When I recently attended the WGC Dell Match Play, golf course grub included local vendors Torchy's Tacos and Mighty Cone. Pretty good "walking around" food. But after reading what chef from Austin Country Club, Eva Barrios, was just cooking up, I clearly missed out.
On March 27, Barrios teamed up with San Antonio Country Club chef Nelson Millan to win the Chef to Chef Iron Chef challenge in New Orleans (a city with its own dazzling culinary reputation). The event was part of an educational conference featuring some of the top chefs in the golf & country club world. Barrios and Millan took on three other teams at the event to take home the crown.
If you find the clubhouse cuisine lacking at your home course, be prepared to cry at what the dishes they whipped up:
The first dish Millán and Barrios prepared in their semi-final faceoff with Dudley and Strickland was a Szechuan-dusted duck breast, paired with a Cajun fried rice made with crawfish, swiss chard and eggs. Beneath it all was a spiced beet puree. The second dish prepared by “Team Texas” for the finals competition vs. Ponzio and Beck (who had defeated Daddezio and Garbacz in their semi-final faceoff) was a Cajun-themed South African U8 prawn seasoned with curry power, paired with a red curry sauce and Thai-style grits made with tomato and basil.
Next year at the WGC, I may have to stroll past the food vendors and wander my way into the clubhouse to see what Barrios has cooking. The members have pretty good out on Lake Austin.
The next Chef to Chef Conference takes place March 1-3, 2020 in Charlotte, N.C.