinated roasted
chicken with a cider vinegar reduction. It’s our way of
developing the younger culinary talent, and it’s proven
to be a busy night.
Are you still preparing wine and beer dinners, and how
do you put your own spin on them?
We have a fantastic wine room (pictured in the
photo) and we just finished an event for homeowners
there. The room seats 34 people and it’s where we do
our Chef’s Table events among other special celebrations.
We recently hosted one themed as “foods from Greece”
and the menu was filled with items like grilled octopus,
a “Mezze Table” with stuffed grape leaves, falafel,
spanakopita, etc. We have a lot of fun beer dinners, and
we’re gearing up to do one with Heady Seas Brewing
soon. They’re bringing their beer master in and instead
of just one meal, we’re having an entire festival with
tastings. It will be an outdoor event and we’ll definitely
roast a whole pig there too and get a pirate to fire the
We also feature great themed wine dinners. We have
190 members who are part of a wine club and there is an
event every month for them. Last month, our executive
chef helped put together the “Rosé by the Pool” menu
that was three courses all paired with rosé. This month
is BBQ and wine by the pool.
I know you’re focused on healthier cooking techniques
for members who are more conscious of their nutrition. I’m sure that’s easier to do in the summer. How do
you incorporate that into the winter months when folks
want hearty comfort food but still want to maintain an
overall healthy lifestyle?
I have to get very creative. We have a strong following
of a low carb club who dines with us every two months.
It’s about 30 to 35 people and they challenge our staff to
come up with a carb-free menu. The last challenge was
an Italian dinner, and we prepared items like Carpaccio,
roasted vegetables, aiolis, and different appetizers. We
actually made risotto out of cauliflower rice and did a
brunoise (fine dice) of root vegetables—similar to how
you would prepare risotto with whine wine, cheese, and
onions. It was a hit. We also made zucchini noodles and
squash and carrot bundles that resembled pasta. There
was veal braised with prosciutto, sage, and mozzarella in
a pan sauce. They thought they were in Italy! Our next
one is a luau and we’ll be preparing Kalua pig and a
number of different things from Hawaii. I have a great
chef from Spain who worked for seven years on The Big
Island. For this event, we just bought a La Caja China
box and plan to go whole hog.