Welcome to the “Trilogy’s Top Chefs” series on the Trilogy Life Blog, through which we’ll highlight some of the incredibly talented chefs leading the culinary teams at the Trilogy communities. Our first article in this series featured Chef Randy Lutz of Trilogy at The Vineyards; the second article featured Chef Charles Weber of Trilogy at Monarch Dunes; the third article in the Top Chefs series featured Chef Nathaniel Cooper of Trilogy at Tehaleh; and the most recent article featured Chef Scot Bilstad of Trilogy at Lake Frederick.
In this fifth issue, we’ll get to know Chef Bob Luckhart, Executive Chef of The Grille at Trilogy Orlando in Florida.
Chef Bob is originally from Western Pennsylvania, where he started in the food industry as a humble pizza delivery driver. He quickly realized that he wanted to make the move into the kitchen, so took a job cooking and prepping before deciding to go to culinary school to hone his craft. Chef graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993, then worked in the kitchens of Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. He has since led the kitchens of numerous restaurants in Florida. Chef Bob’s last position before joining the team at Trilogy was Executive Chef of the Westin Hotel in Lake Mary, Florida. When he’s not preparing fabulous food, he enjoys the great outdoors, hiking, shooting, and spending time with his five very mischievous dogs.
Get to know more about Chef Bob Luckhart through our “Ten Questions for the Chef” segment, below.
1.) When did you first discover your passion for food?
I’ve had a passion for food from a very young age. Growing up, I did a lot of cooking with my mother, and also spent lots of time with my grandmother in her kitchen.
2.) How would you describe your cooking style or your culinary point of view?
I prefer creating homestyle, rustic dishes. Every culture has its own take on “peasant food,” and I enjoy exploring all of these hearty dishes. They are often made from just a few ingredients, and are simple, filling, and delicious.
3.) Which chef has most inspired/influenced you during your career?
Truthfully, I can’t pinpoint one particular person who has influenced me more than others in my career. I’ve learned countless things, both good and bad, from so many different chefs and cooks over the years. As far as “celebrity chefs,” I really don’t pay much attention to them.
4.) What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
Without a doubt, my favorite ingredient is meat – especially anything that can be braised, like shortribs.
5.) What is your favorite tool or piece of equipment in your kitchen?
I’d have to say that the one tool I can’t work without is my $30 Forschner serrated bread knife. It’s essential in my kitchen, as I use it for so many different things.
6.) What is your favorite meal to prepare when you’re not at work?
My favorite meal to make at home is roasted chicken, usually with mashed potatoes and broccoli. For me, this is the best kind of comfort food.
7.) Since many of our Trilogy Members love to pair wine with their favorite meals, what are your favorite wines to enjoy with dinner?
I’m not a drinker, so I’m going to have to pass on this one. (But visit our other Trilogy’s Top Chefsinterviews for some wine/food pairing inspirations!)
8.) What is the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring home chefs who are nervous about stretching out of their cooking comfort zone?
The only way to discover new things in the kitchen is to try them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Grab the ingredients and try the recipe.
9.) What is your favorite event that you’ve hosted at Trilogy Orlando so far?
My favorite event so far at Trilogy Orlando was my first Chef Dinner. It featured dishes that reminded me of my childhood in my home state of Pennsylvania.
10.) Can you give us a teaser of some of the culinary events or programs that the Trilogy Orlando Members can look forward to in the coming months?
I’m looking forward to hosting Culinary Demos again in 2017, and I also hope to lead demonstrations on fabricating (aka, butchering) meat and fish. This is a helpful skill for the home chef to pick up. I also look forward to seeing Trilogy Orlando Members at our first Chef Dinner of the new year, which will feature rustic Italian dishes.
Thank you to Chef Bob Luckhart for sharing a bit about his kitchen and his culinary perspective!
Watch for the next article in the “Trilogy’s Top Chefs” series, which will be published later this season!