Everyone who wears our chef whites began their journey somewhere.
Mine began with a culinary apprenticeship at Baltimore (Md.) Country Club, after a handful of years working as a student in the kitchens of Virginia Tech University.
During my apprenticeship at Baltimore CC, I worked under John Bell, a future Culinary Olympic gold medalist, and next to several other prominent, up-and-coming executive chefs. I also spent time each year staging for Rudy Speckamp, CMC, who owned Rudy’s 2900 restaurant in Finksburg, Md.
Occasionally, I’d also sneak off to The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., to absorb the culture of the extraordinary chef-apprenticeship program that historic property has become known for. And then I was fortunate enough to spend several years working for Joachim Buchner, CMC, at the storied Chevy Chase (Md.) Club.
My early years as a cook were shaped by all of these experiences and by many of the titans of our time. And my passion for cooking was fueled by like-minded peers who were equally desperate for knowledge.
Nearly all of us who practice this craft with proficiency today received a mentorship like mine. None of us spontaneously sprang forth, fully formed, ready to write the next chapter in our field.
This special issue of Club + Resort Chef represents a continuation of that time-honored tradition of mentorship, which has been essential to each of us, and thus to our industry.
It includes recipes and anecdotes from chefs who are my role models, and also from those I am proud to call my peers.
To those of you who graciously shared your time and knowledge for the betterment of us all, you have my heartfelt thanks.
These are not just recipes for a magazine. They are thoughtfully written missives to a craft that has asked much of us—and given us much. This free exchange of knowledge is the fulfillment of an unspoken promise, to pay forward the time and effort someone else spent in making each of us who we are.
This issue is a celebration of our craft. It’s a tribute to each of you, as readers and contributors who have dedicated nights, weekends and holidays to leaving this profession better than you found it.
Your work adds value to the uniforms we don every morning. And I believe those titans from my youth would approve of the institutions we are forging, and the craft we are mutually shaping.
This gracious exchange of knowledge is the cornerstone of our profession. It is the very essence of Club + Resort Business’ Chef to Chef Conference, and of Club + Resort Chef magazine. And it is absolutely
essential in our collective march toward excellence.