Salem CC’s executive chef, Fred Yanosick, and general manager, Greg Cincotta, estimate that as many as 17,000 meals will be served to guests during Senior Open week. | Photo: Spenser Hasak
By BILL BROTHERTON
While Tom Watson, Gene Sauers, Fred Couples and other professional golfers are making birdies on Salem Country Club’s championship course June 26 – July 2, the club’s general manager, Greg Cincotta, and executive chef, Fred Yanosick, and their staffs, will be doing a thoroughly professional job taking care of guests behind the scenes.
“We will make sure everyone is taken care of,” said Cincotta. “Some 16,000 to 17,000 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and full bar service) will be served during the week inside and outside the clubhouse,” by a staff of 200 and many more volunteers. Lifeguards, pro shop staff and other SCC employees will be pressed into action as needed, he added.
More than 1900 guests per day, including golfers and their families, will be treated like royalty during the championship. That’s more guests in one week than they usually do in three months.
“This is a great opportunity for the staff,” said Cincotta. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will provide great memories for everyone. It’s a great staff and they’re raring to go.”
“The demands of the kitchen staff will be immense. The chef and sous-chef do yeoman’s work. They were here in 2001 and have some idea what to expect. They’ll be here at 4:30 a.m. getting things ready and leave at 8 p.m. each day, for a 7-to-10- day period,” added Cincotta, who was GM at Nashua Country Club in New Hampshire before arriving in Salem 11 years ago.
Food and beverage service will be provided from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for players, their families, USGA officials and VIPs.
Cincotta added that Clubhouse Manager Bill Crocker, Locker Room Manager Gene Zorzonello and Bar Manager Scott Rainey and their staffs are well prepared to take care of guests.
Prom Levy will provide on-course catering in hospitality tents on holes 9, 17 and 18.
The facility is much different than the players saw in 2001. Cincotta said improvements have been made to the dining room, men’s locker room, pro shop, patio, kitchen and much of the clubhouse inside and out. He can’t wait to show off the “new” Salem Country Club. Cincotta’s mom was GM at Nashawtuc for six years during the time the Senior PGA Tour held a tourney there.
Cincotta was not here in 2001, when Salem hosted its first Senior Open.
But executive chef Fred Yanosick and sous-chef Scott Hoffman were.
“2001 was an eye-opening experience, many more people than we were accustomed to serving,” said Yanosick, a Beverly resident. “We also learned how weather can affect best-laid plans, but everything went very well. I was very proud of everyone and the excellent job they did.”
You might recall that a violent thunder and lightning storm rolled through the North Shore on Saturday of the 2001 championship that left 14 players with incomplete rounds. Following completion of the third round at 7:57 a.m. Sunday, the final round began at 9:15 a.m. with players starting on the No.1 and No.10 tees, in groups of three, to finish ahead of another stretch of predicted bad weather.
The Sunday storm did not arrive until champion Bruce Fleisher was conducting his post-round news conference.
Yanosick said there is a New England theme to his meals, which will include lobster bisque, clam and fish chowder, haddock and that Saturday night favorite Pearl hotdogs and beans. “It’ll be the end of June, fresh berries and fruits should be plentiful,” he said. He said chefs from other clubs have offered to assist, and two students from “Essex Aggie” (Essex Technical High School) who have been working in his kitchen will be on hand.
“They are full of life and energy and a big plus,” he said. Yanosick expects Thursday and Friday to be the busiest days.
“Planning started the day after it was announced we were going to host the Senior Open,” said Cincotta. Bruno Event Team, led by Eddie Carbone, was hired to run the show.
“They’ve been a great partner,” said Cincotta. “And our members and the executive committee led by Bill Sheehan have been immense, as has the City of Peabody from Mayor (Edward) Bettencourt on down. They’ve been very helpful and positive.”