The Dunes Golf & Beach Club rallied the back- and front-of-house teams to execute a progressive wine dinner that wowed members.
Here at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, we recently hosted a progressive wine dinner where we served each course at a different location on property. Even though I have catered events in many different locations over the course of my career—a library, a barn, an aquarium, even in the middle of a corn field—this was a first for me.
I was excited for this event and figured the logistics of my menu would be one of the most important elements in securing my team’s success.
The hors d’oeuvres would be served on top of the overlook of the 18th hole. The trouble was that we have no electric or heat up there. I brought a cooler up the many stairs and had two employees do butlered hors d’oeuvres while they passed champagne.
The members then where assigned to a golf cart for the night to go to each location. The first course would be on the 12th tee overlooking the marsh. It’s one of my favorite spots. I started plating this cold course 15 minutes before they arrived. As the train of golf carts pulled up, they made their way to their seat and we began pouring the wine. The sommelier told the members about the history of the wine as I finished garnishing the plates. As soon as they picked up their plate, I gave a quick description, then I headed to the maintenance shed where the next course was to be served.
Before we started the event, I sous vide the entire second course and placed a circular at proper temp with product in it so when we arrived all we had to do was open the bag and plate. This was the hot course and Chris, sous chef, started setting up while I was plating the first course.
When I arrived in my cart we took the truffle studded beef out of bag and waited for the members to show up. Once the first one came, we started plating. The salsify puree went down first, then the tenderloin, micro turnips, sauce, maldon sea salt, and finally the foie gras butter. Before the plates went out, I hit the foie butter with a torch to start the melting process and give the plate a burst of heat.
Before we starting plating the second course I had one of our interns, Madison, on the 18th tee ready to start plating our cheese course. I gave here a call and said “Go, Chef. Go.” As I finish up the second course, I went to the 18th tee to help her finish plating. Within 10 minutes I saw a long line of golf cart lights headed our way. We poured the wine and talked cheese.
It was important to keep our Pastry Chef, Tina, in the loop on where we where for dessert. As she was up next. The last destination was on the lawn by an overlook of our beautiful beach. We did a play on peanut butter and jelly. And, for some theater, we plated the raspberry panna cotta and did the peanut butter ice cream in front of them with liquid nitrogen.
When it was finish, the members where clapping and we knew it was a success.
This event, though challenging, showcased teamwork from start to finish. The front of the house set up and service was flawless. But for it to run that way, we had to always have two teams to keep the speed and flow moving. And beyond the member experience, the Dunes Team had an amazing time putting on the event for the members that was new and exciting. Bonus? Members are already putting there name on a list for the next one.