Joseph Merkling, Executive Chef of Steakhouse 9 at Homestead Golf & Country Club in Lynden, Washington has acquired a wide range of kitchen management, culinary and business experience in his 25 years in the hospitality industry. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy in 1990, Mr. Merkling completed his internship at Le Meridian in Coronado, California. He quickly moved forward in his career, spending 4 years in Maui, HI, becoming one of the youngest Executive Banquet Chefs at The Ritz Carlton Maui. Chef Merkling has successfully opened 5 properties during his career, including the Harborside Bistro inside the Hotel Bellwether in Bellingham, Washington in 2000, where he built a community reputation for the next 8 years. He ensured each restaurant’s success with his innovative culinary ideas, strong management style and longevity, giving each property no less than 5 years of dedication. Sunset Magazine and NW Palate both wrote of his creative talent with plate presentation and amazing flavor combinations using his signature Pacific Rim culinary background.