As a thank you for several posts I had written in regards to the Ritz, they were kind enough to invite me to join their press release. In doing so I get the latest up to date information about what’s happening at the hotel and in turn can write blogs to further update my followers. Pretty cool, huh?
Not as cool as the luncheon I got to attend yesterday in honor of the press. Never thought 5 months ago that this blog would make me considered “press” but hey, that’s the power of blogging and I was happy for the opportunity. The luncheon was held at the Linger Longer Steakhouse located in the newly rebuilt Oconee Golf Course Clubhouse at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge. A fire back in 2009 destroyed both the clubhouse and the restaurant and after 2 years of reconstruction it is set to reopen it’s doors to the public today!
Executive Chef of Overall Culinary Operations at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation is Yann Chupin (on the rt). Originally from France, Chef Chupin has been a member of the culinary staff here at the Ritz on Lake Oconee before and rejoined the staff 6 months ago. Chef Jason Kurtz (on the lt), originally from Naples, Florida, is the Executive Chef of The Linger Longer Steakhouse and has been with us here on Lake Oconee for just four weeks.
Along with about 8 other guests (including my buddy Carey Jr. from The Herald Journal in Greensboro), we were given the star treatment and got to enjoy the tastiest of lunches. We were greeted with signature drinks from the bar and given the chance to sample whatever we’d like. Had I not had several hours of work left ahead of me that afternoon I might have tasted a few more! The Gin Mist was an incredibly refreshing blend of Tanqueray gin, simple syrup, lime juice, and fresh squeezed lime. Perhaps on a day off I’ll go back for more of the Blueberry a la Fred but one sip and I knew that I did not need to see the bottom of that martini glass. All fresh ingredients of blueberries, lemon, and simple syrup shaken with Absolute Acai Vodka make this cocktail one to set you on your keister!
Cocktail tasting was followed by a delectable three course meal and wine pairing. More booze!? Sauteed Sea Scallops with Creamy Corn Grits, Pinot Grigio, Grill sample of NY Strip/Lambchop/Cowgirl Ribeye, Sauce trio of Bacon Ale/Bearnaise/Smoked Ketchup, Napa Valley Merlot, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Almandine, Grilled Caramelized Vidalia Onion, Original Cheesecake, and Georgia Peach Cotton Candy. It…was…unbelievable. The Georgia Peach Cotton Candy just did me in!
Thanks so much to the Ritz Carlton for allowing me to take part of such a great afternoon. Hats off to both Chef Chupin, Chef Kurtz, and the entire Linger Longer Steakhouse staff!