Executive Chef | Winged Foot Golf Club
Drawn to the cooking world from an early age, Chef Rhy Waddington left school in his native Australia at age 15 to pursue his passion. Under the guidance of the North East Victoria region’s culinary giant, Noelle Quinn, he honed his skills at her restaurants, Mon Cheri and Zilleon.
Feeling the need to spread his wings, Chef Waddington then spent time in Northern Queensland and Melbourne, working in a variety of restaurants before accepting an offer to head the kitchen of the Bank Restaurant, not far from the area where he grew up.
Now back in his local area, Chef Waddington found he was drawn to his childhood home and property, where he was inspired to open his own restaurant, Waddington’s at Kergunyah. An early innovator of the farm- to-table philosophy, his menus there were abundant with ingredients from the surrounding family property. Waddington’s at Kergunyah was featured in numerous publications, including Alpine Style, Country Style, The Age Good Food Guide and Essentials Magazine.
Having reached success in Australia, Chef Waddington became sought-after to serve as Chef of the critically acclaimed Australian venue, Bondi Bar & Kitchen, in San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter. His innovative culinary creations for Bondi proved to be such a success that during his tenure there he was voted as one of the Top Five Chefs in Southern California at the San Diego Food and Wine Festival.
Chef Waddington was then hired to be Executive Sous Chef at the prestigious Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., where his talents were quickly recognized and he was awarded with a promotion to Executive Chef. At Winged Foot, he has implemented a modern approach on classic cuisine to wow the membership, and in 2020 he will be the host chef when the U.S. Open is held on Winged Foot’s famed West course.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Chef Waddington was honored with an invitation to cook at the famed James Beard House in New York City. He was then the lead chef consultant on the “Golf Kitchen” cookbook, which launched in 2016 at a Friends of the James Beard House event at Winged Foot. He has also had his writing featured in Golf Kitchen magazine, where he wrote about health and fitness and featured his relationship with the great Gary Player.
Chef Waddington is sharing his presentation time at the Charlotte Chef to Chef Conference with Rhonda Vetere because he credits a lot of his success to the strong mentorship that women have provided throughout his career. He believes it’s time for some real recognition of the increasingly important roles that women are taking on in the culinary and business worlds.