The Wellington National Golf Club recently welcomed new executive chef Troy Sheller to its team of professional management. Sheller, who specializes in the American Gastro style, brings his passion for avant-garde cooking and restaurant operations to the recently opened country club in Wellington.
Sheller moved to Florida in 1999, after being raised in Traverse City, Mich. An only child and grandchild of a traditional Sicilian family, Sheller was raised in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, where he developed a passion for authentic cooking and bringing people closer together with food.
Sheller has since moved on from his classical Sicilian roots and now specializes in creating unique dishes that don’t immediately seem like they should be paired together.
“My passion is to watch people smile and get confused about what they are eating,” Sheller said laughingly.
Although not classically trained, Sheller still values traditional dishes as a way to help customers experience new and unique flavors. “I am known for taking classic recipes and putting a great twist on them, because I didn’t grow up with rules around food,” he said. “Anything that doesn’t make sense is what I usually cook.”
One of Sheller’s favorite signature dishes that he repeatedly gets asked to re-create is the crabmeat cheesecake. In his twist on old world meets new, Sheller combines a Maryland blue lump crab cake recipe with a traditional ricotta cheesecake recipe in a soufflé and garnishes the dish with rosemary crème fresh.
“It is something that is confusing to the palate, but also something that you just want to keep eating,” Sheller said.
The new Wellington National Golf Club offers full-service catering and event production headed by Aaron Menitoff and Julie Larson of Wellington Hospitality Group, formally known as Aaron’s Catering.
The golf and country club, which spans 250 acres on Binks Forest Drive, has recently undergone substantial renovations to its 18-hole course, as well as to the clubhouse’s wine bar, piazza and ballroom. The open architectural design is perfect for hosting large charity fundraisers, weddings and events, as well as serving the country club members daily.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason, and when Wellington National began discussing this position for me, I knew it was my time,” Sheller explained. “Aaron and Julie are such an inspiration for me. They inspire me to create meals that can fit with their extravagant and creative settings.”
Members who dine at the Wellington National Golf Club can look forward to a menu that relies on local ingredients and rotates frequently based on the season. Local ingredients sourced from businesses such as Swank Farms and Seminole Pride not only guarantee freshness, but also help to support local farms and business owners.
Sheller is joining an all-star team of experts, including Julie Pickens, previously of the International Polo Club Palm Beach and the Breakers Palm Beach, golf professional Brett Carman, and owners Chip Smith, Doug Marty and Andy Apple.
ABOVE: Troy Sheller