Napoleon is said to have coined the phrase, “An Army Marches on its Stomach.’’

The same can be said of luxury golf resorts. A world class food and beverage operation is the heart and soul of any resort. PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, FL., is proof. The resort over the past three years has elevated beyond being just one of the Southeast’s top golf resorts and into a destination that attracts foodies of all palates.

It actually all began in 2018 when the 2,000-acre resort was acquired by Brookfield Asset Management for a reported $218 million. From a golf and recreation perspective, PGA National was among the best in the Southeast. But the resort’s F&B outlets were tired and lacklaster, so a good part of Brookfield’s $100 million reimagination of PGA National focused on restaurants.

Enter Celebrity Chefs Jeremy Ford (the Butcher’s Club) and Lindsay Autry (Honeybelle). This past December, Sushi by  Boū, a popular, fast-growing Omakasce restaurant, joined the portfolio that also includes Birdie’s Diner near the report’s pro shop.

Chef Lindsay Autry (PGA National Resort)

Sure, other resorts in Palm Beach County and South Florida have more F&B outlets, but few are as well-rounded as the collection at PGA National Resort. Each eatery was front and center earlier this month at the PGA Tour’s Cognizant Classic on the resort’s fabled Champion Course designed by Jack Nicklaus. 

“We have to understand that while we are a golf resort, we also have families and other visitors,’’ said Ruwan Silva, the resort’s food and beverage director. “We need to share the dining experiences because of the talent that we have.’’

Indeed. Butcher’s Club, located on the lobby level of PGA National, is a classic American steakhouse, featuring cuts of Prime and Wagyu beef, as well as seafood (don’t pass on the Poached Maine Lobster), caviar and raw bar. Executive Chef Ford, a Bravo TV “Top Chef’’ winner (Season 13) originally made his mark in South Florida in 2014 when he served as executive chef at the Matador Room at the Miami Beach EDITION.  In 2017, Ford opened Stubborn Seed in Miami Beach, and continues to serve as executive chef and partner of the highly-acclaimed restaurant.

Chef Jeremy Ford (PGA National Resort)

“PGA National Resort is such an iconic property with a long history. Its reimagination was the perfect moment to elevate the experience, both in newly designed spaces, but also in the culinary offerings, without compromising quality,’’ said Ford, who opened Butcher’s Club in January 2022. .“I was excited about the opportunity to imbue a new, youthful energy on the classic steakhouse concept without losing the sophistication that our guests associate with a visit to the Palm Beaches.’’

“It’s really important for a resort such as PGA National to have a high-end steakhouse,’’ Silva said. “Other resorts I’ve worked at – Sea Island and Greenbrier – each have a high-end steakhouse. It’s part of a resort’s ambience and experience.’’

At Honeybelle, Autry, a North Carolina farm girl and three-time James Beard Award nominee who has become one the Palm Beach County’s more popular chefs, serves up her outstanding fried chicken, along other Southern favorites, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for something a bit different for lunch, go for Executive Chef Tom Op’t Holt’s Hot Pie Pizza featuring pepperoni, pickled peppers and hot honey.

Photo Credit: PGA National Resort

Autry, who opened Honeybelle in 2021, also creates one of South Florida’s best Easter Brunches, so get your reservations in now for a remarkable meal.

Located in what was the resort’s ice cream shop, Sushi by Boū  is the ultimate Omakase experience and a perfect match to PGA National’s F&B lineup. Presented in a Speakeasy setting on the resort’s lower level, Sushi by Boū features a 12-seat bar that serves a 12-course omakase menu ($60) and a 17-course and a 17-course omakase “Bougie” upgrade featuring five additional seasonal courses).

Guests are encouraged to interact with the chefs as the latter serves fresh fish that includes Hamachi (yellowtail), Botan Ebi (spotted prawn) and O-Toro (fatty tuna).

Sushi by Boū

Each “course’’ consists of one slice of fish that is best eaten by hand. And don’t worry, although it might not seem filling at the beginning, by the end, you’ll be plenty full, especially after a couple of sake chasers.

Birdie’s Diner, meanwhile, is exactly as its name implies – an old-fashioned diner popular for breakfast before teeing on one of PGA National’s six golf courses, as well as lunch for pre- and post-round dishes that include burgers, salads, tacos and shakes. Birdie’s also serves up some of the better French Fries in South Florida.

French? The Emperor certainly would approve. So do guests and locals, each of whom keep marching to PGA National Resort.

#pganationalresort #palmbeachgardensfl #jacknicklaus #thebutchersclub #sushibybou #honeybelle #floridagolfresorts #spikeongolfandtravel #cheflindsayautry #chefjeremyford #celebritychef #topchef #jamesbeardaward #restaurants #napoleon #culinary

Feature Photo: The Butcher’s Club