VERO BEACH, FL – The Beach Club at Grand Harbor has been elevated immensely within the last couple of years. From the newly renovated Shell Dining Room, lounge chairs, and sense of arrival, the Club has seen many changes just recently. But one of the most drastic changes to the Club isn’t the appearance – it’s the food.
Rico Hosena, the Beach Club’s Executive Chef, describes his style as “classic with a twist” adding items to the menu like buffalo brussels sprouts, miso glazed salmon and vegetable ravioli. The repetitiveness of eating the same meals is monotonous to Rico.
He isn’t nervous about breaking the barriers and trying something new. When he first began working at Grand Harbor, he tried to learn the members and figure out what they might like to see on the menu. “This is how I created Chef Rico’s Pre-Fixe Menu. I like to do surf and turf, so there’s a variety,” said Rico. His favorite thing on the menu – the short ribs and scallops. He preps the short ribs on Mondays when there are not many people in the kitchen, spending four to five hours just focusing on dinner for the special evening on the following day. The short ribs are slow cooked for two hours.
A Seafood Lover’s Paradise
Moving onto the “surf”, fresh seafood is at the core of the Beach Club’s dining elements. “We order seafood every day. It’s all fresh and local,” said Rico. A favorite among our members is the poke bowl, served at both lunch and dinner and comes with three options for seafood – tuna, salmon, and crab.
At the Grand Opening of the Shell Dining Room, Rico created a stunning sushi presentation with two large sushi boats and a wide variety of sushi rolls for members to enjoy. By the end of the evening, every last bit of sushi had been scavenged. Sushi was a hit and will continue to expand as a food offering once the Shell Dining Room’s current bar will be transformed into a Sushi and Raw Bar station.
Working to Get to the Top
Chef Rico Hosena has been in the kitchen since 1989, working and training with chefs from all over the world. He started working for the five-star luxury resort, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. This is where Rico learned to be versatile in all food and beverage operations, starting as a cook and then learning the ropes as a waiter and guest services professional.
“I like to take the best things that I’ve learned over time and use them where I work. From keeping the kitchen as clean as possible, to not being afraid to try new things,” said Rico. “I like seeing people satisfied.”
In 2007, Rico came to America in an H2B program where he met Michael Gibson, General Manager of Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club, working at Old Marsh Golf Club at the time. Every six months, he would travel north and work at other restaurants and Clubs including Kiawah Island, Mountain Air Country Club and Martha’s Vineyard. In April 2021, Rico had the opportunity to join Michael again when he was offered the position as Executive Chef of the Beach Club.
“I’ve been supporting a lot of sous-chefs in the kitchen, because that was my job,” said Rico. “I think it’s about time to prove that I can do it. I was challenged in the past. When I moved here, I promised Michael that I was going to change this place and bring it to the next level and don’t care what it takes. I’m going to change this place.“
One Team, One Dream
Rico’s focus was to provide top-notch restaurant food, and step away from your typical country club offerings. He has a team of nine people, including four H2Bs to make this dream of having the best restaurant in Vero Beach a reality.
Speaking of team, it seems likely that Rico’s even temperament and understanding of roles was a key aspect of why his teammates appreciate his company and may even see him as a role model. “Always respect the people that work with you. I’m not strict, but I tell my team that your job is your responsibility,” said Rico.
Rico and his team have created a Beach Club dining experience like no other on the Treasure Coast. Members now have a sense of excitement and delight, transporting them to paradise with the food and tropical atmosphere at the beach. This is just the beginning for Rico and the Beach Club. I think it’s safe to say that his promise of changing the Beach Club has come to reality and will continue to reach even greater heights in the near future. The ultimate goal is to be the best restaurant in Vero Beach. The best is yet to come for Rico and the Grand Harbor Beach Club experience.
Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club is an exclusive club located in tropical Vero Beach, Florida, and welcomes members, inside or outside the gates, to experience a lifestyle like no other. Whether a passion for golf, tennis or simply enjoying a sensational social atmosphere, membership to the Grand Harbor Golf and Beach Club truly elevates one’s quality of life.
To learn more about Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club, visit www.grandharbor.com.
For questions, please contact:
Kathryn Redner, Director of Marketing of Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club