Jason Seiple, Executive Chef of Latrobe CC, launched a take-and-bake program to proactively engage and entertain members.
One of the most important skills you learn early as a chef is to “work with what you’ve got.”
When I started planning menus and events with our management team here at Latrobe (Pa.) Country Club, we would have never thought a pandemic would be part of our 2020 season. After putting our safety protocols into place, we got to work planning alternative experiences for our members. With the state shutting down and our dining rooms closed we turned to our unique clubhouse to create a no-contact drive-through concept. We started by creating weekly custom menus, designed to travel and hold well. We began putting comfort food at the front of the menu as well as salads, soups, and handmade breads. With family in mind, we started thinking how we might provide a member experience while keeping social distancing and safety in mind. The answer: Take & Bake.
Our goal this week is to bring comfort, familiarity and fun to our members with a Pittsburgh staple: the soft pretzel. We believe in this time of crisis, cooking together as a family is a great way to comfort and calm the mind so we came up with our take & bake pretzel kit.
The kit contains handmade pretzel dough, salt, egg wash, and everything else our members and their family’s will need to make their own soft pretzels. Along with a logo recipe card, our members will have access to a video recipe demo explaining everything they need to know to make their own pretzels. To do our demo we are using a standard DSLR camera, some free editing software and our member’s only facebook page. Our hope is to not only boost our member experience, but to boost our online presence for future promotions.
In times like these, I believe it is important to maintain a fluid strategy with our members. At Latrobe CC, we are learning new and inventive ways to communicate and entertain our members through social media with videos and creative take-out ideas like grill kits, cookies, and family style dinners. For our upcoming Easter Dinner, we will be using the same strategy with a “family style” take-out dinner. This curbside pickup will feed 4-6 people and future everything you would expect in a holiday dinner, including leg of lamb and mint jelly.
While we look forward to opening our doors, we are making the most of what we are permitted to do now. We continue to plan ahead for the many changes this pandemic will bring to our industry and the way we serve our members everyday.