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Chef’s Corner | Woodside
What drew you into the country club environment versus
working in a regular restaurant?
When I was working in the hotel industry, I was
the chef of the conference center and was feeding
anywhere from 300 – 2,000 a day. Customers started
to just feel like numbers. Now I get to work directly
with people and cater to them. I fell in love with
the private club aspect through being able to have a
more personalized relationship with the members. In
this field, I get to listen to our guests, provide them
with what they want, tackle any obstacles, and keep
Do you operate and create menus for both dining areas—the
main dining room and Latitudes? And, is there one where
you feel more comfortable, or that fits best with your culinary
point of view?
I do operate both. In the main dining room, we
serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that’s our
comfort food zone (like fried chicken and meatloaf).
Since I’m from Arizona and still learning about
Southern cuisine, that’s an exploratory area for
me. Latitudes is only open Friday and Saturday for
dinner and it’s a la carte service as well as higher-end entrees. At Latitudes, I get to play a little bit
more and use more elevated ingredients.
My culinary style is seasonal world cuisine. I’m
What local ingredients and resources
first generation Mexican American so I grew up with
that Latin flair. I love to use di;erent ingredients
with di;erent culinary techniques,
make beautiful dishes, and please
palates. From that standpoint,
Latitudes is more challenging in
a good way because it’s more
rewarding. And, I get to have
more fun than just putting down
meat and potatoes.
from the area do you enjoy using most
in your kitchen creations?
I source my meats locally, as
well as from Atlanta, and my pork
comes from in town. I get my
seafood from the coast. My salmon
comes from Florida, and I have a
good relationship with a shrimp boat captain from
Louisiana. Since I came from the desert and am not
used to having fresh products so readily available—it’s
really nice! As far as produce goes, my menu cycles
are based on what’s being harvested in the area.
What other fun culinary events have you created for Woodside
members, and which one seems to be the hit?
We had a great 4th of July event where we fed
over 450 people. It was a miracle that we pulled
that one o;! We had fireworks on the lawn, live
music, and everyone ate well and had a great time.
For Halloween, we did a murder mystery dinner
and I just made a super fun menu where we used
items like beet juice to mimic blood spatters! For
the holidays, instead of doing a Thanksgiving bu;et,
we do pick-up orders. That way, people who don’t
want to cook or dirty up their house (but want to
entertain) have easy access to the luxury of having
someone else cook for them.
Your recipe is very fall-centric, so I’m assuming you enjoy
cooking your way through the seasons! Strictly speaking food,
what’s your favorite time of the year (and what ingredients do
you love most from that season)?
I would definitely say the summer. Fresh and light
seafood is my go-to! I’m a fan of freshness and I cook
with a lot of fruit and citrus, so the summer is the
perfect time of year to brighten up the palate.