Edible Art – Meet Chef Dickson

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Napa-native Richard Dickson has a passion for food. And he wants to share what he describes as a performing art with the members at Woodbridge Golf & Country Club.

“What I’m looking to do is bringing things up a level,” the Club’s new Executive Chef said. “The Club will be a memorable place to dine, and give members bragging rights that they have a Club with great food.”

Chef Dickson — a winner of the People’s Choice Chef of the Year at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival and the American Tasting Institute National Culinary Award — is excited to be back in a wine region again, and is looking forward to infusing Lodi’s farm produce into his menus as well.

“I’m a seasonal guy. Whatever is in season, I’m drawn to that, kind of like the farm-to-fork movement,” he said. “That’s what’s great about Lodi — there’s a lot of farms here.”

Executive Chef Dickson’s management experience runs the entire spectrum of hospitality food services. His most-recent position was overseeing the food operations at Mount Hood and Good Samaritan Hospitals in Portland. OR. Chef Dickson has extensive private club experience, specifically at Crow Canyon Country Club, Mountain Falls Golf Club and the Dayton Racquet Club. He also has hotel and resort experience at the Millennium Hotel, the Lake Merritt Hotel and the Napa Valley Marriot Resort.

“A country club is similar to a hotel in that the thinking is you have built-in customers. At a restuarant, all you are doing is selling your food. At a club, you have all the other amenities, including golf, tennis and swim. Food is just one of them. All of the amenities should help sell memberships and keep members happy.”

One of the challenges to creating menus at a country club can be the wide array of ages, taste demographics and preferences of the membership. But the Chef encourages diners to step out of their regular routine and try something new.

“If I go a restaurant, I rarely order beef or chicken. My eye always goes to the fish. And I never order the same thing twice,” he said. “I’m out for an experience, and I think dining is an experience. It’s a performing art.”

Chef Richardson’s first performance can now be seen exclusively at Woodbridge with his new “Springtime in Paris” French-infused dinner menu. His creations include plates such as chicken liver pate, bouillabaisse, halibut nantua and braised lamb shank.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “We are going to have lots of cool, interesting things coming up.”

We can’t wait to sample them all, Chef!

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