Top chefs from around the country delight club members with their culinary creations. Ideal-Living magazine highlights five notable chefs from private clubs throughout the South. Find out what inspires them, and even try your hand at one of their recipes. Be sure to visit ideal-living.com for
2002 – Won first, second and third places in the Southport Chili Cookoff
2005 – Personal Chef for Howie Long and family while
vacationing on Bald Head Island
2008 – Top 10 Chef in Wilmington’s Top Chef Competition
2008 – Best Lunch (for Chris’s Cosmic Kitchen), Encore Magazine
2009 – Keynote Speaker, Wilmington’s Epicurean Evening
2010 – Head Judge, Wilmington’s Epicurean Evening
Traditional with a twist. I like to take traditional cuisine, like French, and add an element of my personality to make the dish my own.
What about your geographic region inspires you?
The ocean and the great items you can source from it. I love cooking with flounder, swordfish, Mahi and tuna lately.
What is your favorite local ingredient?
There are so many, but I would say oysters. I love using them at home and in the restaurant. With local oysters in season now, I can’t get enough. Whether baked, fried, roasted or raw, I love ’em!
How has dining in your club changed over the last five years?
We’ve simplified some of our dishes to make them more familiar to our guests. We’ve kept the menu upscale, but we’re trying to put out dishes that our guests are comfortable with.
What is your favorite aspect of creating food for your club?
I love seeing our excellent kitchen team put it all together. I like knowing that I may be the starting point for a dish, but that we’ve got an incredible team to make it all
happen. I’m motivated knowing that whatever I come
up with, the team will help make it a reality.
I cook really simple dishes at home. We like ribs, burgers, sausages. We do a lot of barbequing.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Definitely barbeque chicken wings.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated ingredient?
I would say sugar. There are so many dishes that could benefit from a little bit of sugar. You can use it like salt to heighten the flavors and bring it all together. Sugar is like salt, but at the other end of the palate. It can fill in that missing element.
Do you have any tips for preparing a meal for two?
Keep it simple and stick to ingredients you know and love. If you’re working with a recipe, don’t be afraid to add something, or substitute for an ingredient you know you like. Play with it and put your own twist on it. All recipes are subject to tinkering.
Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island is a vacation and second home destination located just off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. With no bridge connecting it to the mainland, Bald Head Island is accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat. Once on the island, vacationers and residents get around by bicycle, electric golf cart or their own two feet. Of the island’s total 12,000 acres, 10,000 have been permanently set aside for preservation and will never be developed. A large maritime forest preserve at the center of the island is surrounded by a serpentine creek, acres of marshland, and
14 miles of pristine beaches.