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‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa hires new chef, gets updated menu

By Staff | Jul 19, 2017

Greg Nelson outside of the Captiva House. PHOTO PROVIDED

Greg Nelson became ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa’s newest executive chef April 10. Nelson brings to the table over two decades of experience in the restaurant industry.

Initially, Nelson began working in Dallas, Texas. However, his career really took off in the ’90s when he started working at Mezzaluna in Aspen, Colorado.

“I worked with one chef for awhile, he saw that I had something special. When he left, he had me take over (Mezzaluna.) I worked there for six years,” Nelson said.

In 2000, Nelson moved to Southwest Florida where he worked all around Captiva.

“I was at the Mad Hatter for a year then I opened up all the Doc Ford’s’,” he said.

Greg Nelson became ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa’s newest executive chef April 10. PHOTO PROVIDED

Nelson wrote the entire menu during his stint at Doc Ford’s.

“I believe everything needs to be made from scratch every single day. I don’t have anything pre-made. I use the freshest fish possible. For instance, if I can’t get domestic grouper caught right out here, I won’t serve it,” Nelson said.

Nelson carries that same mantra over to the Captiva House Gulf-front Seafood and Sushi Restaurant, Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille and Oasis Pool Bar, which he now oversees.

Nelson launched Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille’s brand-new menu last Tuesday – all of the appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees are his own. Nelson uses all local seafood. One of the highlights on the menu is the Crow’s Nest Shrimp which is made with Nelson’s signature sauce – roasted garlic, lemon zest, butter and a secret blend of seasonings.

“It’s served with crusty bread to soak up every drop,” he said.

According to Nelson, their Shrimp and Unbelievable Grits are “to die for.” The shrimp are dusted with cornmeal then pan fried with roasted corn, poblano cheese grits chorizo and fried green tomatoes. It’s then served with a smoked tomato sauce.

“Everything’s good,” Nelson said.

Another highlight on the menu are his signature fish tacos that are made with local fish, tangy slaw, fresh avocado and mango jalapeno sauce on flour tortillas. The tacos are then served with a side of red beans and dirty rice.

“They’re out of this world,” he said.

Nelson even puts his own spin on classic salads. For example, their Avocado Caesar Salad is made with creamy avocado Caesar dressing then it’s topped with roasted corn and cornbread croutons.

The next menu Nelson will work on will be the Captiva House. He hopes to have that completed by the fall. Following that completion, he will make small changes on Oasis Pool Bar’s menu.

“It’s not going to be a full-blown change because they do a great job. I’m going to try to make it smaller because they have such limited space. We’re just going to do a few things really, really well,” Nelson said.

By next May, Nelson hopes to start construction on their new kitchen. He anticipates it to be ready before Thanksgiving.

“I’m glad to be here at this historical spot. I think it’s going to be my last job in the kitchen,” Nelson said.

When Nelson isn’t in the kitchen, you can typically find him bass fishing – Lake Okeechobee is one of his favorite spots.

“(Eventually), I’m going to get a little boat so I can cruise all over the state,” Nelson said.