Chris O’Leary, former food and beverage manager with ClubCorp, and Gerry Fong, winner of the 2014 Season of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” have joined the State Club Restaurant at the Park Alumni Center at NC State.
O’Leary and Fong joined the State Club Restaurant to provide new leadership and expertise after management and operation of the space was transferred to Campus Enterprises to serve the needs of the State Club, a private dining club operation with more than 400 members. While dinner and special events at Park Alumni Center remain exclusive to State Club members, the State Club restaurant is now open to the public for lunch Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meeting and event spaces within the Park Alumni Center can now be rented without a membership.
“We are excited to have Chris O’Leary join our team as General Manager to help us provide the highest level of guest services at the State Club. Executive Chef Gerry Fong, well known for his exciting approach to culinary innovation, will lead the kitchen team for the restaurant and catering production for business meetings, weddings, and alumni social events,” said Dr. Dan Adams, associate vice chancellor for Campus Enterprises, NC State’s lead division for retail and hospitality.
O’Leary most recently served as food and beverage director of the Cardinal Club, then Devil’s Ridge Golf Club through his employment with ClubCorps. He began his career in the club industry working as a sous chef for Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, CT, moving to Boca Raton, Florida in 2003 as chef de cuisine for the Clubroom Restaurant at the Boca Raton Resort and Beach Club. After a stint in the senior living industry, he served as banquet manager for Prestonwood Country Club from 2007 to 2010 before joining ClubCorp.
“It is a real honor to join NC State as the general manager of the State Club Restaurant. I am looking forward to working with a very talented chef in Gerry Fong, and a seasoned food and beverage team to surpass all of our members and guests expectations.” said O’Leary.
Fong is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He grew up in the restaurant business, working alongside his parents in their three Chinese restaurants in Laurinburg, N.C. Having apprenticed at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA and other fine establishments, Fong settled in the New Bern area where he has worked in a variety of settings including The Flame Catering Company and Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant. He was voted one of the top 100 chefs in North Carolina in 2014 and was the winner of the Fire in the Triangle – Competition Dining 2013 statewide event. He became well known for his success as the last chef standing on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” in 2014, winning the event with a homemade key lime pie.
“I came to the State Club to work with a fantastic group of chefs. They also use an abundance of local products, which is important to me,” said Fong. “We are taking a fresh approach with familiar products added to new concepts bring the highest level of exciting food to the NC State campus.”
Campus Enterprises is the lead division for retail and hospitality at NC State University. For more information, visit campusenterprises.ncsu.edu