Although I'm most in my element in the kitchen, I'm no stranger to the game of golf. My grandfather taught me to play when I was three, and I have an uncle who is a teaching pro. Growing up I was on the course at least once or twice a week, but these days I'm lucky to get out once a month. I don't belong to a club anymore—I just know a lot of golf pros. I like to play and they like to eat. It's a good deal.
One of my most memorable recent rounds was at Osprey Meadows at the Tamarack Resort. It's a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design in southern Idaho that opened a few years ago. I was so impressed by the setting and layout that right away it became my favorite course. The first time I played it was on a stunning late-summer day, right after it opened. What struck me most was how the architects really took the landscape into consideration. I love the way the terrain changes from the meadow on the front nine to mountains on the back.
The course is also fun to play. I like a layout that challenges your iron game hitting into the greens. Osprey Meadows does just that, leaving lots of room for imaginative shots. This is something golf and cooking have in common—both crafts demand creativity. In fact, it's interesting how many chefs love the game. I've played with Tom Colicchio and Bobby Flay and in a few celebrity-chef pro-ams. Sometimes you need to get away from the stove, and one of the best places to do that is on a course like the one at Tamarack.