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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chef's Choice: Chuck Friedhoff, Persimmon Woods Golf Club

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 3:48 PM

click to enlarge Chuck Friedhoff, Director of Food and Beverage at Persimmon Woods Golf Club - ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler
  • Chuck Friedhoff, Director of Food and Beverage at Persimmon Woods Golf Club
"I never realized that hot dogs and golfers are such a big thing," says chef Chuck Friedhoff, Director of Food and Beverage at Persimmon Woods Golf Club. "I've been told it's because it's an easy thing to eat. It's somewhat clean. I said to myself early on that we should make bratwurst. We did that this summer, and it was a huge success. So we now have our house-made bratwurst. We grind our own sausage."

Since joining the staff of Persimmon Woods last May, Friedhoff has worked to change the nature of club cuisine as the nature of the clubs themselves continue to evolve.

A St. Louis native, Friedhoff gained a passion for fresh, local food while working as executive chef at a boarding school in Massachusetts. Farmers would knock on the back door to sell their goods to his kitchen, and he worked with work-study students to gather sap for their house-made maple syrup during spring break.

"That showed me where maple syrup came from, and it was very rewarding," Friedhoff says. "It's not just Mrs. Butterworth. It's forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. When school was back in session we had fresh maple syrup to offer on Sunday morning, and to have those same kids again, make them a pancake and give them maple syrup. Just knowing we were completing the cycle was really nice."

Upon returning to St. Louis, Friedhoff worked as executive chef at the Clayton location of J. Buck's until the economy soured last year. Less than a week after being laid off, he was at Persimmon Woods, determined to build consistency in a kitchen that had seen many chefs come and go.

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