It is a common misconception. Many South Sounders, including those who reside in University Place, believe that the Chambers Bay Golf Course is private. Since Chambers Bay was the venue for the 115th US Open in 2015 and because many PGA Tour golf courses are private, the assumption became more prevalent. Sam Mardis, the new chef at Chambers Bay Grill, hopes to dispel this misconception and let those in the Pacific Northwest know that not only is the Chambers Bay Grill open to the public, it is open year around. And, they also serve a pretty stellar breakfast, too.
Mardis began his culinary career at Seattle Colleges, where he received his associate’s degree, and then later his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. After a chance meet-up with James Beard Award-winning chef, Jason Wilson, Mardis was able to land a job at the Miller’s Guild steakhouse in Seattle. After a successful career there, Mardis pursued and found a place of his own. On March 8, 2017, he became chef at Chambers Bay.
Mardis had no intention of making any big waves when he first started. “As you go into any new kitchen,” Mardis explains, “people are reluctant to change. So you have got to go in and just feel everyone out and see what motivates them. For the first month, I just worked side by side with everyone, saw the food, and tasted it.”
After that it was essential to find a solid crew for the season. “The biggest thing was to show the crew what my vision is with the food and really try to energize the people who have been here that are willing to work, willing to play with food and willing to have fun with food. And that’s the main thing because, like with any job, if you’re not having fun doing it, then why are you doing it?” Once employed, Mardis has a unique take on training his staff. “As soon as I hire them, I try to train them to step in my shoes in case something terrible happens to me. I say, ‘Come here, so if I ever get hit by a bus, you know how to do this.’ The idea is for them to learn and see the vision of the food. I want them to know the tried and true flavors, seasonality, and not playing with it too much.”
Mardis’ vision seems to have paid off. Since his start date, he has been able to revamp the dinner menu, which has been met with very positive feedback. One of his favorites on the dinner menu is a throwback to his previous job at the Miller’s Guild steakhouse. “Here we were able to put a 21-ounce, 45-day, dry-aged Delmonico steak on the menu. It’s something that, if you’re a meat eater and you want to spend a few bucks, that’s something you want to order. It’s something that just melts in your mouth,” Mardis suggests.
On the lunch menu Mardis is proud of his take on the Caddie Club sandwich (ham, turkey, bacon, white cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, house mustard, and honey-bet aioli on toasted sourdough bread) and the tried and true cod ‘n’ chips. “It’s quick, easy, in and out kind of lunch, perfect especially for the golfers,” Mardis explains.
Chef Mardis also wants to stress that the Chambers Bay Grill is open every day for breakfast as well as a weekend brunch. Guests should anticipate a Corned Beef Hash like they have never had before as well as classic and Florentine Benedicts made from all fresh ingredients.
It is important to note that Mardis believes a menu should always be changing. During the winter months he plans to try to new things, keep what works, and cut out what does not. Chef Sam Mardis wants to dispel perhaps the biggest misconception of all regarding the Chambers Bay Grill. “It’s not a golf course with food,” clarifies Mardis. “It’s a restaurant with a golf course.”
For special events like wine pairings, beer dinners, and other fun, themed meals, be sure to check out the Chambers Bay Grill website. To make a reservation for the grill, click here or call 253-552-4868. For information about big events, such as weddings and large parties, contact Anthony Shipman via email or call 253-552-4867.
6320 Grandview Drive West
University Place, WA 98467
Open Monday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Happy Hour: 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.