By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 30, 2021 at 11:01 AM

Effective today, Chef Zach Espinosa, has taken on a new role as Executive Chef for the Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, 10122 W. North Ave., a venue with a 100+ year history and one of only three golf courses in the state to host major championships including the PGA tour.

In his role, Espinosa will provide oversight for all kitchen operations at the Club, from dining experiences to events, working alongside Sous Chef Sandy Hierro and Club House Manager Keith Gressle to ensure excellent member and guest experiences.

“We are so pleased to welcome him,” says Rich Tennessen, President of the Blue Mound Golf & Country Club Board of Directors.

“We were impressed by both the quality of his food and his experience; but what set him apart was his leadership skill. His approach allows him to develop, engage and lift others up. We very much look forward to his contributions and the excitement he’ll be able to create in terms of food offerings.”

Espinosa, who may be best known for his tenure with the Bartolotta Restaurant Group, has held a variety of culinary leadership positions from Executive Chef of Mr. B’s Steakhouse and Harbor House to Executive Sous Chef at Lake Park Bistro. Espinosa also launched Bartolotta's catering operation at Pier Wisconsin and served as Executive Chef of the Grain Exchange. More recently, Espinosa was at the helm at Stella Van Buren. During the pandemic, he traveled throughout the U.S. for White Lodging, helping to reopen Brush Creek Lodge in Saratoga, Wyoming and The Marriott in Downtown Austin. 

Espinosa says that he’ll spend his inaugural weeks acclimating to the role and building on the foundations established by former Club Chef Doug Leonhardt, who served in the executive chef role for the past eight years. 

“To begin, we’re going to make sure we’re putting out the best basics possible,” he says. “From there we can take a look at what the members like and how we can shape the menu from there.”

Although the role takes him away from the work he’s done in public-facing restaurants, Espinosa says he is excited for the new challenges that await.

“They’ve done a great job caring for their staff throughout the pandemic,” he says, “And I'm in a great position where I can make an impact and contribute to a great familial organization. It’s a great next chapter for myself and my family.”

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.