Guest columnist Toni Lydecker, author of Seafood alla Siciliana: Recipes and Stories from a Living Tradition, reported on area chefs who practice their strokes on the golf course as well as in the kitchen.
Who knew that chefs hanker for a round of golf after coming off a marathon workweek? Not only chefs but bartenders and other restaurant personnel often head for the links on their day off. No doubt some do catch up on sleep on their Monday off. But not the high-octane contenders in the first-ever Chef and Bartender Golf Classic organized by Vintage Hudson Valley.
Seventy-six chefs, bartenders and restaurant managers competed at the golf tournament last week at Beekman Country Club, Hopewell Junction, in Westchester. Most hailed from the Hudson Valley.
Beau MacMillan, an Arizona chef (Elements, in Phoenix) who co-hosts the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, was among those who traveled the farthest. The event honored Glynwood, which works with Hudson Valley communities to support environmentally sustainable farming.
Here were some other golfing standouts:
- Chef Jeffrey Rich of Castle on the Hudson nailed the low score.
- Sally Rich, general manager of Twist in Hyde Park, beamed as she collected her golf bag for longest women’s drive. “It was only my second time out—I couldn’t believe it when the ball just kept going, “ she said.
There were prizes for losers, too. Lee Hillson, sous chef at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix, took home two golf bags—one for highest overall score and the other for highest score on a single hole.
Après golf, the decibel level rose inside the clubhouse as golfers sampled baby vegetables with ramp vinaigrette from Valley at the Garrison, paapdi chaat dished up by Chutney Masala and a passionfruit custard confection from Chiboust.
Fabulous eats all, but as the party broke up, Peter Kelley of Xaviars Restaurant Group was overheard telling some pals, “There’s this place in Port Chester…” It was Monday, after all, and for these back-of-house luminaries, the evening was not even close to over.