Club + Resort Chef has unveiled the names of the four club chefs set to compete in the highly anticipated C+R Chef of the Year competition for 2024. This competition, a highlight of the Chef to Chef Conference, will be held in Austin on March 5th.
The club chef competitors stepping into the kitchen this year (pictured above, from left to right) are Conor Ball, Executive Chef of Martis Camp Club (Truckee, Calif.); Anthony Capua, CECC, Executive Chef of Brentwood Country Club (Los Angeles, Calif.); Chloe Dykes, Executive Chef of Lexington (Ky.) Country Club and #C2C2024 Presenter; and Jeremy Halker, CEC, Executive Chef of Spring Island (S.C.) Club.
Each chef brings a unique blend of creativity, experience, and passion to the competition, promising a thrilling display of culinary talent.
The competition format challenges each chef to prepare and plate two dishes within 60 minutes—an entrée and a small plate. They will have access to a broad array of ingredients, equipment, and plateware. A detailed list of available resources will be provided beforehand, allowing the competitors to strategize their approach to this culinary showdown. They will each be assigned an apprentice to assist during the competition.
Ball aims to “bring recognition and honor to Martis Camp and our culinary program,” emphasizing the opportunity to showcase the excellence of his team and establishment. His participation underscores a deep commitment to his craft and a desire to elevate the reputation of Martis Camp through his culinary skills.
Capua, returning after a previous attempt, is driven by the aspiration to demonstrate his evolved culinary perspective. “After competing and falling short in this competition in 2021, I would love a chance to come in and compete again,” Capua reflects, highlighting his passion for modernizing classic club cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients and innovative plating concepts.
Dykes stands out not only for her culinary expertise but also for her vibrant personality and leadership qualities. In addition to being a competitor, Dykes will also offer an education session and demonstration earlier Tuesday on how to provide inclusive culinary experiences that prioritize delicious food over the ingredients being left out.
“I am very small, but I am a force in the kitchen,” she states, underscoring her ability to surprise and captivate, both through her culinary creations and her presence. Her determination and unique approach to leadership and cuisine promise to add a dynamic element to the competition.
Halker, a veteran of the Chef to Chef Conference, values the learning and team-building experiences it offers. “This would be my third time attending…it has been so beneficial to me and my culinary team,” he shares. Halker’s enthusiasm for the competitive atmosphere underscores his dedication to club culinary and team development.
The competition will conclude with a group of judges determining the winner. Points will be awarded for taste, plating and originality. The winner receives a grand prize of $4,000 cash, the prestigious title of Club + Resort Chef of the Year, and a feature in Club + Resort Chef. The runner-up also walks away with a $1,000 prize.
C+RC is seeking four volunteer apprentices for the Club + Resort Chef of the Year Competition. This is a unique chance to assist in a mystery basket-style culinary contest. Interested? Contact Joanna DeChellis at [email protected] to volunteer.
The Club + Resort Chef of the Year Culinary Competition is vital in the Chef to Chef Conference, offering an exciting, live cooking experience for attendees and competitors.
Former Club + Resort Chef of the Year winners include:
2023: Sam Brod, CEC, Executive Chef of The Landings Golf & Athletic Club
2022: Robert Meitzer, CEC, AAC, Forest Lake Country Club
2022: James Allen, CEC, Blackthorn Club at the Ridges
2020: Scott Craig, CEC, CCA, WCMC, Myers Park Country Club
2020: J. Kevin Walker, CMC, AAC Ansley Golf Club
2019: Eva Barrios, CEC, Austin Country Club
2019: Nelson Millán, San Antonio Country Club
2018: Brandon Gross, The Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington D.C
2017: Todd Walline, CEC, CCA, Blue Hills Country Club
2016: Thayer Johnson, Castlewood Country Club