Chad Myers, Executive Chef of Dubuque Golf & Country Club, has decided to leave the club world and pursue his dreams to grow as a chef in a kitchen of his own.
Eminem said it best with his lyric: “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, would you capture it or just let it slip?”
This thought has been swirling in my head over the last few months as an opportunity to leave Dubuque Golf and Country Club presented itself. The truth is, I have been very torn on the matter. The club provides a level of stability for my family that I have always dreamed of. But I have this itch that I really need to scratch.
I am 38 years old and it’s starting to feel like I have peaked. That thought gives me goosebumps. I feel like I have so much untapped potential in this industry. For the past few months, I have been looking for opportunities to relocate my family. I want to work under a chef who really knows his or her stuff. I want to absorb knowledge like a sponge. I want to just keep my head down, say “yes chef,” and make the best food possible.
Unfortunately, a number of these types of opportunities haven’t worked out. But, I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe I undervalue myself too much. Maybe I’m looking for validation in the wrong places. Maybe I just need to put my best foot forward and do what I love to do, which is cook. Maybe that’s how I will master all of the techniques I want to learn.
Last month, I gave DG&CC my notice and I’m thrilled to announce that I will be getting a kitchen of my own. I am beyond excited about this new project, which is slated to open late spring/early summer. My wife, Billie, who I met in the restaurant business when she hired me as a sous chef, will also be joining the project as the GM. We are going all in on this venture. We have had opportunities to travel and dine, and we feel like we can offer a unique take on food and service.
So this may be the last you hear of me within the page of Club + Resort Chef. So first, I would like to thank the DGCC. I started here as a part-time cook, looking to be a stay at home dad. That quickly evolved into me becoming the Executive Chef for four years. I have grown a lot here, and I am a much better chef leaving than I was when I first walked in the door. I have much to improve on, but I know I will take what I have learned here and go to the next level.
DG&CC also gave me the opportunity to go to the Chef to Chef Conference three years in a row, which was beyond enlightening. I learned so much about the private club scene at C2C. Before the conference, I felt like I was on an island and the issues I faced were unique to me. But what I learned, was that “every one of us has a room full of ladies playing bridge.” That huge room of club chefs who share some of the same challenges lifted anxiety from me each time I experienced it. Whether it’s downtown LA, or small town Iowa, members are members, and you have to take care of them. That event single-handedly helped me to redefine how I look at true hospitality.
I would also like to thank the chefs I met at the Chef to Chef Conference and continue to call friends. I am very shy and reserved in large group settings, but I managed to meet people I click with and start real friendships. (My wife gets some credit, too. She was always by my side on these adventures and everyone likes my wife.)
I would next like to thank Joanna DeChellis, Editor of Club + Resort Chef magazine. I don’t think I can express in words how much I appreciate the opportunity to have a platform like this blog to share my journey in this business. When you talk to me, I am of few words, but when I write, I just write how I wish I could talk. I am always honest and so completely in love with what I do.
But I know the caliber of chefs who read these blogs and my already humble nature is further humbled. My thoughts can be scatterbrained, but Joanna always knew how to streamline my words in just the right way. (I guess that’s what editors do. I don’t know, I’m just a chef.) The blogs started out with as a focus on the different dishes I created with pictures, but they have evolved into so much more. Because of Joanna and this platform, I was able to feel like I am a real part of the club chef world. Joanna has also been very supportive of my growth as a chef. I guess you can say she sees something that I don’t see. So thank you, Joanna. I will be forever grateful for your support and friendship.
With that, I leave you. If you are ever in Dubuque, Iowa, please come check out Driftless Social Club. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that I am going to work at creating the best product I can, every plate, every time. And I’ll get to do it with my wife by my side and spend more time with her than I have in years. I think I stated this in an earlier blog, but we only get one shot at this thing we call life, so let’s attack it chasing our dreams.