The Chef's Corner

by Jamie Waggoner

 Jan 17, 2019 at 6:03 PM

Five Questions for Dennis Freeland, Certified Executive Chef at Raleigh Country Club

Finding five minutes to ask Chef five questions is no easy task. With nearly four decades under his belt – the last 11 years at Raleigh Country Club – he is quite content with the hustle and bustle the job demands. He says of his occupation, “I truly enjoy what I do.”

Jamie Waggoner: When did you first start cooking professionally?

Dennis Freeland: I first started cooking after high school at a restaurant called McCarthy’s in Chapel Hill. One day the omelet cook didn't come in, so I came to the rescue. I'd never made an omelet in my life, but I said "yes.” In a couple weeks I had moved to lead line cook.  

JW: Take me through the different work environments you’ve experienced and how they benefited your career.

DF: I worked under some really great chefs at Washington Duke Club and Carolina Club in Chapel Hill. After, I attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1996. Being able to have real-world experience before culinary school was very beneficial. I got a lot out of my education because I understood why we were learning the things we were learning.

JW: How have you seen the industry change during your tenure?

DF: While I was in school there was a big change of thinking. Working in the kitchen used to be closely tied to traditional methods. In the 90s there was a “changing of the guard” where new ideas and methods became welcome. It was nice to be in the middle; I have respect for the old methods and appreciate the new.

JW: What is your favorite thing about working at RCC?

DF: I enjoy the member atmosphere, and seeing familiar faces. I’ve always felt that you need to be a servant at heart to thrive in this business. We have an awesome team of chefs at McConnell Golf, and the comradery is great. We love coming together for the “blood, sweat and tears” of putting on the Wyndham Championship and having a team of chefs to help each other out with special events throughout the year. and new ideas is an awesome resource.

JW: What is your favorite dish to prepare?

DF: A new one! One of the joys of the private club business is that I don't get tied into one type of cuisine. I like being able to choose and invent. I grew up a Southern boy so of course local, fresh Carolina cuisine is close to my heart.  

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January Cookie of the Month

by Jamie Waggoner

 Jan 01, 2019 at 5:32 PM

Oatmeal Cranberry Apple Cookies
By Cedric Hendricks, Line Cook, Raleigh Country Club

These cookies remind me of my travels to Atlanta, Georgia. At a hotel where I stayed, these tasty treats were offered as free samples to the guests. I loved them so much I wanted to recreate the recipe and spread the same delight to others. Sometimes it’s the little things we remember the most. I hope that this recipe will make some special memories for you and your family as they have done mine.

Fun Facts About Cedric: 

  • Length of Service at RCC: Three years
  • Hometown: Henderson, NC
  • Favorite Menu Item: Crispy softshell crab on toasted brioche bun with arugula, pancetta, sliced tomato and tarragon caper remoulade
  • One thing someone might not know about me: I like Japanese anime
  • One thing I love about my job: The ability to be creative


1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3 cups Quick Oats
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
1 ½ cups dried Cranberries
1 cup Butter, softened
1 ½ cups small, diced Apples
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Pecans, toasted
½ cup Sugar

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all dry ingredients. Cream the butter and sugars together. Gradually, add eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until incorporated. Fold in oats, cranberries, apples, and pecans. If mixture appears too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water. Form 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes.

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