Celebrity fare with flair | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Celebrity fare with flair

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune Michael Jordan, left, and Rick Rhoden share a laugh about another celebrity golf tournament while on the driving range Tuesday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in preparation for the American Century Championship.

Spectators and participants of the American Century Championship ate up the first day’s excitement of the premier summer event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf on Tuesday.

Among them on a day filled with preparation, Gustav Mauler – the visiting executive chef who owns three restaurants – was cooking up a storm behind the scenes in the kitchen. He brought in three of his own staff members. The Las Vegas chef cooked in the mid-1990s for Donald Trump, who arrived at Caesars Tahoe Tuesday. The wealthy Atlantic City investor will play in the tournament for the first time.

“He eats the simplest food,” Mauler said, listing lasagna and burgers as some favorite meals of the financier with the hit television show, “The Apprentice.”

“(Ex-wife) Ivana always wanted duck,” he said.

With cups spilling from his arms, Edgewood General Manager Bobby King said he recruited Mauler.

“And he can play golf,” said Mauler, who admitted he was unaware Trump was playing in the tournament until he saw his picture on the program.

Mauler must cater to a lot of different tastes at the tournament ending Sunday – including the players, press, patrons and guests of the Celebrity Chef dinner slated for Thursday at Edgewood. The multi-course dinner starts with portabella mushrooms, continues into lobster and ends with bananas foster.

Edgewood Head Chef Frank Stagnaro spent his 12th year working the tournament by getting the inventory together. And it’s an extensive list – ranging from 50 pounds of yellow onions to 18 pounds of bagged grapes.

Stagnaro’s biggest challenge revolves around finding space for a beefed-up inventory, and he was busy doing so Tuesday morning.

The day started out with the action on the road.

The authorities were chasing a man, thought to be armed, that resulted in the closure of Highway 50 from Lake Tahoe to Carson City along Highway 50.

Teresa DeHope of San Ramon was diverted off the hill from Kings Beach to Kingsbury Grade.

“That’s been the most excitement so far,” she said, waiting for celebrities to show up just off the green.

Janey Muccio, another Bay Area resident donning an Oakland Athletics jersey with Mark McGuire’s name on it, had camped out at 9 a.m. for high-profile celebrities – including the baseball great.

She and her son, Reggie Tynes, used to walk to the Oakland ballpark to catch a glimpse of their sports star.

“Mark, in a big way, was a big reason for getting our family together,” she said.

It was all in the family for the Green clan from Turlock.

Four-year-old Katie badgered basketball great Michael Jordan until she scored a picture with him on the green on Tuesday.

“Michael, take a picture with me. Michael, take a picture. Michael, I’m not going to be quiet,” she said.

Jordan took the cigar from his mouth and finally called her beyond the ropes.

The freckled-face youngster scampered over, and the crowd sighed.

Her father was forced to field her earlier question quietly.

“She asked me: ‘Daddy, what does he play?’ ” he said.

For the second year, proceeds are earmarked for the Boys & Girls Club general fund from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship.

The event’s gates open at 6 a.m., with tickets on sale an hour later.

Practice rounds resume today. The Celebrity tournament starts on Friday.

Many people – like Mario Lemieux fan Jerry Light, of Hayward – show up for autographs.

Under the direction of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the Horizon Casino Resort will host an autograph-signing party at 5 p.m. Thursday to raise money for the Fallen Patriot Fund. The account serves to benefit families of fallen or severely wounded soldiers.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com

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