Kevin McDonough: Quechee Club Food and Beverage
Fresh from Butler, Pennsylvania, at the age of 22, Kevin McDonough arrived in God’s country, Vermont. A year later, he joined the staff of the Quechee Club in 2012.
Butler is a steel town, and as McDonough explains is the birthplace of the Jeep. “Thousands of Jeep owners with their Jeeps gather every year—it’s quite an event,” says McDonough with a semi-serious smile. This year he estimates that the parade of Jeeps through town was close to 7 miles long.
From Butler to Quechee
His brother, Jay, prompted his move to the Upper Valley. McDonough had just finished his degree in Business Administration at Butler County Community College, and came to visit his brother who was working for the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department. “I never left,” he says.
His first job in Vermont was with the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department as a camp counselor/coach. On weekends, he worked at the Quechee Club in Food and Beverage, which was his first job in food service, but not his first experience working with food. He loves to cook, and finds it more fun than baking. When he was young, every Christmas he helped his mom bake 1,200 cookies to share with family, friends and neighbors.
A “go to” resource
Under the leadership of Ross Jones, the Food and Beverage director at the Quechee Club, McDonough does just about everything, and whatever is needed. Bartending at Davidson’s and the Deck Bar, serving in the dining room and managing Murphy’s Tavern in the winter are some of the duties he performs with energy, consideration, and a smile. Club member Mark Benson, on a too-cold-to-play-golf day, stopped at the Deck, and had this to say about McDonough, “He’s hard-working, reliable, and has a terrific attitude. He’s great to me as the customer.”
What does McDonough like about working at the Club? He says that no day, is the same and he keeps on learning. “That’s what I like.” Especially experimenting with different cocktails. His laboratory is at home in Bradford, Vermont, where he lives with his fiancée, Amanda. There he can try new combinations to bring to the more adventurous at The Quechee Club. McDonough notes that the majority of patrons order traditional cocktails, wine, and draft beer. If you find yourself at the bar, for a change of pace, ask him for his cocktail suggestions.
This past summer with the new pool open for swimming, members and guests soaked up not only the joys of the new pools, but the addition of delectable dining choices and alcoholic beverages poolside at the Snack Shack. Lobster rolls, Paninis, even shrimp cocktail went over well, according to McDonough.
Après Ski parties in the winter in the Deck Bar area are another food and beverage option for people coming to the Club. With such a “bad” winter last year for snow and skiing, the Après Ski parties were well attended according to McDonough. Changes such as locating the buffet farther from the bar to give more room for children to play, and re-positioning the band, also farther from the bar, made it “more adult friendly while providing a venue where kids can have fun, too,” he says.
It’s not all work
McDonough and Amanda are planning their wedding for June of 2017 in Connecticut. A former ski racer, Amanda had been commuting from her job at Garnet Hill in Franconia, New Hampshire, but has recently started her own design business.
Both like to ski as their work and other commitments allow. McDonough learned to ski and golf when he moved to the Upper Valley. He gets to golf once a week, “if he’s lucky.”
Come visit McDonough at Murphy’s Tavern in December when it’s open on Friday nights only. During the holidays, and all through the winter, the tavern will be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.