Clubhouse Cuisine: Spotlight on Our Executive Chefs

Kirk Fiore, The Cliffs at Walnut Cove

The wholehearted passion amongst the culinary teams at The Cliffs is aplenty. To these individuals, the kitchen is not just a job but a familiar memory-provoking calling. These chefs have inspired menus, bringing satisfaction to the appetite of members with not only meals but also an enriching experience. We had the opportunity to sit down with the communities’ seven Executive Chefs to find out what led them to our clubs. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in culinary arts?

Being raised in a large Italian family, preparing food as well as serving family and guests has always been extremely satisfying and rewarding for me. I began working in a commercial kitchen as a dishwasher and short-order cook at a family-owned seafood restaurant outside Boston at seventeen. I was immediately hooked on–not only–the pace and adrenaline rush of the kitchen but also the diverse backgrounds of people the industry attracts. Fast forward thirty-five years, not much has changed; I still love the rush before a busy night of service, the team I enjoy working with, and the guests we serve.

How do you approach creating new dishes or menus that cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of the club’s members? 

We want our members to feel like they are eating meals they would like to make and enjoy at home by offering a menu that we call “thoughtfully refined home cooking.” We maintain an approachable but diverse menu while giving the members an elevated experience through our weekly features, wine dinners, special occasion menus, and holiday menus.

Do you have a favorite dish to cook? What makes it your favorite–familiarity, tradition, new and exciting, or simply your favorite thing to eat?

The food or dishes I enjoy cooking the most are with fish. There are countless varieties of fish, so it offers the most diverse flavor and texture profiles, much more than beef, pork, and chicken, for example. It also offers a lot of familiarity for me, having been raised on the coast, although I may be a little biased.

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite foods or cuisines to cook or explore?

Having been around Italian cuisine growing up and trained in French cuisine, I usually lean heavily into these for inspiration for the dishes I prepare. That being said, I am always interested in learning about other cultures’ cuisines; you can never stop learning. You could live several lifetimes and probably never scratch the surface of the global culinary craft.


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