The one thing men may love more than women is a heaping plate of drool-worthy food. At The Men's Club, Chef Frank Van Den Bosch's leadership in the kitchen has made it so that the offered culinary delights actually rival the visual spectacles for attention. Hailing from Holland, he came to Charlotte when he was 10 years old, graduated from Johnson & Wales in Charleston, and put in years at country clubs in the Carolinas before coming to The Men's Club about 10 years ago.
Creative Loafing: How did you get involved in the restaurant world?
Chef Frank: Well, my mother's a great cook — always took care of all the kids, made sure we had three square meals a day. My first restaurant job was at the Pineville Dinner Theatre, so far back that I can't even remember when it was; I think I was about 15 years old. I saw a chef there make roses on a wedding cake out of whipped cream, and that just really caught my attention. I thought to myself, it'd be pretty cool to be a chef. It wasn't my intention to work at a topless or entertainment club at all; I just followed up on an ad in the paper. There were 63 applicants for the job; it came down between me and the other guy, and I got a phone call saying I didn't get the job. But the next day, they called me and told me that they'd changed their minds, and I've been here ever since.
Why do you think the food at the Men's Club has such a buzz attached to it?
We blow the competition away. A lot of customers come here just for the food, including a lot of women. The breakfast buffet on weekends is really popular, and our lunch and dinner menus have some great signature items. Those would be the sexually oriented dishes on our menu; the "Roman Orgy," "Breast of Fire" or "Sex in the Sack."
What's your favorite thing to eat, inside and outside of the club?
I'm a steak-and-potato guy; I really love our "Kick-ass filet." I don't eat here at the club a whole lot because I'm constantly in the kitchen smelling and tasting the food so I don't have a big appetite. Do I cook at home? No; I order out a lot. I love Chinese personally, and if you're going to go to a Chinese restaurant, I'd recommend Wan Fu on 51 — it has awesome food.