The Executive Chefs of Merion Golf Club and The Duquesne Club have been accepted into the prestigious professional culinary society; their induction into the “Golden Chef’s Hat” organization represents the highest acclaimed recognition a chef can attain in America. They will be inducted during the society’s Annual Reunion at The Union League Club of Chicago in June.
Jerry Schreck, Executive Chef of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., and Keith Coughenour, Executive Chef of The Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., will represent the club industry as part of the latest class of inductees into The Honorable Order of The Golden Toque.
(Schreck has also been a Contributing Editor to Club + Resort Business since the magazine’s launch in 2005, writing dozens of the popular “Chef to Chef” interview features with other club chefs over the past 14 years. Since 2009, he has also been National Program Coordinator for C+RB’s Chef to Chef Conference, helping to lead the Conference to its considerable growth over its now-11-year history.)
Schreck and Coughenour will be inducted into the prestigious culinary organization as part of The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque’s Annual Reunion, which will be held at The Union League Club of Chicago June 7-9, with Union League Club Executive Chef Michael Garbin hosting the group.
The “Golden Toque” was originally founded in France and brought to the U.S. by Chef Pierre Berard. It is registered in the United States Patent Office as The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque, founded in 1961.
Golden Toque means “Golden Chef’s Hat,” and induction into The Honorable Order is the highest acclaimed recognition a chef can receive in America.
Chef John D. Folse, CEC, AAC, the keynote speaker at C+RB‘s 2019 Chef to Chef Conference in New Orleans, is a member of the Order.
The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque was established to give recognition to chefs from all segments of the culinary profession who “have at least twenty years service, have achieved professional attainment of high estate, have an abiding interest in professional progress, and have demonstrated devoted and distinguished service to the Culinary Profession and Arts.”
Membership is restricted to one hundred lifetime members, and one may not apply for membership, but must be nominated by three active members. In addition to biographical information, those nominated must also submit an essay detailing their dedication to and passion for the culinary profession.
After nominations are received, a screening process is conducted through the Acceptance Committee composed of past Grand Commanders and the Board of Directors. Final acceptance must be granted by the membership at the Annual Meeting.
“Membership in the Honorable Order of The Golden Toque is indicative of a lifetime of dedication to the pursuit of excellence in The Culinary Arts,” the organization’s website states.
The Order’s stated purpose is to create “a group of dedicated accomplished culinarians joined together in a fraternal educational, not-for-profit organization to pursue excellence in the culinary profession and to further instill in our peers and young culinarians the desire to excel in our chosen profession, [and] to represent our profession in a positive manner [and] to project the highest professional chef image to the industry, general public, news media and our peers.”
The Order’s stated mission is “to provide and promote a forum for the exchange of culinary knowledge and expertise derived from lifelong learning. So that, we the members, may promote the individual development of young culinarians and improve the overall quality of life in a multi-cultural world community. To enhance the food industry and avail it of the knowledge, talent, and ingenuity of the Golden Toque.”
The Order’s stated vision is defined as “[seeing] ourselves as a collection of vibrant, senior culinarians, anxious to promote student success in viable teaching and learning environments. We are an association that thrives on continuous improvement for ourselves and those whose lives we effect, as we travel down the path of life.
“The Members of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque stand united in our conviction that in dealing with our fellow members and the members of our industry there is a definite need for an association where integrity means more than personal profit; where ‘service, quality and honor’ means more than personal gain, and where honesty is the true standard of membership,” the organization’s website states.
Members of the Order abide by a Code of Ethics and the organization supports annual scholarship grants to students at selected culinary schools.
Schreck’s nomination for induction into the Order was supported by Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, Executive Chef of River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas; Paul O’Toole, CEC, AAC, Executive Chef of The Field Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Jim Miller, CEC, Corporate Chef of Cres Cor, the Mentor, Ohio-based manufacturer of mobile kitchen equipment.
Member of the Order also contribute to a cookbook, “Favorite Recipes by Golden Toque Chefs and Their Families,” that is sold to help fund the society’s scholarship support for future culinarians. Schreck will now contribute recipes for signature dishes from Merion GC to the book, including Shepherd’s Pie and Yellow Tomato Gazpacho.