Eric Shelton – HHM

Eric Shelton
Executive Chef
Fieldstone Golf Club, Wilmington Delaware

Chef Eric SheltonQ: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up and please explain if there was a story around that.

A: As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a chef. Kids would naturally gravitate to watching cartoons after school. I still watched some cartoons; however I was excited to see the show Great Chefs on PBS. During that time is when the seed was planted.

Q: What is one or two interesting facts about your heritage that you would like to share with us?

A: In regards to my heritage and many others, the connection with food holds a story. I was born in Charleston, South Carolina. This food brought variety to the modern-day pantry. Rice was, and still is, an important staple of many cuisines. It was cultivated in swamps by African slaves. They learned to harvest and create dishes like red rice, which derived from the West African dish Jollof rice. It is extremely versatile and comforting. It has been a favorite of mine, and my son cannot live without it! Checkout Chef’s Latin Rice and Beans dish (See recipe below).

Q: Who got you into the business or game of golf and what was your first experience at a golf course/range?

A: Aside from playing miniature golf, I never had a connection to the sport until I joined Troon as the chef of a Club in Kansas. I remember going out on the greens with my sous chefs to play. Let us say, there were many divots on the course. In addition to lost balls and multiple strokes to get the ball in the hole, I had a good time.

Q: Was there a mentor that helped guide you along your current career path and was there a piece of advice that helped you along your way?

A: Chef Everton Clarke mentored me in college. He helped develop my work ethic and desire to not only see a task to the end, but make sure it was quality. He never said anything in particular – his actions were lessons for me. There were many times that we got our butts kicked pushing out food for an event. We would finish late, sometimes after 9:00PM, and we would reset and dive right into prep for the next day. It was like passing the baton – he instilled the importance of completion and setting the next person up for success.

Q: How long have you worked for Troon and what do you love most about your job?

A: I have worked for Troon for nine years. My progression at the facility has and will always be membership satisfaction. Creating an experience and guarding it with your life is the daily motivation. I love creating reference points. I love when members ask for dishes that we pulled off the menu – it lets me know the team has created something special. I think to myself, do we want to be the best restaurant in the area or do I want to be the favorite restaurant. There is plenty of variety in the area and it’s a good feeling to know they choose us as an option.

Q: What do you do in your daily job or life to inspire other minorities to get them interested in the game of golf or into the golf business as a career?

A: I embrace the power of social media. I like to post dishes that my team and I have created and talk about the inspiration that motivated us to create those dishes. With the course as a backdrop, that lets people know that there is room to be creative with a menu at a golf club, and have fun at that very club.

Q: What is your dream foursome for golf?

A: My dream foursome would be my wife Emily, daughter Emma and my son Everett.


 Latin Rice and Beans Recipe

with a Southern influence

Executive Chef Erik Shelton's Rice and Beans with as Southern Flare recipeIngredients:

2 cups dried red kidney beans

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large (12-ounce) yellow onion

2 medium-size green bell peppers, chopped

2 medium (3 ounces each) celery stalks, chopped

6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 (14-ounce) smoked ham hocks

6 cups vegetable stock

4 (4-inch) thyme sprigs

2 jalapeno, chopped

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

1-tablespoon black pepper

2-tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

¼-cup Worcestershire sauce

2-tablespoon paprika


  1. Place beans in a medium pot or bowl; add water to cover beans by 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. (Next day) Drain beans and set aside.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, jalapeno and garlic to Dutch oven; cook over medium, until tender.
  4. Add salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika and Worcestershire, beans, ham hocks, stock, thyme, and bay leaves; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook very gently until beans are completely tender and ham hock is fork-tender, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  5. Start checking for doneness after about 1 hour. When beans are completely tender, remove from heat. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Transfer ham hocks to a small bowl or a cutting board; remove and discard bones and skin, and shred meat.
  7. Transfer 1 cup red beans and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove centerpiece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until mixture is velvety smooth, about 1 minute. Stir pureed mixture back into red beans in Dutch oven.
  8. Stir in shredded ham. Bring to a simmer over medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until ham is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  9. Serve red beans alongside perfectly steamed rice.

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