ClubCorp Blog

Name: Michael Miller

MM_©MelissaBarnes

Residing Club: Silicon Valley Capital Club in San Jose, Calif.

Background and Career Highlights: Won the Michelin Star Chef award in 2009 and 2010 and the Emerging Maverick Award via Cinequest.

Other than your chef knife, what is your favorite kitchen tool?: 
"A wooden spatula"

What had the greatest influence on your culinary career?: 
"My father's pizza place."

What is your single favorite ingredient to cook with?: 
"Yuzu juice is my latest favorite."

What is something about you few people know?: 
"I've been a musician longer than I've been a chef."

What is one thing that can always be found in your home refrigerator?: "Butter, eggs, stock, beer... the basic essentials."

If you could cook dinner for anyone, past, present or future, who would it be?: 
"My grandfather. He put me through culinary school but I never had the chance to cook for him."

What is your Walter Mitty fantasy?: "Being a studio musician in New York."

What character traits/qualifications/skills makes a good chef?: "Discernment, amplitude, organization, thoughtfulness and fairness."

What do you like most about working at the Club?: "The ability to use multi-global ingredients."

What do you see as the next big trend in food?: "The evolution of classics with modern applications."

Name: Jim Gelzheiser

jim g pic

Residing Club: Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Background and Career Highlights: Jim graduated from the Pittsburgh Chefs and Cooks Association Culinary Apprenticeship Program and worked as a banquet chef and executive sous chef for nine years at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa. He assisted Executive Chef Todd Rogers at a James Beard Dinner in New York City and won first place in an ice-carving contest. He's received the ClubCorp Superstar award and this November marks his 15-year anniversary with the company.

Other than your chef knife, what is your favorite kitchen tool?: "A truffle slicer"

What had the greatest influence on your culinary career?: "Working under excellent chefs and learning from great culinary instructors during my apprenticeship. Additionally, participating in a Dale Carnegie leadership course opened my eyes to the importance of having great people skills."

What is your single favorite ingredient to cook with?: "Fresh ginger. I love the aroma, and it’s not over-used so I am always excited when I need it."

What is something about you few people know?: "My wife Shelli and I just celebrated our 25-year wedding anniversary."

What is one thing that can always be found in your home refrigerator?: "Mirepoix made with celery, carrot and onion."

If you could cook dinner for anyone, past, present or future, who would it be?: "My grandparents. Nothing would be better than having the opportunity to prepare a dinner for them at Rivers Club."

What is your Walter Mitty fantasy?: "Being a drummer for “The Black Keys”"

What character traits/qualifications/skills makes a good chef?: "A relentless pursuit of excellence, a tremendous work ethic and a great sense of taste. Also, the ability to play well with others, have fun, listen, learn and apply techniques."

What do you like most about working at the Club?: "Trying to live up to the reputation of the Rivers Club kitchen. The fact that everyday, I’m able to work in the same kitchen where great Pittsburgh Chefs practiced for the Culinary Olympics in the 1980s, provides a tremendous sense of pride for me."

What do you see as the next big trend in food?: "Global-infused comfort food."

Name: Matthew Crum

Chef Matt Crum

Residing Club: River Creek Club in Leesbug, Va.

Career highlights
I attended culinary school in Pittsburgh, Pa. before working for small luxury hotels in the Northeast. I joined ClubCorp at Treesdale Country Club in Gibsonia, Pa. before moving to Virginia to help open River Creek Club. There, I started out as a Sous Chef before being promoted to Executive Chef in 2007.

Other than your chef knife, what is your favorite kitchen tool?: The Club’s Rational Combi Oven. It’s a game changer!

Who had the greatest influence on your culinary career?: My high school art teacher, Mr. Johnson. He taught me about focal points and how the human eye looks at things. I still use his advice about drawing and painting everyday, I just apply it when it comes to plates and platters.

What is your single favorite ingredient to cook with?: Fennel Pollen

What is something about you few people know?: I hand-make custom hardwood furniture in my garage...it’s a great stress reliever for me.

What is the the one thing that can always be found in your home refrigerator?: Pickles, from my family's recipe from Germany.

If you could cook dinner for anyone past, present or future, who would it be?: Matt Trolson, our former Food and Beverage director who passed away in early March of this year. He was a great friend and I think of him almost every day.

What is your Walter Mitty fantasy?: To make artisan cheeses for a living.

What character traits/qualifications/skills makes a good chef?: I don’t take things too seriously. I tell my staff it’s not food or drink that we sell, it’s an experience that we provide our Members.

What do you like most about working at the Club?: The six minute car ride to and from work...Gas is expensive!

What do you see as the next big trend in food?: I really don’t know, that’s a good question. I keep seeing food that reminds me of my childhood, but that has an adult twist to it.

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