Executive Chef James Renshaw takes special dining requests and adds a personal twist at The Chandelier Room in the Golden Palms Health and Retirement Center in Harlingen.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in cooking?
I was living and working at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, and I had a friend who was the head chef at the fine-dining restaurant at the resort. I
was really envious of him as he got to snowboard all day and make great money; he really loved what he did. He inspired me to go to
Culinary School the following year, and I haven't looked back since.
The Chandelier Room is located inside the Golden Palms Health and Retirement Center in Harlingen. How does that contribute to the feel and atmosphere of the restaurant?
I think the people here really add to the ambiance of the restaurant, and, ironically, the food here is one of the No. 1 reasons people choose to reside at Golden Palms. Over 75 percent of our menu items are simply guests' suggestions with a slight twist.
What on your menu is Texas-grown or produced?
We have numerous menu items that feature Texas grown/produced products, although one of most popular dishes is our fresh Gulf Shrimp Seafood Crepes. In this dish, we utilize Texas-caught Gulf shrimp and locally made heavy cream and butter.
What are your favorite Texas ingredients and why?
My favorite Texas ingredients are by far our citrus products. Here in the Rio Grande Valley there is an abundance of excellent grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons. Being in the healthcare industry, we are always looking for healthier choices that add extreme flavors. As a result, our local citrus products are vital components of many dishes we have on our menu in the form of marinades, sauces, vinaigrettes, fruit salsas and numerous desserts.
What is The Chandelier Room's signature dish?
I would have to say our signature dish is our Southwestern Chicken Pasta, which is penne pasta tossed with sautéed chicken, tomatoes, bacon, Texas sweet onion, jalapeños, our house-made alfredo sauce, garnished with crispy tortilla strips and cilantro.
For more information about The Chandelier Room, go here.