Harold Dean, Food & Beverage Director – “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”
We are expanding our blog to hear about all of the fantastic amenities that Golden Ocala has to offer. To begin, we would like to introduce you to our hard working staff members who help make it all possible. Meet Harold Dean, Food & Beverage Director at Golden Ocala.
I Got the Food & Beverage “Bug”
I have been here at Golden Ocala since May of 2011 in charge of Food & Beverage. Before that, I worked for Kimpton Hotels at the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa. In addition, I have previously worked for both national and privately owned restaurants specifically here in Florida. I am currently working on my certification as a Beer Sommelier through the Cicerone Certification Program.
I first became interested in food and beverage when I was in college working for a Ruby Tuesdays restaurant. I started out serving tables and then worked my way up to management. I enjoyed seeing how everyone who visited the restaurant came to experience the atmosphere and have a good time. They came into the restaurant with family and friends to have a good time and enjoy good food and drink. I loved that type of atmosphere.
Every Day is Unique
The aspect about my job at Golden Ocala that gives me the most satisfaction, whether it’s a big wedding or a simple lunch, is when a member walks out feeling satisfied and says “that was the best food I’ve ever had”, “that was the best service I’ve ever had”, or “my little girl’s wedding was perfect.” THAT is what makes it all worth it. That’s when we (my staff) know we did a job well done.
My favorite saying is “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”. When one of my staff members has a dilemma, this is something I like to tell them because it promotes thinking about how to figure it out. This may sometimes entail being creative with the solution. No two days are ever the same at my job and that’s what makes it so interesting. When you’re dealing with members inside three different restaurants, weddings, banquets, and more, every day is a new challenge.
I Cater to What Our Members Like
My favorite drink offered here at Golden Ocala is Swamp Head Big Nose IPA, which we have on tap. One of the reasons I brought this beer in is because it was a something I tried somewhere else and loved. In fact, that’s how I like to introduce new food and beverages here at Golden Ocala. When I look through wine spectator magazines or visit a restaurant and have a drink, I’m looking to see what they offer and what sells well. I’m constantly picking the bartenders’ brains about what’s hot and what’s new that they are selling. What are our members buying there that I could bring to Golden Ocala to make it easier for them to get their favorite beer here too?
I Am a Surfing Aficionado!
I grew up on the East Coast of Florida down below Cocoa Beach, so I love to surf! On my days off, I visit Melbourne and if the waves are good, I’ll go down to the beach and surf. I’ve been to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, but it has always been a dream of mine to surf in Hawaii.
On my days off, I enjoy spending time with my kids, golfing, and watching football in the fall and winter (I am a die hard Miami Dolphins fan!). I would love to someday go to the Superbowl.
Come Try for Yourself!
My favorite foods offered here are the grouper and the prime rib. I’m one of those people that if I go somewhere and there’s prime rib on the menu, I’m trying it. The prime rib and grouper get my votes and are also well loved by our members. Every time I turn around, we are selling one and it is going out to a table. Come try these great dishes for yourself!
As you are dining at Golden Ocala, you may see me at our restaurants. Don’t be afraid to say hello and let me know how we can better serve you. We are here to make your dining experience the best it can be!