Food News

PGA Resort Nabs New Chef

It wasn't exactly PDQ, but the posh PGA National Resort & Spa (400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens; 800-863-2819) finally has an executive chef, replacing former Top Chef contestant Kenny Gilbert, who bailed on the gig in August after a mere couple of months behind the stove. 

The new top toque is Gordon Maybury, whose résumé

may not have the foodie cachet of a Top Chef wannabe but includes

stints at Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe and big-time

hotels in the U.S. and Caribbean. Speaking with an accent that reveals

his Irish heritage, Maybury said that despite working in restaurants for

24 of his 40 years, "it still doesn't feel like a job." 

Good

thing, because he has his work cut out for him at the resort, whose

restaurants haven't made much of an impact on the local scene during its

almost 30-year history. "Outside of being known as a sort-of

steak house," he notes, "[the resort's flagship Ironwood Grille] doesn't

have much of an identity." 

So he's looking to rebrand the place

as a steak house with a Floribbean accent, adding to a menu of designer

beef (prime, Angus, Hereford, Wagyu) dishes like Wagyu carpaccio with

mango and white balsamic drizzle and such SoFla standbys as ceviche and

yucca fries. On the job less than a week, the menu is mostly in his

head, but he promises that apps and desserts in particular will get a

thorough reworking. 

He's also looking at turning the downstairs

Bear Trap sports bar into a contemporary Irish gastropub with an

extensive roster of microbrewed beers, which ought to provide a little

taste of home.

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Bill Citara