You eat, you talk, you grow closer. Food has been connecting us since the dawn of time, and Carol Barnett was no exception to that human desire for connection.
To Carol, Lone Palm Golf Club, a private club founded by her father George Jenkins in 1964, was the embodiment of community and connection. Spending time there since she was 7 years old, Carol has deep roots at Lone Palm. As an adult, Carol would frequently sit at the same corner table with her friends, and often enjoy her pan-seared halibut piccata, along with parmesan risotto and some grilled asparagus, expertly crafted by chef Karlo Brol, who served Carol for nearly eight years at Lone Palm. Like a lot of us, Carol found comfort in familiar meals, surrounded by familiar faces. But to Carol, Lone Palm was more than that. It was family.
Talk to any of the staff today at Lone Palm that knew Carol, and a vivid picture is painted. To members of the Lone Palm staff, Carol was as fun as she was kind but she was also inclusive, and was always longing to dip her toes into meaningful conversation with those around her.
“My memory of Carol was that she loved conversation,” said Wayne Raath, manager of Lone Palm. “If you would listen to Carol, if you would give her a little bit of an audience, she was wide open. And it would always involve Mr. George. If you put Lone Palm and Mr. George in the same sentence, she would tear up.”
“She always made me feel like her dad would be proud of the club today, proud to see all the people here enjoying themselves. And she knew that would mean a lot to me to hear.”
– Wayne Raath, Lone Palm manager
Ever since George Jenkins founded Lone Palm all those years ago, the goal has been to make every member feel how Carol felt: comfortable and at home. Carol’s father always spoke about Lone Palm being a place where people can just relax and socialize in a beautiful atmosphere, supported by friendly staff. And, as reiterated by members of the Lone Palm staff, Carol really believed that to her core. But that’s not just a message Carol kept confined in the walls of Lone Palm, she carried it with her no matter where she went.
“She would always pull me to the side and talk to me for 10 minutes or more,” said Raath. “I was just a person who worked here. Carol and I weren’t business partners or close friends who hung out on the weekends. But that’s just who she was— ask anyone. She always made me feel like her dad would be proud of the club today, proud to see all the people here enjoying themselves. And she knew that would mean a lot to me to hear.”
Sure, you might imagine someone of Carol’s stature might stop through Lone Palm to eat and talk business, but anyone actually on staff would argue just the opposite. She was there to see the people she considered her extended family. She was there to talk their ears off, and enjoy her favorite meal.
Carol would frequent Lone Palm with her close friends Patty Tomlinson and Susie Jefferson, usually sitting at the same corner table.
“She was so approachable,” said Raath. “If you gave her that slight listening ear she would talk your ear off. And it was always about legacy, and about vision. And Mr George, her father. But never about trivial, surface level stuff. She was a very sentimental person who valued her family and her legacy.”
“She missed her dad very much,” Brol said. “She would mention to me often how badly she wished her dad could meet all of the staff today, who have kept his legacy and vision going. She always said he would have loved us.”
Today, the Barnett family continues that legacy forward as they’ve become part owners of the Lone Palm Golf Club. They continue to explore what it looks like to carry on George’s legacy at Lone Palm, something obviously near and dear to Carol’s heart.
“We want to preserve it “as is” as much as possible, but what that means in the long term, who knows?” said Carol’s son Nick Barnett.
Lone Palm’s Pan Seared Halibut w/Lemon Butter Sauce
- 4-6 oz. halibut fillets, skin removed, pat dried
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp butter
- Season both side of the halibut fillets with salt and pepper.
- Mix and combine flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. Coat the fillets on all sides and shake off excess mixture.
- On a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear fillets on all sides until you have a golden-brown crust, and the fish is cooked through. This will take about 3 minutes on each side.
- When done, put fish on a wire rack and reduce heat to medium.
- Add white wine and scrape up any brown bits until it has reduced by half—this should take about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic cloves, capers and lemon juice. Melt butter and add heavy cream into the sauce and remove from heat.
- Place halibut on a bed of arugula, spoon sauce over halibut and garnish with parsley.