Cody Gebelle - Cooking up a Storm

At del Lago

By BURT GRAEFF

 
Executive chef Cody Gebelle says he is back where he belongs: at the Del Lago Golf Club.

Gebelle, 39, was Del Lago's executive chef from 2005 - 2015. He left to help Native Grill & Wings get off the ground. After two years at Native Grill & Wings, he was offered the chance at returning to Del Lago.
 

"I Jumped at the opportunity," he said. "I missed this job. I missed this place. I loved working with the people here. I have a great crew that loves to work here. It's why I stayed so long in the first place."

Gebelle, 39, returned to Del Lago in mid-December 2017.

Gebelle's job as executive chef at Del Lago is not a case of flipping burgers at a fast food joint. "Right now," he said, "I'm working 70 hours a week. It's a lot of hours, but I love it."

"There is a lot of pressure involved. You have to stay cool under pressure. When those orders come up, it's your job to get them taken care of in a timely manner."

Gebelle and his wife, Brooke, are the parents of seven children. He was born and raised in Tucson, graduating from Mountain View High School in Marama. "I had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated high school," he said. "I tried construction. I tried the auto industy."

What kick-started his career was taking a job at Famous Sam's Sports Grill in Tucson. "I found something I was really interested in doing." he said.

Del Lago's Menu offers a nice variety of choices. The lunch menu includes various burgers ($11), a patty melt ($12), the classic club ($12) and more. Among the dinner menu choices: blackened Cajun chicken pasta ($18), grilled salmon ($18) and a half-rack of baby back ribs ($17).

Gebelle's favorite dishes "Italian," he said. "I've always enjoyed cooking Italian. But, everything here is specialized... the steaks, the smoked meats, everything."

"I do believe in expermenting. I want to see how people respond to our menu. I strive for consistency."

There is more to be done on than what is on the menu. 

"We also have daily specials, holiday specials and we do a ton of parties," Gebelle said.

The job is not void of challeneges. "We do have a lot of turnover," he said. "It is not easy getting help, because with the new minimum wage increase, you can get the same pay working at a gas station."

Virtually every restaurant - a 5-star down to a fast-food joint - is subjected to criticism. "We have been criticized for various things," Gebelle said. "I can't get angry. I listen to everything. If I am doing something wrong, I want to hear about it."

"I love this place. It's a great facility. I want it to be the best it can be."

Burt Gaeff is a retired sportswriter from Cleveland who regularly plays golf at del Lago. He and his wife, June --- along with their Jack Russell terrier, Skip --- live in Vail.