Photography Diana Delucia

Chef Rhy Waddngton

Carved into the hickory and sycamores in New York’s Westchester County is the Winged Foot Golf Club. This exclusive club is just a few kilometres outside Mamaroneck, a historic New York town famous for its skinny red clapboard houses. This leafy urban utopia is also considered to be among the top 10 most desirable places to live in New York. It is here where North-Eastern son Rhy Waddington is cooking for New York’s rich and famous. Having made a name for himself in High Country Victoria he has embraced the cornucopia of the US North Atlantic coast to create a cuisine that reflects his new home. He is now showcased in a newly launched coffee table cookbook Golf Kitchen, created by photographer and writer Diana Delucia. Several of Rhy’s signature dishes feature within the expansive Winged Foot chapter.

Rhy’s path to NY started in Beechworth, where he was head chef at The Bank restaurant in (naturally) a historic bank. In 2003 he moved back to the family farm in the stunningingly beautiful Kiewa Valley at Kergunyah to open a restaurant in an old barn in the garden, surrounded by 500-year-old box trees. Waddington’s at Kergunyah focused on paddock-to-plate dining, cooking food grown in the farm garden and orchard and beef raised in the pastures surrounding the restaurant. The venture received accolades from the industry and guests drove from Melbourne and Sydney to sample Rhys’s menu.

His move to the US started in California at Bondi Bar and Kitchen, located in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. Connections saw him move east to New York where his skill in understanding the provenance of ingredients proved to be a rare commodity in the States at that time. He has made a name for himself cooking at the Winged Foot Golf Club where one of his most popular dishes is Pine Needle Seared Foie Gras. It uses Hudson Valley foie gras, made in New York State, served with figs cooked in syrup and pine needles cooked in the oven with the fat from the foie gras. Another of his hallmark dishes is Hamachi (Japanese amberjack) cured with fennel, coriander and Meyer lemon zest served with pickled vegetables and curd.

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