Our Interim Culinary Team

Robert Saalfeld




Chef Robert is a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and has many continued successes as an Executive Chef at private clubs. He trained through a Certified Program before spending his summers studying at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Continuing Education Programs.  He is an accomplished ice carver competing for more than 10 years.  His most recent clubs include Riverhills Country Club (TX), Pelican Isle Yacht Club (FL), and Naples Lakes Country Club (FL). Chef Robert is a teacher and trainer at heart and loves to develop young talent.  He has extensive experience building and training culinary teams.  Chef Robert has completed an Interim Executive Chef assignment at The Woodlands Club (ME), Interim Executive Chef at Country Club of Jackson (MS) home of the PGA TOUR's Sanderson Farms Golf Tournament for many years, and The Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter, Florida.

Bill Ballard




Chef William “Bill” Ballard studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  He is a Certified Executive Chef and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation.  He is a progressive Chef with broad-based experience in education, competition, and ice carving.  He has an in-depth comprehension of the private club industry and has worked for over 30 years in private clubs from Boca Raton, Florida to Bend, Oregon.  He has completed many interim executive chef assignments with Club Advisors over the past six years with tremendous success. He most recently completed assignments as Interim Executive Chef at The Club at Castlewood, Pleasanton, California, and Fairlawn Country Club in Akron, Ohio.  Chef Bill's recent assignments include the Snowmass Club in Snowmass Village, Colorado, and a 3-Peat at The Club at Castlewood in Pleasanton, California. Chef Bill is currently on assignment at Lajitas Golf Resort in West Texas.

Stephen Plunkett

F&B Professional



Stephen is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park). He began his hospitality career as Chef, Executive Sou Chef, and Executive Chef with Hyatt Hotels before joining Dave Seidl's Executive Team for American Golf Country Clubs as Food and Beverage Advisor. He was GM/COO of the finest Italian Restaurant and Wedding Venue in Scottsdale, Sassi Ristorante, for 18 years before joining the F&B Operations Team of Troon Golf Prive. Stephen also owns Sport Clips stores in Scottsdale. Stephen recently completed an assignment assisting Forest Creek Golf Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  Stephen recently completed an assignment at the Sunrise Club in Rancho Mirage, California, and Debell Golf Club in Burbank, California.

Jonathan York

Executive Chef



Chef Jonathan York is a well-respected chef and leader who has spent many years directing culinary teams at the platinum club level. He has had the privilege of serving as executive chef at The Country Club of Virginia, Belle Meade Country Club, and The Mountain Brook Club. He has distinguished himself as an excellent leader and exceptional team builder. His simple motto of “find what our members want and give it to them” remains a vision in all the clubs he has worked. Chef York has mentored and trained many of today’s top culinarians in the private club world. He volunteers his time with "Some Others Might Eat" (SOME), a robust feed-the-hungry program in Central Mexico. Chef York has extensive PGA Tournament experience including assisting in the US Senior Open and the US Open at Pinehurst as well as organizing three consecutive PGA Tournaments at The Country Club of Virginia.  Chef Jon is readying for his assignment at Forest Creek Golf Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina on May 1, 2023.

Joel Corwin

Executive Chef



Chef Joel's experience includes over 30 years of culinary operations in country clubs, hotels, and upscale restaurants.  He is a two-time Club Chefs of America exchange winner, winning top honors back-to-back for wild game as well as salad competitions.  Chef Joel's leadership in various clubs includes Evanston Golf Club, St. Charles Country Club, Kenosha Country Club, and Bull Valley Golf Club. His recent interim Executive Chef assignments with Club Advisors include Skaneateles Country Club (New York), The Fountaingrove Club (California), The Lookout Mountain Club (Georgia), Mt. Hawley Country Club (Illinois) and The Woodlands Club (Maine), and The Club at Ocala Preserve in Ocala, Florida. He recently completed an assignment as Executive Chef at the Country Club of Paducah, Kentucky, Chef Joel recently completed an assignment at the  Northampton Country Club in Easton, PA, Interim Executive Chef at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown, Iowa, and is currently back at the Country Club of Paducah.

Marshall Violante




Chef Marshall is a Certified Executive Chef and a member of the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. His experience as the club Executive Chef started with the Glen View Club, Village of Golf, Illinois, which is a Platinum Level Country Club. He went on to be the Executive Chef at Saddle & Cycle Club of Chicago for six years before relocating to Memphis. Chef Marshall takes considerable pride in orchestrating a high-performance kitchen and increasing member participation in dining through the preparation of creative, memorable cuisine. He is a master of kitchen design to ensure maximum efficiencies and stress-free production. Chef Marshall is a collaborator that values the contributions of everyone on the team.  Chef Marshall recently completed an assignment at The Lookaway Golf Club in eastern Pennsylvania as Interim Executive Chef.

Travis Smith




Chef Travis was recognized as the Apprentice of the Year upon graduating from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Apprenticeship in 1989. His Certifications include Certified Executive Chef (ACF), Certified Executive Sommelier (Intl Wine Guild), Pro Chef Level III from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), a Fellow in the American Academy of Chefs, and the winner of six gold and three silver medals in Culinary Olympics and World Cup competition.  Travis has been the Executive Chef of many top US resorts to include Vail and Breckenridge. He is an accomplished professor and director of culinary programs at The Art Institute of Colorado, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Wyoming. Chef Travis has earned an MBA from the University of Denver and a BS in Hospitality Management at Sullivan University. He is the Founder, Executive Chef, and Sommelier of Bistro Colorado, Inc., which he founded in 2012. Chef Travis recently completed an assignment at The Amarillo Country Club in Amarillo, Texas, and most recently completed an assignment at The Club at 3 Creek in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Pall Gudmundsson

Certified Master Chef



Chef Pall grew up in Iceland and began cooking aboard a merchant marine fleet at the age of 15.  He attended the Culinary Institute of Iceland four years and upon graduation, went on to study under the great European Master Chef, Hilmar Jonsson, earning his certification as a Certified Master Chef three years later.  He came to the United States at the age of 32, arriving at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in beautiful Carmel, California.  In addition to many years of serving members in private clubs in the USA as Executive Chef, Chef Pall has also spent 12 years as F&B Director/Executive Chef at Resorts in California and Nevada. Chef Pall recently completed an assignment at Shawnee Country Club in Lima, Ohio, with professional development training for the culinary staff.  Chef Pall recently completed an assignment as Interim Executive Chef at the Stamford Yacht Club in Stamford, Connecticut.

Interim Executive Chef Brochure - Small [...]
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Detail Resumes Available Upon Request at ExecutiveChef@ClubAdvisors.com

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