Tom Birmingham, CEC, Director of the Club + Resort Chef Association, has big plans to help his industry and fellow chefs thrive through networking and idea-sharing.
The 2020 Chef to Chef Conference is right around the corner and like previous years it’s a time to see all the top club chefs from around the country. I have been fortunate to have attended this conference for the past several years. Each time, I do my best to stay in touch with the chefs I meet. But it makes me wonder, how do we play off the concept of Chef to Chef and connect with the club chefs right around the corner from each of us?
The chefs within your region can fast become one of your biggest assets. Have you ever needed a few tenderloins on a Sunday night to get you through the weekend? Have you ever needed a few cooks to man a carving station at a member event? Did you ever wonder how much the club down the street pays for grouper filets or how much they’re paying their dishwashers?
The fact is the club chef from down the street will likely face the same challenges as you and, more often than not, can talk you off the ledge with a simple 5-minute conversation. We need to have better networks both locally and nationally. Our industry is constantly evolving and the chances of you being at the same club your whole career is very unlikely. That’s why our newly formed Club + Resort Chef Association is addressing just that. Our mission statement is simple and to the point.
The Club + Resort Chef Association is the leading professional community for the culinary teams at private country clubs, city clubs, yacht clubs, athletic clubs and high-end golf properties and resorts. We support our members’ needs through networking, continuing education and professional development.
I’m sure many of you saw the news release about our new association. (If you missed it, check it out here.) I have been tasked with spreading the word about the value this association will bring you and your club. I’m also here to help get chefs signed up. I’m happy to report that this process has been streamlined through our website, association.clubandresortchef.com. We are now live and ready to process the application for you and your staff.
Soon, as our membership ranks grow, we will begin establishing regional chapters that make it easier for club chefs to meet other club chefs. We have already been in contact with some smaller chapters that have been networking with each other for some time now and we look forward to their support of our national association.
So, what are we working on? Education videos, podcasts, online forums, association newsletters, employment opportunities, recipes, job sharing, apprenticeships, mentoring programs, award programs and more. I welcome your feedback and your ideas as we must ensure we are providing a quality product that keeps club chefs informed, educated and current with our industry.
Please reach out to me if you have ideas about how to help us grow together. I will be available at the 2020 Chef to Chef Conference and you can sign up onsite if you’d like.
I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks at Chef to Chef, at other industry shows and at our upcoming regional events. And I look forward to building up this association so that each of you use this network to enrich your club’s food-and-beverage operation and yourself.