Cooking back at The Open with Chef Malcolm Emery

By poppy millett -

Malcolm Emery is no ordinary chef. With a glamorous career that includes catering the country’s most impressive venues and events; to drop a few names: Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, the Lord Mayor’s Banquet and Buckingham Palace’s Garden Parties. It is nevertheless his incredible length of service at The Open golf championship (a whopping 42 years!) which Malcolm credits as the most defining aspect of his working-life to date.

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Since his first Open in 1975, Malcolm has seen the competition change dramatically, witnessing its incredible growth first hand. One of the key challenges and pleasures in his preparation for The Open is the event’s annually changing location. Whilst other Sodexo hospitality events – such as Royal Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta – are held in the same location each year, The Open is a somewhat nomadic championship. Each location presents its own unique set of surprises, of which Malcom and his team have unfailingly overcome via working in temporary structures and managing the logistics of delivering supplies to the middle of a course.

Malcolm, most recently, was instrumental in overseeing the opening of The Champions Club restaurant. The Club includes roaming waiters offering a selection of pre-lunch canapés, chefs serving a variety of bistro style classics and savoury snacks from a central station and a quirky, centrepiece garden with large bar area. The experience allows guests to enjoy the luxuries of fine food and flexibility, as they are able to drop in at any time rather than having to book.

Planning is a crucial consideration at The Open, with 700 covers being served each day, innovation and quality are of paramount importance. A different menu is presented each day, including everything from a full Scottish breakfast to a five-course lunch and afternoon tea. The key to Malcolm’s success is his enthusiasm to discover new recipes, the best local fare and new ways of food preparation, a pursuit which involves participating in food innovation tours and study groups as well as working closely with his supply team.

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The last 42 years have seen The Open and its culinary offerings evolve in leaps and bounds. And one thing is certain; whether at this internationally renowned sporting event, or at any number of other beautiful venues, with Malcolm at the helm, the catering is sure to score a hole in one.

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