Aaaah, December. It is finally here. Chris mentioned that it seems we talk about December all year long, and that feels partly true. It’s such a festive month and we always have so much going on at the Club. We are so excited to host all your private events and meet and greet your extended family, as you bring them by the club for lunch while you’re shopping at South Coast Plaza. Membership is eager to welcome your family as new members of the club through the My Family program. It’s a great offer which ends in 2014.
I want to personally thank you for helping to make 2014 an excellent year. You are the reason I love my job so much. I can’t tell you how much it pleases me to see our members enjoy the club, take advantage of member benefits and connect with other members. My team and I are here to serve you and to help you make the most of your membership. Thank you so much for helping to enrich our member culture and spark new friendships and business relations among members. I truly appreciate you and wish you a very festive and fabulous month of December.
-Shahin Vosough, Club Manager
Happy December! We want to wish you and yours a fantastic month of December and Happy Holidays.
As you may remember, we welcomed a new Membership Director to the team. Shortly before our own Ms. Kristin Catanzaro became Mrs. Kristin Kuchyt, she joined Gina Oddo as the new Membership Director. We know that all of Kristin’s Member Relations skills and success will translate well into her new role and we are so very excited that she will serve the Members and the Club in this new capacity. Congrats Kristin! It’s been an exciting few months for her and we are all so happy for her!
Since it is the holiday season, we’d like to remind you that the gift of Membership makes for an extraordinary gift! The holidays are the perfect time to extend invitations to your family to come enjoy the private club lifestyle! As a Member, they will enjoy the benefits of social membership at any of our participating clubs across the nation in the ClubCorp Network. My Family Memberships are only $75 per month for your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws. Make sure you contact Gina or Kristin for all the details and specifics. Again, Happy Holidays!
-Gina Oddo & Kristin Kuchyt, Membership Directors
December 1st……everyone thinks they have plenty of time until Christmas to get their shopping done, and then BAM….it Christmas Eve and you wonder how you just missed an entire three weeks! In the food and beverage business it is exactly the same. It is the busiest three weeks of the year. We prepare for it, we talk about it, we stress about it and then you blink and it’s over. How do you find time with all the Holiday madness to get things done?
My Holiday advice: get started early! You know how every year it seems like Wal-Mart and Target have Christmas stuff out earlier and earlier? That’s a clue to get started! My mom does the same thing. Every year she asks us earlier and earlier to send her a Christmas list. And she must have me trained because this year I called her first and said I need to know what everyone wants so I can get started! I usually have all my shopping done before December with just a small trinket or gift card to pick up here and there. Start thinking early about gifts and the best places to buy them. Is online the best deal? Will I save money if I bundle on Amazon and get free shipping? Why didn’t I make a list of gift ideas before I left the house? Why is there no parking? Why is everyone at the mall on the same day I am? Next year everyone is getting gift cards!
However you decide to shop for the Holidays, make sure you have fun! And if you are shopping in the South Coast area, make sure and take a pit stop at the Club for lunch or happy hour. Remember, we have valet so no fighting for parking and no 30 minute waits for a table. We hope to see you here!
-Chris Sarten, Food & Beverage Director
Happy Festive Season
It is hard to beat the holiday season, yes it is a busy time I think for everyone. But there seems to be a spirt in the air at this time of year that is not present at any other time. Especially now that I have kids it makes it that much more fun. This is a great time for gathering with family and friends. Making someone’s day or week.
This is the first recollections I have of cooking. Helping my Mom decorate the Christmas fruit cake and make some of the holiday treats. Well at least stick the decorations on the cake and cookies and lick the spoons. A tradition I plan to pass down to my two daughters. I like that theses times mean different things to many different people and cultures. I like to her what people and their families did and cooked.
Over the years I have worked with staff from almost every corner of the earth and it’s great to see and hear what they would eat. Growing up with parents from London England the European flavors like, marzipan, Plum Pudding, cloves and dried fruit were a lot of things we ate. Once I smell these things I am transported back to my home in Ottawa as a boy.
A other thing I remember when I was young growing up in Canada watching shows like CHIPS and some of the other TV programs from the 70s that were in California. During the holidays there was never any snow. I though it must be terrible to have to celebrate without some snow around, how do you get into the spirt? And after 15 years in Southern California boy was I wrong. I have not missed it at all. I love the first snow fall and it would be great to have snow on the ground for Christmas, but I much prefer 70 and 80 degree sunny weather.
I have a lot of good recipes for the holidays but I think one that I make every year is the Swedish drink Glogg. I made it for our cooking class back in October. Once again the flavors of the oranges and spices bring me back home.
I have enclosed the recipe.
I would like to wish all of you, Happy Holidays, safe travels if you are traveling and hope you get to spend time with friends and family.
Cheers! Chef Lewis
½ bottle of Vodka
4 Bottles of Red Wine
4 Cups of Sugar
8 Cinnamon Sticks
10 Star Anise
2 Orange Rinds
½ Vanilla Bean
- Mix everything in a saucepan
- Cook on a low heat.
- Cover with plastic wrap
- Do not boil
- Heat for 1 hour
- Strain and Serve
- Serve with currant raisins and toasted sliced almonds
- You can cool the glugg and then re-heat when needed
And a great big “Thank You” to all our Members who supported Private Events in 2014! We appreciate your meetings, wine dinners, pre-theater receptions, anniversary parties and weddings. We wish for you, your families and employees the very best for 2015.
Remember to refer the Club to your friends and business associates as well. Your sponsoring others is a great way for them to experience the Club. Private Events can be reached at (714) 438-3860.
See you in 2015!
Kaitlin Kuykendall & Chris Hartley, Private Event Directors
Sometime in the middle of summer, my wife was reading an article about this new place opening up in Anaheim. It was essentially a food mall for Foodies. It had a lot of new restaurants that have never been seen or heard of around Orange County. I did actually get there the second weekend it opened. But I was with family and it was extremely busy so we left just after a few minutes of looking around. I vowed to come back again. Well it took a little while but I did make it back there a couple of weeks ago. This is the story…
Anaheim Packing House
Driving up to the old packing house there is on one side of the building, a weed woven rail road track, that use to service the place. The building looks a lot smaller from the outside as does from the inside. Inside there are 2 floors bursting with stores and restaurants. The inside is well lit from the natural light coming from the windows on the roof.
It was getting close to lunchtime once we got there so we hurried over to a place called Kroft. Famous for their sandwiches and their poutine. There were 3 of us from the club. The good thing about going to a place like this with a group of people is that you get to try more things. After ordering a fried chicken sandwich, a prime rib sandwich, short rib poutine and jalapeno cole slaw, we noticed the kitchen slicing up the Porchetta (pork loin wrapped in pork belly then roasted in a rotisserie) for the Porchetta Sandwich. To this day I wish we had ordered it. But, it’s a great excuse to go again.
There is a lot of open seating as each restaurant only has a handful of tables. Our fair from the Kroft was fresh and great tasting. We did not have any complaints, and highly recommend it to anyone. They serve large portions and offer great pricing. In fact most of the restaurants had great prices. Kroft is one of the busiest restaurants in the building.
You name it there is pretty well a restaurant for it in the Anaheim Packing House. There is a place for fish and chips, sushi, Southern cuisine, Vietnamese, Shabo Shabo, a butcher shop who makes sandwiches, a waffle place, Indian curries, fresh chocolate truffles, a coffee bar and if you can stand to wait in line a place called Popbar, pretty well has a long line all day long. Poplar serves, frozen yogurt, Sorbeto or Gelato on a stick and they hand dip it in your choice of melted chocolate and sprinkles.
There is also Speak Easy that is hidden. We did actually find it and walked in to check it out, very cool, very dark inside too. But at busy times there is a 2 hour wait if you can find it.
It is a great place to go get something to eat. Or a place to look around. One of the restaurants described itself as a place for young Hipsters. I am sure it is a scene on Friday and Saturday nights.
The only problem I encounter was the limited space for parking at the Packing House. You had to drive down the street a few blocks to find a space. But defiantly worth the trip. Go on an empty stomach.
Every year around the beginning of September I get a call from my Southern Wine and Spirits representative. It’s not the regular, “Hey man I got a killer deal on the cab and chard if you do a 5 case mix and match,” or the, “If you buy 3 bottles of raspberry chocolate cream pie rum I can float you a bottle of regular rum.” No, no, this is a phone call I actually get excited for….and in just bit you are going to find out why you should be excited to!
Way back in 1853 a gentleman named Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild bought a little place called Château Brane-Mouton. His purpose for buying the estate was so that he could make his own wine to serve to his guests. The estate, at Pauillac in the heart of the Médoc, was established as Château Mouton Rothschild. In 1924, control of the estate was handed over to Baron Philippe de Rothschild, great-grandson of Baron Nathaniel. Baron Philippe worked diligently over the next 50 years to establish the Chateau as one of the finest in the world, finally gaining its Premier Cru Classe designation in 1973.
Fast forward a bit to 1979 and half way around the globe Robert Mondavi opened the Mondavi Woodbridge winery in Lodi, California. While he was busy with that, his son Timothy was working with Château Mouton Rothschild winemaker Lucien Sionneau to create the first vintage in a partnership that would take the world by storm. In 1984 the 1979 and 1980 vintages of Opus One were released.
So, my phone call… “Hey Chris, it’s Reid. Just want to let you know that your allocation for Opus is coming up. Center Club is allocated a six pack of the 2011.” My first question, “How much?” If you know wine at all, you know that Opus One is not an inexpensive bottle. So I hesitated. “I don’t know man, that’s pretty pricey. It might sit around for a while and, the price I would have to ask… Let me think about it.” I thought about it. I thought about it for a couple of days. Do I really want a $300 bottle on my wine list? Do I need a $300 bottle on my list? It is Opus One, but there are hundreds of wines out there for a more reasonable price, right? Wines of incredible quality for say, under $200. Under $190? How about Opus One at Center Club for $189 a bottle? I can’t do that, can I? Sure I can, why not? Other restaurants might say I’ve lost it or claim I’m only gonna make a few bucks. So what! If you want it, you got it. That’s right, Opus One for $189 a bottle! What’s the catch? No catch. You just have to contact me directly to set up your dinner reservation and reserve your bottle beginning November 1st. Oh and do you remember above where I was told Center Club only gets one six pack? Well that’s true, so if you snooze you lose. One bottle limit per reservation until the six are gone…
-Chris Sarten, F&B Director
I can’t believe how fast the holiday season is approaching! Before we know it, we’ll be feasting with family and battling crowds at the shopping malls! The holidays are here! During this season of giving, we find ourselves browsing the internet and running through the mall, trying to find things we think our loved ones will like best.
But what if you gave them a gift which will boost their career and add value to their life? A gift which would provide meaning every day? This year, we encourage you to consider the gift of Membership! With programs like My Family and the Member Sponsorship, the gift of membership becomes an easy and affordable option. Introduce your friends and family to Center Club and all the benefits membership offers, no parking lot battles or shopping mall crowds to endure!
I would love to help you take advantage of the My Family and Member Sponsorship programs. Catch me when you are here at the club next, or please give me a call. I look forward to helping you make this holiday season, one to remember!
-Gina Oddo, Membership Director
As you read this month’s news and stories, you’ll see that the holidays are already pressing on the minds of my team. This is a great time of the year for all of us, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, all of the amazing activities, events and programs at your club. Members visit the club more often during November and December, and we enjoy how folks take advantage of the extraordinary networking opportunities during this season. We’ve certainly seen a few partnerships form during holiday festivities. Alongside business, we always make time for pleasure: Football in full swing, the Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings back are on the ice, and the NBA season is starting, you can bet that Encore’s 103 inch screen will be tuned in to your favorite sporting event.
I encourage you to review the articles provided by your department directors this month. Chris is sharing some very exciting and super exclusive news. Kaitlin and Chris have wonderful advice for those hosting holiday parties at the Club (and great advice in general). Chef shares a foodie find in Anaheim, and Gina is sharing a great holiday gift idea like no other. Of course, you’ll find our Thanksgiving and Friday Lobster Feast event notices. Be sure to make your reservations for these and other events on the calendar.
This Thanksgiving season, we are thankful for our members and your contributions to the club. You make Center Club the unique special place that it is vibrant with your personalities, charitable hearts and life ambitions. We are fortunate to work with such an extraordinary group of people each day and enjoy serving you and your guests. Thank you for being a valued Member. On behalf of all employee partners at Center Club, I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for you!
Shahin Vosough, Club Manager
December arrives next month, and the elves in the private events office are working full steam detailing your upcoming events! One could say they are helping Santa make his list and check it twice.
Five days before every private event at Center Club, the host needs to provide a guaranteed guest count. Why is a guaranteed guest count so important? For the host, the guest guarantee affects how the event costs line up. The Host will be charged for the greater of the guaranteed guest count or the actual number of guests in attendance. For the venue and catering team, the guaranteed guest count is used to staff appropriately, set the room accordingly and to order correct amounts of food and beverage. Having an accurate guest count makes all the difference in the success of an event because it determines how the culinary and operations team prepares.
What can a person do to help ensure the guaranteed guest count is accurate? Start by having clear communication with guests who have been invited. Set the RSVP by date a few days before the guaranteed guest count is needed by the venue. Plans change, and inevitably there will be some guests who forget to respond. By allowing a cushion between the RSVP deadline and the guaranteed guest count deadline, the host permits time to follow up with guests who have not RSVP’d.
Santa, the elves, the reindeer and all the magical holiday creatures at the North Pole need a solid list to make sure all the stockings hanging from the chimney this year are filled with goodies.
Kaitlin Kuykendall and Chris Hartley
Private Event Directors