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Black Bear Society chefs

Clubhouse staff appreciation event sold out

By Barbara Schneider This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Photos by Jim Francis.

The Black Bear Society’s Bob Mackey and Greg Morris decided back before Christmas to host an event to show their appreciation for the more than 35 employees who work at the Big Canoe Clubhouse. Their idea was served hot on Monday, Feb. 4 when an all-property owner team of 25 volunteers cooked and served great food then cleaned-up; 12 Big Canoe musicians entertained with toe-tapping music during the day.

“This day was planned to thank our clubhouse staff—that just shows what Big Canoe is all about,” said Morris.

More than 235 Big Canoe property owners supported the event and treated the staff as honored guests. Big Canoe’s Executive Chef Hector Rosano, the primary consultant for the event, "managed all the purchases, shared his expertise and allowed us in his kitchen to prepare the barbeque,” according to a handout prepared for the event.

Vince Giordano, master chef and superior barbeque griller, said the menu included 90 chickens and 75 racks of ribs grilled on site as well as 100 pounds of chicken and sausage gumbo provided by Cajun chef extraordinaire Jeff Moreau and 50 pounds of boiled jumbo shrimp provided by Tom Craton of Tom’s Awesome Seafood. Five kegs of beer helped wash down all the great food.

“We started our cooking prep work on Super Bowl Sunday,” Giordano said.

On Monday the grills were fired up at 7 a.m. and it took five hours to cook all the ribs. One chef brought his red grill, another chef had a yellow grill but, said Giordano, “Foothills Church saved us. They donated their ‘monster’ grill for the day. We wouldn’t have made it without that monster.”

The musical groups included Veranda Rights with Kim Silverthorne, Brad Silverthorne, Art Shand and Doug Moore; Sock Monkey with Jim Murphy and Ellen Bennett with Steve Smeltz; Shand Band with Art Shand, John Grundhoefer, Bob Newell and Steve Smeltz; other performers included Deborah Osgood, Shiraz Alikhan, Frank Lozano, “Mobile” Holmes and Alton Rodgers.

Special thanks go to Steve Melching, who coordinated all the volunteers, and to all the musicians, who generously donated all their tips from playing thoughout the day to the event.

Scenes from the clubhouse staff appreciation party

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General Manager Jill Philmon greets Amber Ray, one of the clubhouse staff enjoying the appreciation event.

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