Now here’s a way to make golf palatable even to those who just don’t get it. The upcoming PGA Championship has inspired a creative frenzy in a few select world-class chefs. To give them a chance to channel their culinary powers, PGA of America and Bon Appetit have teamed up for the “Champions of the Course” program, which includes tips from the pros along with special original recipes inspired by the holes and layout of Whistling Straits. Be warned, anyone who reads this article might develop an embarrassing Pavlovian response to merely being within proximity of the famous course.
1. Crab Ravigote, inspired by Hole No. 1 – Outward Bound
The very first hole in Whistling Straits is a par-4 hole whose surrounding deep bunkers make accuracy an absolute must. To celebrate new beginnings, John Besh put together a dish whose name literally means “refresh”. Crabmeat is seasoned with a tangy dressing made of lemon juice, vinegar and tabasco, making for the perfect mouthful to cleanse the palate after completing a thirsty round. Who needs lemonade, anyway?
2. Fresh Oysters “On The Rocks”, inspired by Hole No. 8 – On The Rocks
Hole No. 8 is another par-4 hole flanked by deep bunkers and a picturesque series of rocky cliffs, hence its moniker. Mike Lata makes a veritable cocktail out of an oyster, serving it atop crushed ice, filling its shell with white wine, vinegar, garlic and pepper and seasoning it with dill pickle mignonette. Its ideal an accompaniment is an actual cocktail that should, in keeping with the theme, be served on the rocks too. The concoction Lata had in mind is a Radler, which is equal parts Pilsner and lemonade.
3. Buttermilk biscuits, inspired by Hole No. 12 – Pop Up
Finally, something hefty to sit in the stomach for a while. Like the hole that inspired them, a short par-3 whose surrounding greens make it necessary to pop one’s shot onto the green, buttermilk biscuits are known to rise to about three inches in height when prepared properly. Like scones, they are best enjoyed fresh from the oven with jam and honey.
4. Mini chicken meatballs with herb salad, inspired by Hole No. 16 – Endless Bite
Endless Bite is a hole that requires a significant amount of finesse to score. A par-5 hole, it is flanked by a large body of water to its left and by sand beside the fairway. Perhaps when your ball is swallowed up by one of these obstacles, you feel the Endless Bite of loss. Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman try to soothe the sting with their grilled mini chicken meatballs. They are accompanied by a white bean salad whose many flavorful herbs are what provide the “endless bite” to this dish. Dress it all with apple cider vinaigrette and you’re good to go.