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SOPHISTICATION OF THE 19TH HOLE FOOD G O L F C O U R S E MPCC has received wide-


Golf course food in Northern California has evolved from run-of-the- mill hot dogs and burgers BY ALAN SHIPNUCK


F


or a lot of us, golf course cuisine consists mostly of a hot dog and a beer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it should come as no


surprise that in Northern California—home to foodie meccas Chez Panisse and the French Laundry and some of the world’s best wineries—golf course food and beverage is becoming increasingly sophisticated, espe- cially at high-end private clubs. Words like sustainable and organic are becoming more common as golf course menus mirror the trends of the best restaurants. And as clubs fi ght to retain members and remain relevant in their increasingly hectic lives, there is an emphasis on variety and originality in the food. “We have to be all things to all people,”


says Michael Bowhay, general manager at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which in May completed a $2.8 million dollar renova- tion and expansion of its clubhouse kitchen and improvements to other food and bever- age facilities. “We have a big, diverse mem- bership. There are retired military guys who have been members for 50 years and they like things a certain way. There are new members who have written a big check and they have a different set of expectations. We have to keep all of them happy and food is a big part of it.”


spread acclaim for the top-to-bot- tom renovation of its now glorious Shore Course; the recent changes to the club’s food offerings are just as bold and satisfying. A pastry chef position was created and Paris- trained Erika McDonnell has stepped in with a variety of aromatic creations. Golfers tee- ing off in the morning can stuff themselves with to- die-for croissants—“The secret is lots and lots of butter,” says McDon- nell—and what Bow- hay calls, “The best muffi ns in the world,” including one with golden raisins and fresh pecans dusted with cinnamon and sugar. For lunch at the turn you might consider the Monterey sand dab sandwich on a house-made Dutch crust roll or the so-called “meat- loaf muffi ns,” bite-sized bits of meatloaf cooked in muffi n tins. Be sure to save room for McDonnell’s exotic cookies, which include cinnamon-cranberry-white chocolate and brandy-Dutch chocolate-toast- ed almond-dried apricot. The club boasts a second stellar 18, the


PHOTO: MPCC


Monterey Peninsula Country Club Executive Chef Colin Moody


Dunes Course, and behind the 11th green is the Shelter, what used to be a pretty standard little halfway house. In the recent remodel,


Top, left: The Olympic Club’s O burger


SUMMER 2011 / NCGA.ORG / 27


PHOTO: GEORGE OLS ON


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