Consistency Began with Potato Soup
Written by Daryl Dean, Sous Chef.
The restaurants at Golden Ocala are based on “Modern American Food Concepts”, meaning that the cuisine is created using a cooking style that infuses techniques from multiple cultures and ethnic groups to produce a single dish. This “melting pot” cooking approach creates a wide array of dishes and cuisine our members can enjoy, while at the same time remaining consistent with the criteria set for each restaurant.
We do quick lunch items for Knickers, fresh and light offerings for the Café on the Green, bistro-type fare for the Knickers’ evening crowd, and more intimate service provisions for Raspberry’s. By offering members a truly diverse variety of foods, the culinary team gets more opportunities to explore new dishes, while catering to each member’s desired taste.
Updates are made to the menus both weekly and daily (depending on the restaurant) to sustain the expectations of our membership. We also create custom menus for outside dining and banquet parties.
With every new menu that is created comes the opportunity to write another recipe – that is if it’s not already in our “Right to Know Informational Handbook” (the binder where we have recorded our recipes over the years). These recipes ensure that the items on each menu we’ve created stay consistent in every way possible.
The Club’s First Recorded Recipe
Golden Ocala’s famous potato soup was created due to a particular member’s love of potato soup. Through much trial and error – the potatoes were too big, no bacon, it was too thin, the potatoes were too small – and then the day came… we got it! We wrote the recipe down on paper and it became the first recorded recipe for Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, and is the most referred-to recipe in our book to date.
Starting with a Foundation of Flavors
Whenever anyone in the kitchen is part of creating a new menu item, he or she is responsible for writing or helping to write the recipe if there isn’t already one. When we write a recipe, we start with a foundation of flavors to build on. The “Taco Marinate,” for instance, started with the basic Tex Mex spices: cumin, chilies, garlic, onion, cilantro and lime. From there, we decided that the base should be: water, oil, or both. Then, we built a layer of seasonings to ensure the different ranges of the palate would be hit without overpowering the product we wanted to marinate. When the recipe was finalized, it consisted of 22 ingredients and three steps.
The Challenge in Re-sizing Recipes
Several times a year, we get requests from members for a specific recipe that we’ve created. This request is a little more complicated than it seems because all of our recipes are fashioned to be made in massive quantities, which is also how they are written. It is impossible to transform the recipe to taste exactly the same in a normal household serving size. Why? Because it was tampered with. It’s the same reason we can’t get smaller recipes to taste right when feeding a party of 100. For this reason, we do not give recipes out. Just know that when you’re sitting and eating items off our menus, there is more to it than meets the eye.
There are many hours that go into the creation of our recipes. It all starts with an idea, a theory, or maybe even a desire and it eventually evolves into a great recipe!