During the summer months, I’ll have the opportunity to introduce you to our talented culinary team. Our executive chefs work each day to provide delicious, healthy, fun meals to our guests. I look forward to introducing them to you so you can learn a little more about what makes them howl in the Great Wolf Lodge kitchen.
Starting as a line cook at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Executive Chef Russ Meeks understands what it means to be a park of the “pack”. Serving in multiple roles over the last 12 years, he currently oversees the culinary team at the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina.
With degrees in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, Chef Meeks understands the entire operation of food prep and team building.Through his innate creativity, he has developed his own twist on a few southern classics for guests to enjoy at the lodge.
Great Wolf Lodge – Do you have a favorite recipe or culinary treat that you have created just for our guests?
Chef Russ Meeks – During my time at the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte/Concord, I have perfected two very popular recipes for our guests - my Signature Southern Sweet Tea Barbeque sauce. After tasting my signature barbeque sauce an upcoming client requested two gallons to share with their office. It has become a very popular menu item at the lodge.
Great Wolf Lodge – What have you brought to Great Wolf Lodge during your time as a chef?
Chef Meeks – In addition to my Signature Sweet Tea Barbeque Sauce, we offer our guests a unique blend of chocolate and spices with my signature Howlin’ Hot Chocolate. During the holidays and cooler months in North Carolina, our guests enjoy this sweet indulgence. We are even working on a plan to sell a pre-portioned version for our resort guests. It is a very close replica for our guests who would like to enjoy a warm cup of Howlin’ Hot Chocolate at home.
Great Wolf Lodge – What inspires you most as a chef?
Chef Meeks – I was is inspired to be a Chef working the kitchen with my Grandmother. She encouraged me as a boy to help her make various things and taught me many secrets of cooking I still use today. It is a tradtion I continue to share with my family and friends.
Great Wolf Lodge – What advice do you offer to someone who wants to become a chef?
Chef Meeks – Have a passion for it! Live it! Learn something new every day! Being a chef takes constant change and the ability to adapt. For me, it is a great reward when I can showcase a new twist on a traditional recipe. Without a passion for the culinary arts, it can be very tough to excel in the dayo-to-day.
Great Wolf Lodge – What makes being a chef at Great Wolf Lodge so special?
Chef Meeks – Working for the lodges over the years I have learned a lot. Something that is very special to me is our allergy program. After working with these families in our restaurants I am inspired to make the experience something special for each guest. These families tell us, the only time they get to eat out together is at the lodge.