Staff Spotlight

October 2019: Donald Cathey, All Around Cook

For many dining establishments, it is the Executive Chef’s name and face that are most well-known. However, it takes an entire culinary team to create an overall dining experience. Cooks, dishwashers, servers, hosts, bussers and more are just some of the many critical human “cogs” in the culinary operation machine. Food quality, atmosphere and service standards are all contingent upon these individuals working together to exceed expectations. Here at Quail Lodge & Golf Club, we are fortunate to have the ongoing experience of Donald Cathey, All Around Cook, as part of our operation.

Donald began working at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in 1993, and over the past 26 years has helped establish exemplary food quality standards for our dining outlets and banquet events alike. While most of Donald’s contributions are done behind the scenes, for those who have the pleasure of interacting with him describe him as an efficient, expert multi-tasker, but most admirably, the embodiment of a team player. He will do whatever it takes to get the job done – often jumping in to assist other components of the operation such as bussing, washing dishes and even taking orders from guests if he needs to. Guest satisfaction is the utmost priority to Donald, and he will do whatever it takes to ensure that expectations are met.

Donald attributes his initial success to his mentor Chef Karl Beil of whom was the Executive Chef at Highlands Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea when Donald started his career in 1974. Beil instilled the belief that hard work and dedication equals success, which is a belief that Donald has continued to perpetuate throughout his career. This is why when he was asked if he could “Meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?” it was no surprise that Donald replied that it would be Bruce Lee because of his hard work and dedication.

So the next time you visit one of Quail Lodge’s dining outlets or hosted special event, even though you might not see Donald or the other amazing staff members that make the magic happen behind the scenes, please be sure to ask your server to thank the entire culinary team … as recognition for these amazing staff members are less prevalent yet equally important!