Waterside at Cuscowilla
Article and Photos by Kathleen Walls
|Waterside Banquet Room
Nestled on the banks of Lake Oconee in Putnam County, Georgia,
Cuscowilla Golf Resort offers so much more than golf. There is
lodging, water fun and that oh-so-important item; great food. Their
Waterside Restaurant offers a fine variety of delectable edibles.
Under the watchful eye of their executive
chef, Gerald Schmidt, the Waterside is a gourmet's delight.
Naturally being on one of the best fishing lakes in Georgia, seafood
is a biggie on the menu .
The man-made lake designed to
generate power has a unique long, narrow shape that
produces noticeable water
current causing the fish to be more active and feed more
aggressively when water is moving through the dam.
Although the most common fish caught in the lake are not the ones
served. The seafood
selections range from Pecan Crusted Scottish Salmon and Panko Topped
Atlantic Trigger Fish to Pan Seared Diver Scallops Oscar and a
special crab cake. Of course you can find fantastic steaks like
filet mignon and ribeye and lots of other goodies.
I had the pleasure of dining
there on a recent Georgia Media Marketplace. We had a musical "Shuck
and Jive" event on the deck in front of the Waterside with raw
oysters and Steak Tatare.
The music of Pullin' Strings set the tone and it was a fun
event. Much of the food served at Waterside comes from local
farmers. In nearby Union
Point there is a farmer that raises Berkshire Hogs, those prized
black hogs. He finishes them
six weeks on chestnuts. Chef
Schmidt cooks these hogs heads, taking
all the meat and the liquid from
it and then packing it into this triangular shape.
He calls it
Frontage de Tete and it is
Another local product he made good use of is quail served as Galatin
of Greensboro Quail. These birds come from
the worlds' largest producer
of quail. It's located in Greensboro. They maintain on-site
veterinarians to be sure that the hatchery,
growing houses, laying houses, and processing plant receive hands-on
care, providing the best conditions possible for the quail. They use
all natural feed for their
birds and no hormones or pesticides. It's this "farm to table"
attitude that make Waterside a great place to dine.
||Veal with Crab
cake, Grits & vegetables
the main course, he used a really unusual combination, a seared Lion
of Veal with Louisiana Crawfish and Low Country Crab. Paired with
Athens Georgia's own stone ground Red Mule Grits. The veal was a
dish he had once served to President Bush. As Chef Schmidt said, "He
wouldn't he. It was
trio of desserts were all wonderful
but the one item that stole the show was his White Chocolate and
Black Currant Bread Pudding. Out of this world!!!!
Chef Schmidt has had a
fantastic career and it gets even better. He graduated second in his
class form The Culinary Institute of America and a finalist for
executive White House chef under George W. Bush.
He was recently awarded Jeune Commis Medal of Merit for
commitment and mentoring young staff and the Silver Star of
Excellence for leadership dedication and commitment to the Lake
Oconee chain. In a career that included prestigious Stanhope Hotel
in New York, the Citrus Club in Orlando and Reynolds Plantation, he
has met and served many of the rich and famous including Jackie
Kennedy Onassis, Princiss Diana and every president since Johnson.
|Chef Schmidt prepares Steak Tatare
course the wine was perfectly paired with each course. Stratton
Lumm's Chardonnay then Vinas
3.Pinot Noir from Row Eleven in California and with the dessert
instead of wine we had a
Strawberry Mint Julep Shooter. What a way to end a meal!
Chef Schmidt is aided by a very competent
staff at Waterside; Craig Elwood,
Jason Harp and Jeffery Miller all make things flow smoothly at
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