There’s never been a better time to have dinner at the club. Here, one of McConnell Golf's Executive Chefs dish on everything from locally sourced ingredients to the best entrée and wine pairings.
Mike Marques, Executive Chef, Grande Dunes Member Club
Keeping things fresh and exciting for the close-knit Grande Dunes membership is one of the most rewarding, and also challenging, parts of the job for Executive Chef Mike Marques.
“We officially change the dinner menu quarterly, but we’re frequently making changes throughout the year,” he says. “We try to keep things as new and creative as possible for our core group of members who come in often.”
For his latest menu, Marques, who has been at Grande Dunes for six years, offers a light take on classic summer dishes. To start, there’s a refreshing cantaloupe-pecan salad. Entrees include a cold-smoked, grass-fed NY-strip that gives a light, smoky flavor.
“It’s the opposite of a heavier, hot-smoked piece of brisket that would weigh you down,” he says.
Grande Dunes hosts bi-monthly special event dinners, which allow Marques and his culinary team to target a smaller audience of diners who are interested in more high-end cuisine.
“That’s our time to shine,” he says. “We can serve really creative, thought-out dishes.”
At a recent six-course dinner, members were treated to lamb chops, duck-liver pâté, and seared scallops, among other delicacies. For dessert, Marques wowed the dining room with his version of a “liquid s’more” — graham cracker crumbs, chocolate ganache, smoked whipped cream, and white-chocolate pastry cream.
“One member told me it was the best food they’ve ever had in their entire life,” he says. “That’s the best compliment I could ever hear.”