Connections and friendships often serve as the catalyst for innovation and progress.
I met Scott Craig, WCMC, Executive Chef of Cullasaja Club (Highlands, N.C.), during a dinner at New Orleans Country Club almost a decade ago. Little did I know that this random seating arrangement would lead to a profound partnership, one that has greatly enriched Club + Resort Chef.
Over the years, Chef Craig has proven to be a valuable ally, consistently offering his time and expertise. His bold ideas—sometimes appearing out of thin air—have stretched the limits of our capabilities, challenging us to rise to the occasion. But as I have learned, when Chef Craig proposes an idea, it’s because the industry needs it, and we must heed the call.
One such example is our salary survey. If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate yet, I encourage you to access it here: C+RC Salary Survey. This survey aims to shed light on the salaries and compensation packages of chefs and culinary professionals in club and resort settings, promoting transparency and fair compensation practices. The results, which will be unveiled in our November issue, are already shaping up to be a valuable resource for our industry, thanks to the participation of over 400 chefs.
This collaborative, innovative spirit doesn’t stop there.
As the Chef to Chef Conference has continued to grow, the aspiration for something smaller, more focused, and hands-on always lingered in the back of my mind. But the logistics remained elusive—until Chef Craig stepped in.
Together, we conceived PlateCraft, a distinctive and immersive two-day culinary experience that will unfold at Cullasaja Club from November 5th to 7th, 2023. With limited seats available, PlateCraft promises an exclusive opportunity for chefs to delve deeper into their craft, to collaborate, learn, and elevate their culinary expertise.
The response to PlateCraft has been nothing short of remarkable. When we opened registration on August 21st, it took a mere six days for all available seats to be claimed, a testament to the hunger for such unique and enriching experiences within the club culinary community.
Thanks to chefs like Chef Craig, who share our commitment to advancing club culinary, I am excited to see PlateCraft come to life and look forward to the impact it will undoubtedly have on the industry.
However, let me be clear: This is just the beginning of our journey. As we continue to shape fresh content, conceive innovative events, and incubate novel ideas, partners like Chef Craig, and indeed, all of you, are paramount to ensuring our mission remains pertinent and beneficial.
Together, we are preserving the rich tapestry of club culinary and weaving new threads that will inspire, educate, and elevate the entire industry.