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Seasoned chef brings flair when Lake View reopens today

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, May 7, 2015

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Chef Les Waugh cuts ribeyes and sirloins into beef tips to serve Thursday when Lake View Steak House reopens.
 
 

Jim Fair

Chef Les Waugh cuts ribeyes and sirloins into beef tips to serve Thursday when Lake View Steak House reopens.

 

 

One of the most seasoned chefs in Greer begins cooking this evening at the Lake View Steak House.

Chef Les Waugh cut his teeth cooking as a youth in a family of eight. “I had to do a lot of cooking growing up and I enjoyed that,” he said.

Lake View reopens for a limited schedule, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 4-9 p.m., while Waugh, the kitchen manager, and Wendy Mitchell come up to full speed training the virtually all-new staff and filling out the menu.

“We want to find out what we do best first,” Waugh said. “We’ll give it a few weeks, get better and better and then we’ll begin adding some new dishes I think the customers will like. Of course we will have homemade pies and desserts. That will bring a lot of people in.”

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Mitchell was forced back into active ownership when the former operator could not meet obligations on the owner lease-agreement with the Mitchells (James and Wendy). Mitchell has been meticulous reopening Lake View and procrastinating hiring a chef.

A supplier matched up Mitchell with Waugh. “My sales rep knew (Waugh) and kept telling me ‘I’ve got the perfect guy for you.’ It was getting nearer to opening and I knew I wanted somebody good.”

Mitchell said she puts a premium on staffing restaurants. “Your restaurant is only as good as the people you hire,” she said. Mitchell owned Southern Thymes Café, sold it until it closed under an operator who revamped a menu and culture that didn’t agree with core customers. Mitchell was called back into action helping new owners to re-open as the Greer Station Café, now called Greer Station Diner, for legal reasons.

Waugh has created his cooking personality by working his entire life in the food industry, traveling extensively.

Waugh, as a young sailor on the aircraft carrier Constellation with its 2,900 crew, worked in the kitchen where nearly 9,000 meals a day were prepared. “I didn’t have anything else to do at the time so I joined the Navy,” he said.

There was plenty to do and places to go after that. Waugh worked at country clubs beginning in Indiana, then Texas and Arizona, “where I had a lot of fun”, he said. He has worked in kitchens from Isle of Palms to the Upstate.

Waugh said a stint he worked in New Orleans was valuable learning the craft of cooking. “I learned aging food, making Cajun food such as gumbo and jambalaya. I think this region has a taste for some of this food and we’ll add it slowly,” he said.

Waugh also enjoys pastry, French and German cooking, where he created entire menus for clients.

Want to go?

Lake View Steak House

3100 N. Highway 14

Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 4-9 p.m.

Phone: 864-801-0415

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Businesses mentioned in this article.

Lakeview Restaurant

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