Executive Chef Kevin Linde of Troon-managed Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Oregon, reveals his sources of inspiration, the best parts of dining at Pronghorn, and his perspective on much more than just cooking.
TROON: As a chef, where do you find your inspiration?
CHEF LINDE: I find it through the people I encounter every day, from the local farmers, to our kitchen staff, to the resort guests. You can find inspiration in every story and build something with it. I appreciate the beauty in people, and I also know how hard it can be to please them; working through challenging times and delivering is the most rewarding part. What’s your favorite dish or cuisine to cook? I always had a love for Italian food growing up. One of my mentors, Chef Vic at The Phoenician, was good with pasta. I make bolognese with veal, housemade fennel pork sausage, and pasta from scratch. It’s a comfort dish; think of it as elevated spaghetti and meatballs. When you’re making everything from scratch, it always eats differently. It’s taking something simple and putting your craft and skill into it to make it truly memorable.
What’s something you do every day in the kitchen?
Wash my hands of course [chuckles]. Part of the craft is honing your knife and making sure you have a sharp edge; you’ve got to respect your tools. Beyond that, variety is the spice of life. I’m always evolving. Limiting growth is the death of the chef.
If you had to distill your culinary style into one ingredient, what would it be and why?
The egg. My mom always cooked eggs for me every morning for breakfast. I didn’t always realize how awesome that was. Eggs are so versatile — poaching, emulsifying, baking. Really, I’m the egg trying to be versatile. I taught myself how to play guitar over the last three years; by no means am I that good, but I’m willing to learn.
What’s the best part about the dining experience at Pronghorn?
The location. We are able to get a lot of great ingredients from the Northwest, as well as deliver unique experiences because of our location … like our cave events, which are inside of lava tubes. We try to show off what the Northwest has to offer for seafood, too, like our delicata squash and dungeness crab ravioli served with a lobster roe and lemon beurre blanc.
What do you wish people knew about chefs or the culinary craft that most don’t?
It’s a game of stamina, energy, and passion more than it is a game of self-indulgence and whatever else might be perceived as the glamour of it. People aren’t in it for money or notoriety; they are in it for the love of what they do and what they offer to the people they serve.
What’s something we can look forward to from you and your culinary team?
We’ve assembled a new team this past year, with old parts and new. I’m excited to see what we can deliver in Northwest cuisine, different techniques, and specialty wine and cave dinners. We’re adding Sunday brunch, and hoping to draw in the local community.
BIO | since 2012, Linde has been the executive chef and assistant food & beverage director at Pronghorn Resort, where he works with a network of local farmers and purveyors to source fresh, regional ingredients to incorporate in the resort’s culinary offerings. his prior experience includes Bandon Dunes golf resort where he opened the pacific grill outlet and met his wife, Brenna.