Columbia CC’s culinary team, led by Executive Chef Brandon Gross, is working tirelessly to execute new ideas that keep the membership engaged and excited.
In an effort to stay connected with our membership through the COVID-19 challenges, Columbia Country Club launched a to-go program that runs four days a week (Thursday-Sunday). The menu includes eight a la carte items, three family style choices, a half priced wine list and a grocery item list. Grocery includes eggs, milk, bread, assorted fruits, prepared crab cakes and an array of meat choices.
Our menu vary from week to week, providing our membership with different options of cuisines, however there are some CCC staples that remain consistent from week-to-week.
We are currently serving between 200-300 people a day. Participation has been outstanding. The support and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which tells me we’re providing our members with something they find truly valuable.
On Easter Sunday, we received 205 orders which translates to us serving roughly 1200 people. Over all of Easter weekend, a total of 1852 people were served. Mother’s Day was even more popular.
Executive Sous Chef Jake Wechsler and Chef De Cuisine Juli Gutierrez have been instrumental in organizing and managing the massive amounts of orders we’ve received. They have risen to every challenge and offered ideas and solutions.
The culinary team as a whole continues to create unique menus and streamline our delivery process. This not only ensures the employees continue to remain safe and healthy while practicing social distancing, but also keeps our membership and their families safe and healthy. These efforts do not go unnoticed. They contribute to operations running smoothly. And as the newest member of the team, I’m deeply thankful to work alongside so many passionate professionals.
In addition to to-go orders, we continues to brainstorm how we can connect with the membership through this pandemic. To reach families, we created a basket for a movie night which includes an assortment of popcorn, candy, games and more. All the families have to supply is the movie.
We also began providing a “backyard campout packages.” These include all the necessities for a night of backyard camping and grilling, complete with hot dogs, brauts, steaks and s’mores supplies.
For a date nights idea, we are looking into virtual wine and cheese tastings. These packages would include a couple bottles of wine, some cheese and charcuterie board. We’d also include a video featuring myself and our beverage manager explaining the pairings we’ve provided.
CCC is also exploring the idea of virtual cooking classes.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that we must be continually creative to impact our membership through activities outside of the club. These efforts are crucial as we prepare to reopen.
Each week, we try to throw a surprise their way in an effort to “WOW” them, while remaining consistent in what they expect of the club. For example, we have been providing seasoning rubs as part of the assorted meats from the grocery list items, that members can use to season their meat.
We’ve also begun send our members instructional videos with tips and advice.
The culinary department recently did a two-part BBQ video where we explain how to prepare the meat, what to look for during the BBQing process and what some overall guidelines are for good BBQ.
Our team continues to meet multiple times each week to discuss the future of safe reopening of the property. Given Govern Hogan’s phased approach in lessening the current restrictions, we will first focusing on outdoor spaces such as the pool, snack bar and the outdoor dining areas. We are allowing for different scenarios though, given the uncertainty of the future, but we will follow a phased reopening approach, given the size of the property and the wellbeing of the membership and employees.