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Exclusive Dining: Membership Has Its Privileges

January 07, 2022

“I know almost all the members by name, and what their likes and dislikes are,” says Kenneth Young, Executive Chef at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks.

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Chef Young, who has been with Moorings Park for nearly six years, five of which were at Trio Restaurant at the Goodlett-Frank location, knows the ingredients that go into delivering such a tasteful experience, in more ways than one.

Prior to joining the Moorings Park Communities family, the distinguished chef spent six years working for Palm Island Resort. Originally from Rhode Island, he once operated as a chef in Newport and owned his very own restaurant in Narragansett. Additionally, his resume includes 15 years of culinary experience in Vail, Colorado working for some of the top resort operations in the world. In short, he’s seen almost every corner of the country.

Today, he serves some of the most remarkable meals to his guests at the three casual and fine dining restaurants at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks: Vynes Restaurant & Bar, SandWedge Bistro and The 105 Restaurant.

The Lucky Few

So, what makes the dining at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks one of the most exclusive experiences in the city? Well first, only members of Moorings Park Communities have access to these private restaurants. Not even the members of the Grey Oaks Country Club can enter these gems (while members of Moorings Park at Grey Oaks, as members of the Country Club, have access to all the Grey Oaks Country Club restaurants).

With refined tastes, the members enjoy an ever-changing culinary experience. “The menu currently has a full change every two weeks,” reports Young. “I have, right now, close to over 200 different menus that I’ve done.” That explains why, despite being just minutes from the renowned restaurants of 5th Avenue South, Moorings Park at Grey Oaks members continually choose to make the exclusive cuisine a part of their weekly routine.

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The ever-changing menu features delicious vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and health-conscious meals. Even Blue Zone entrees are an option. And that goes for all Moorings Park Community’s beloved dining locations.

Catering to every person and their needs is not only a priority but a pleasure that Chef Young and his 45-person staff take pride in. “I engineer the menus to be much healthier – to not just appease the people that want [something] health-conscious, but for everyone to make it a regular way of eating,” notes Young. He’s proud to say that he also works hard to buy 100 percent organic vegetables.

In the past, for example, Chef Young incorporated the beautifully unique fiddlehead fern into a dish. The curled, violin-shaped vegetable, as he describes it, is only available during the spring and was wild-caught, so he was happy to add it to his toolkit of ingredients.

Wondering what his personal favorite food is to whip up? A Southwest Florida staple, of course: seafood. Luckily, lobster tails happen to be a member favorite as well.

“The fresh seafood we get here is some of the best in the country. From Tripletail to Hogfish from The Keys. Fresh Black Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, American Red Snapper - it’s hard to beat!”

Chef Young’s job doesn’t solely take place in the kitchen. He finds great joy in learning and connecting with his guests face-to-face. He often ventures around his dining room to introduce himself to the guests, learning about their likes and dislikes, and what they wanted to see on the menu moving forward, bringing a new meaning to “personal chef.”

He notes how friendly his guests are, acknowledging that they’re almost like family years later. After all, he continues to speak to most tables on a nightly basis.

Good Food and Good Friends 

Indoor or outdoor dining? Depending on the season, the restaurants themselves cater to your preference with the inclusion of an outdoor dining patio. The tropical weather isn’t the only aspect to take advantage of; what’s a fascinating meal without some great company? Members of Moorings Park at Grey Oaks are welcome to invite friends and family to dine with them, where they will find elegant table settings and a fully stocked bar (not to mention the wine selection is nothing short of impressive.)

And, what’s fine dining without some delicious baked goods? Chef Young shares that all bread, pastries, and sweet treats are made from scratch and vary bi-weekly, just like the savory appetizers and entrees themselves. Whether you’re a chocolate devotee or a fruit fanatic, there’s always a mouthwatering dessert to tickle your tastebuds; options in the past have contained free-form peach tartelette and white chocolate raspberry crème brûlée.

Bon appétit!

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