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Pine Island VFW’s new chef an old pro

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Nov 11, 2020


Raymond Weber has had many years of experience in the field of culinary arts, catering and cuisine. After owning several of his own restaurants, including Beckett Ridge Pizza and Weber’s Grill, and watching his son grow up to follow in his footsteps, this week he begins the job of cooking at the Pine Island VFW.

Although he’s no stranger to preparing elaborate dishes, when Weber heard they were looking for someone, he decided to come out of semi-retirement to take the job.

“I’ve been looking for something to do so I don’t go stir-crazy,” said Weber, who said for him, restaurant ownership goes back to 1981. “This is all I’ve done for a career for my whole life.”

Weber said he has cooked in various genres from hotel restaurants to diners. In addition to running his own kitchen, he says he’s also consulted others on how to become successful in this business.

“This is going to be interesting, because I’ve never worked in a club environment,” said Weber. “I’m getting the feeling they’re more like a little family.”

Weber said there are many favorites he’s been told he has to keep as part of the menu so people who are familiar with the VFW will feel they’re still at home in their local venue. Weber is interested in bringing new menu items to the VFW in an effort to be unique in what is served there. Although he says he’s confident in his ability to make most anything, his longest running item is pizza.

Due to multiple activities and themed events during evening hours, Weber said he will be making lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with plans to begin including evenings in the near future.

Weber said he is instituting all-you-can eat spaghetti on Mondays right off the bat and the VFW’s popular liver and onion dish on Tuesday won’t change. He also thinks this season will surpass last year by leaps and bounds due to the global pandemic restrictions which stopped many people from venturing out.

The Pine Island VFW is at 8150 Stringfellow Road, St James City. For more information, call 239-283-2277.