Welcome to Our Changing Menus
By Jody Steele, Member Since 2005
At the end of the season, the chefs begin a detailed review of all of the menus at Ocean Reef Club. Executive Chef Andrea Van Willigan shared this is a collaborative effort that takes months to complete. Our 11 Chefs de Cuisine research food trends and travel to culinary shows, seek feedback from Members, review important data, and provide the expertise needed to create outstanding menus to dazzle us all.
Each recipe and menu is carefully analyzed with the goal to retain the classics we all enjoy, while developing new distinctive dining choices. These selected recipes go through a comprehensive series of assessments by the culinary team before tasting appraisals are held. All summer, the menus are evaluated until final selection is completed to kick off the year.
Chef Andrea explained another objective is to utilize the ingredients that are readily available in South Florida. A “farm to table” and “water to table” approach is considered when making menu decisions. Nearby purveyors provide a variety of seafood directly from the dock, and local farms deliver produce to Ocean Reef right after being harvested. These local businesses work months ahead with our chefs and then continue to email and call daily with information regarding availability.
Our chefs have also taken on the added challenge of designing healthy meals that serve the vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian preferences of our community. Choices are provided to fit these criteria at every restaurant.
During the season, the chefs are constantly evaluating the cuisine at each restaurant, selecting new dishes from the summer review, and searching for ways to enhance their menus.
Recently, Chef Betania Salles, the Chef de Cuisine of Gianni’s, has added a weekly menu that features a cheese and salami plate, a flatbread, a salad, pasta or ravioli selections, and a special fish dish. This “Chef Betania’s Table” is in addition to the existing menu, but gives Members the chance to try something a bit different.
At the Islander, Chef de Cuisine Kareem Anguin features a daily menu that includes a selection of oysters and fish prepared four different ways, and a lengthy list of specialties along with classic offerings and an extensive list of sushi. The “Fish Box” never ceases to amaze me with all of its delectable choices.
CH Prime with Chef Shelby Confer and team created an impressive menu before their new opening, but look for more innovative touches to the menu throughout the season.
This changing menu concept continues at the Raw Bar with daily specials, the 19th Hole where you can choose a special soup, salad, or the “Chef’s Choice” from Chef Sue and Chef Raul, the Burgee Bar where the menu changes three times a year, and the Reef Lounge where a new collection of lovely little plates beckon to us.
Our chefs are inspired to create new dishes and menus that add to our unique dining opportunities throughout The Reef all year round. However, this is the perfect time to try a new preparation or specialty at any of our restaurants. You might discover a new favorite.