Matt Ortt Companies take proactive steps to improve 

Chef Michael Rendell hired to assist Head Chef John Chiusano at Ocean Pines Yacht Club

Record crowds at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club have admittedly led to some slippage in the food quality.  

Because of that, the Yacht Club leadership last week took proactive steps to improve, most notably including the addition of renowned local Chef Michael Rendell to assist Head Chef John Chiusano. 

Chef Michael Rendell, right, has been hired to assist Head Chef John Chiusano in leading the kitchen staff at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.

Ralph DeAngelus, cofounder of the Matt Ortt Companies that runs the Ocean Pines Yacht Club, said Rendell would not only help bring the restaurant back up to par, but also take it to the next level. 

“Because the kitchen has been so insane, our Head Chef John Chiusano has been trying to keep up with daytime pool business and nighttime dinners – the whole nine yards. It’s overwhelming and it’s more than a one-man job,” DeAngelus said.  

The Ocean Pines Yacht Club has set new sales standards several times this season. First, the Ortt Companies broke their own records during Memorial Day weekend. Then, in July the Yacht Club facility set a single-day record with a $53,000 total revenue haul – including a $25,000 banquet – and on July 5 the restaurant by itself set a single-day record with more than $40,700 in net revenues. 

“The truth of the matter is, we’ve been so overwhelmed by this massive business that our food quality has slipped just a little bit,” DeAngelus said. “We brought this guy in to make sure, not only that stuff doesn’t fall through the cracks, but that we immediately address our issues and even bring our quality up a little bit higher.” 

According to DeAngelus, Rendell will function as a second head chef that reports directly to Chiusano. 

“[Rendell] is a qualified head chef and has been in Ocean City for years,” DeAngelus said. “He was the head chef at Ky West, so he’s super talented.” 

DeAngelus said Rendell would enhance daily featured specials and, through his strong ties with local farmers, improve the freshness and quality of ingredients at the Yacht Club.  

“The guy can make the best Veal Osso Bucco on the planet,” DeAngelus said, adding the dish would become a regular on the featured specials menu. “We brought this guy here to raise the bar of what we can produceHe’ll also help to free up Chef Chiusano to work more on the banquets and overall food quality. 

Rendell will also assist with teaching and developing some of the younger kitchen talent. 

Because of the massive success that we’ve had this year, our kitchen was overtaxed and we weren’t putting out the product that we’re accustomed to, but we immediately addressed it,” DeAngelus said. “We recognized the problem, we’re being proactive about it and, not only do we want to get it back to where it was, but we want to raise the bar even higher. We want Ocean Pines to be as proud of us as they have been in the past.” 

For his part, Rendell said he’s thrilled to come onboard. 

“I’m very excited to have joined the Matt Ortt Companies at the Yacht Club,” he said. “Helping Chef John get things to the next level is why I’m here and I have no intentions whatsoever of letting him down.” 

For more information on the Ocean Pines Yacht Club, call 410-641-7501 or visit www.opyachtclub.com. 

Below, see some of the dishes chefs Chiusano and Rendell are cooking up this week!

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