Blythefield Country Club Executive Chef Jeff Hiler’s special menu a hit with the 2015 LPGA Tour
GRAND RAPIDS – Blythefield Country Club Executive Chef Jeff Hiler realized cooking for the players in the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft was going to be a little different than the menu he puts together for club members and other events presented at the club.
Responding to the fact that a truly international golf field of golfers representing over 30 countries will play Thursday through Sunday in the $1.5 million LPGA Tour event at Blythefield, he started Monday with Kimchi on the menu. Sometimes spelled kimchee or gimchi, it is a fermented traditional Korean vegetables dish eaten throughout the day.
Hiler served it with breakfast and it was clear the players thought it was a big hit and responded in kind to Andy Bush of Octagon, the management company of the tournament this week.
“It’s breakfast of the year on Tour,” Bush told Blythefield’s Patti Butcher, the director of golf and club operations.
Hiler said he is attempting to vary the menu to fit the players and officials from the tour who will be dining at the club through the week.
“I did it for the event,” he said. “We found a standard recipe and it’s the first time I’ve made it. It went real well.”
Starting on Wednesday, the chef plans to add some Korean items to the regular player buffet.
“Basically, there will be a protein, Kimchi and then some sides like bean sprouts and spinach marinated in soy sauce for breakfast,” he said. “We will also offer some Korean style wings, calamari, things like that in addition to the regular items you would find on a buffet here.”
A host of players were out practicing Monday at Blythefield, and the truly international scope was revealed in only a few minutes of listening to the various languages spoken between caddies and players on the putting green.
“The LPGA Tour has incredible players from all over the world and Blythefield is proud to welcome them and make them feel at home from the facilities here to the dishes our Chef will be serving,” Butcher said.
Hiler is a Grand Rapids native and before coming to Blythefield in 2009 worked as Sous Chef at Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park, Fla., and also previously worked at Kent Country Club in Grand Rapids.
He had his father Tom of Grand Rapids out for visit on Monday to see the golfers and the food his staff was preparing.
“It is fun and a challenge to be part of this event,” he said. “It has gone well so far and hopefully we will continue to please the players and officials.”
The LPGA Tour is returning to Michigan for the first time since 2000 and the last of the Oldsmobile Classics played at Walnut Hills in East Lansing.
Blythefield is welcoming American major champions Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Mo Martin, as well as world No. 1 Stacy Lewis. The stellar field also includes Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Jessica Korda, Sweden’s Anna Nordgvist and Australian Karrie Webb, who are all two-time tournament winners so far in 2014, and Paula Creamer and Inbee Park of South Korea, who have single wins this season.
Three of the Spaniards who won the inaugural International Crown two weeks ago are in the field – Belen Mozo, Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari.
Former world No. 1s Cristie Kerr and Ai Miyazato of Japan will be at Blythefield, as well as Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Shanshan Feng of China.
The Golf Channel will broadcast the tournament from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day Thursday through Sunday.