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Cooking From The Heart

Chef Ishrath Mackie’s Culinary Methodology Includes Tasting, Trusting, and Teamwork – By Fanny Slater

I regularly get the privilege to sit down with highly experienced chefs and dig deep into their culinary roots. The best part? I have no idea what kind of personality will meet me on the other end of the line. Some are soft-spoken prodigies whose voices mostly come out through their food. Some are eccentric characters so immersed in the kitchen life that their first language is ingredients. And some are kind, heart-centered humans who—despite being globally-trained in both pastry and savory cuisine—are so humble and down-to-earth that when asked their favorite comfort food at the end of a long day, they readily answer with: “Hardee’s mushroom and Swiss burger!”

The flood of laughter that resulted from Chef Ishrath Mackie’s answer to my question came at the conclusion of our interview, and it summed up his light, loveable spirit in a way that I couldn’t have written better if I tried.

Chef Mackie joined the team at Savannah Lakes Village [SLV] in McCormick, SC, toward the end of last year. The member-owned sporting community is celebrated for its picturesque charm and extraordinary selection of outdoor recreation opportunities—from hiking to kayaking to a tennis program that boasts several big victories. But, it’s the arrival of a new chef that has all heads turned toward the club’s food and beverage program. Chef Mackie is an accomplished, award-winning culinary educator and Executive Chef whose decades of international experience in the resort and country club industry make him a shoe-in for the gig.

With an expert piloting the operation, the folks at Savannah Lakes are confident that shining a light on the now-fully capable dining scene will simultaneously up the club’s level of professionalism and service. They chose wisely, as Chef Mackie is a master of making food the main attraction. The scenic lakefront beauty and impressive golf courses have always been the story.

Now, the food is the story.

Chef Mackie’s guiding principles center around cooking from your heart, respecting your team members, and always, always tasting the food. A love for the culinary arts—passed onto him by his mother—is in his blood. He was, after all, preparing Indian-inspired fish stew solo at the ripe age of eight, while most kids were still learning how to tie their shoes. And though he’s only been with Savannah Lakes for about six months, he’s already got big plans to roll out everything from a Thai themed dinner event to a signature Monte Cristo burger named after the newly reimagined
Pub at Monticello’s, featuring homemade croissant cinnamon roll buns.

Yes, you read that right.
Read on to peek inside the methodology of a well-seasoned chef who believes that patience, tasting, and teamwork in the kitchen are the blueprint for success.

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