Name: Matthew Crum
Residing Club: River Creek Club in Leesbug, Va.
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.