The Great Hall
Country Club Gigs The Great Hall: Country Club Gigs
By Chris on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 10:23 pm: Edit

Have any of you cheffed at a country club? I've been in the mountains for ten years now and I'm thinking of making the move to a warmer climate where I can golf 12 mos a year. Any Pros or cons I shouldd know about?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 07:36 am: Edit

Clubs can be a good thing if the membership is large enough that you don't see the same people day in and day out.
Here's why, they get sick of you and they love you.
Half the members love you and the other half don't like you after a while, usually 2 years.
My first job ever was at the best CC in Palm Beach, I was 15 years old. I was a busboy working Thursday-Sat. nights and I was making 400 a week cash, just in tips. It was a great experience, I met this gentleman who always had a walker, I always carried his plate from the buffet line to the table on Sunday brunch for 4 years. When I went off to college he asked me how much it would cost me to go to college and wrote me a check for 16K.
When Chrysler debut the Cordoba, I don't know if any of you remember that far back; the whole staff got a Cordoba as the tip for working the party.
The people that were member there were old $$$, very private, they just wanted everything! The club is a second home to members.
I always loved it but, the 4 years I was there we went through 3 chefs and 4-5 GMs.
You are always at the mercy of the membership, not your supervisor.
Plenty of clubs in FL. though. This is the place to come to for that.
Trump has 2-3 clubs in Palm Beach, all awesome, great kitchens ,courses...etc. He is not well liked in the island though, he brought too much publicity w/ him.

By Chef JR on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 09:23 am: Edit

ChefManny has many very good points. I made the "club" cross over years back and I can't see returning to public restaurant work. The job is totally different on the inside, you are at the mercy of the membership. This interface is almost always with a board of directors and at least one of the board members will be willing to support your cause.
One of the challanges in this end of the field is the fact that you cannot say no. No doesn't exist in a private club. If a task is performable, you must see it through. This I believe, build strong work ethic and an amazing abilty to trouble shoot.
Finally, do not just think that all clubs are in FL., I work at a club in New England as an Executive. The pay is year round for a four month blitzkrieg season.

By Chris on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 03:22 pm: Edit

I am currently in a simular situation. I'm the exec at the country's premier guest ranch and no is not in my vocab when it comes to guest requests. The problem is the winters, I don't ski as much anymore and my two sons have taken an interest in golf. I'm addicted so I thought the CC route might be a nice change.

By Lowcountry (Lowcountry) on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 09:05 pm: Edit

The club where I've worked for the last six years used to be a marvelous place to work. And then a group of the members got together and bought it. Things went along well for a couple of years and then the infighting amongst factions in the membership started up. They have played hell with management ever since. One faction will become strong through the politics going on all the time among them and they will hire new people. When some other group get's the upper hand, they fire everyone and it starts over.

I just accepted a position in the public for the first time in six years, and I'm a little nervous. But it was time.

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