At Winged Foot, World-Class Food Is Par For The Course
After gracing James Beard Foundation tables, Rhy Waddington brings culinary excellence to Westchester’s golf scene.
Hamden Burrata, heirloom tomato, and petite basil salad
Photogrphy By JOHN FORTUNATO
The A.W. Tillinghast golf courses at Winged Foot Golf Club haven’t changed much over the years, but the dinner menu at the venerable club is brand new every week. That’s just one of the innovations Rhy Waddington came up with when he became executive chef in 2012.
“The secret here is to keep it fresh, so we change our dinner menu every single week,” Waddington says. “The members are here a lot, so you need to keep changing it for them all the time. It’s also great for the culinary team because they’re always learning something new.” He explains that they’ll keep stalwarts like shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad on the menu, but there are about 25 items that vary from week to week.
Waddington, who was the first chef from a private club to be invited to cook for the membership of the James Beard Foundation, came to Winged Foot from San Diego, where he was voted one of the top five chefs in Southern California. His start in the kitchen came in his native Australia, where he opened a still-thriving farm-to-table restaurant on his parents’ 850-acre property.
He sees no reason a farm-to-table cookery can’t work at a club like Winged Foot. In fact, he thinks it’s a perfect fit. “You’re going to get a fresher product because there’s less time from farm to the plate,” he says. “We have some really great vendors who call on a daily basis with what’s newly available. That’s great, because I can put it on the menu the next night.”