When a restaurant climbs a mile high, that’s no time to just rest at the mountaintop. It’s time to sharpen the pick-axe and reach for new heights. The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center opened in 2014, but the building it occupies is rooted in more than a century of history. The property is inside the former Colorado National Bank building, built in 1915. The bank moved to a different location in the early 2000s and was sold to Stonebridge Companies, who spent millions of dollars and four years carefully renovating the structure into a Renaissance, with many exceptions made to
After undergoing complete multi-million dollar renovations in 2014, Le Méridien Charlotte, with 65,000 square feet of meeting space, believes the way to drive group business is to challenge the notion of a typical break menu. “We know that when our meeting attendees gather, the intent is for the attendees to interact with each other,” notes Maxine Elleby, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “So we created engaging breaks to stimulate thinking and curiosity, thereby promoting more dialogue. Our meeting planners are connected emotionally.” Focused on interactive elements and social interaction, the nine break options “encourage discovery,” Elleby says. The
Though the current incarnation of the Driskill Hotel in Austin only officially opened its doors 14 years ago, its history and roots in the community run long and deep. “This hotel was going to be demolished to make way for a modern building in 1969, and the Heritage Society of Austin rallied citizens to save it by hosting a bake sale,” explains Executive Pastry Chef Tony Sansalone.
The palate can recognize true passion. For hotels, it’s just a matter of getting that passion to the table. At VERGE restaurant at the Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos, California, injecting that passion has come, among other elements, via use of housemade shrubs.
Three years ago, Executive Chef Bobby Moore of the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington, was turning down catering business due to a high demand for offsite catering. The lodge’s restaurant, the Barking Frog, is a local favorite situated in the midst of Washington wine country, which encompasses more than 100 wineries.
Tom Cupo, regional managing director at Benchmark Hotels & Resorts, recalls that “local” and “unique” became the Chattanoogan Hotel’s go-to buzzwords before opening in 2001, so shunning mega-brand coffee shops was a no-brainer for the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based property. Instead, its own concept, Stroud’s Sidewalk Cafe, embraced the local, helping differentiate the Benchmark-managed hotel from day one—and locals have returned the love. Before taking a position with Vision Hospitality this fall, former Chattanoogan Director of F&B Bill Antone told Hotel F&B, “We were trying to get away from the chain mentality, creating an independent hotel with an independent coffee shop. Our
When Troy Knapp started as Executive Chef for the Driskill Grill at the historic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, he noted a cluttered, stuffy storage room right outside the kitchen. Knapp took one look at the disorganized, un-air-conditioned space, and his self-proclaimed obsessive-compulsive nerves started to twitch. In less than a month, Knapp had cleared the space, ordered new flooring and an air-handling unit, and decorated the office with a sense of place. It’s now much more than an office; it’s become a special and intimate space for entertaining potential and existing clients, media, and other VIPs. Hotel F&B: What
Justin Alexander told a group of Holiday Inn owners and managers at a training session in June that his dream is that Holiday Inn F&B will become so consistent from property to property that the brand can feel confident enough to run a national ad campaign highlighting F&B as a differentiator in the market.
Earlier this year, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels brought together more than 50 of its F&B professionals from 25 different properties for an F&B conference at the brand’s Eaglewood Resort & Spa near Chicago. The three-day program—called “Passion for a Purpose”—was the company’s second F&B gathering since 2014 and examined a number of industry-wide F&B topics affecting Benchmark’s properties. No two Benchmark hotels are the same, so conferences like this are crucial to reinforcing the brand’s core F&B values across its portfolio. “We want that intimate connectivity that comes from face-to-face interaction,” says Tom Garcia, VP and GM at Eaglewood and
Paul Nagan’s “New American West” cuisine sets Range at the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center apart from Denver’s mile-high competition in the area. Read our full story to find out three simple ways Range has taken its already successful game to the next level. Ingredients: 2 4-ounce speck-wrapped pork loin medallions Demi-glace peach mostarda (recipe below) Charred Brussels sprouts Green chile grits (recipe below) Grilled peach slices Directions: Arugula Wrap each pork loin with speck. Oil and season pork and grill to medium. The pork loins should be rotated every three minutes until reaching 160 degrees. Grill two peach slices
Jeremy McMilleon Director of F&B, LaGuardia Plaza Hotel, East Elmhurst, New York PREVIOUS POSITION: GM, SSP America, Terminal 4, JFK Airport, New York City Brian Riddle Executive Chef & Director of F&B, Sanderling Resort, Duck, North Carolina PREVIOUS POSITION: Executive Chef, Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh Gabriel Charpentier Chef de Cuisine, Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans PREVIOUS POSITION: Chef de Cuisine, St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder, Colorado Peter Laufer Executive Chef, Willard InterContinental, Washington, D.C. PREVIOUS POSITION: Executive Chef, Royal Sonesta Hotel, Houston Mario André Miralles Executive Chef, Casa Palopó, San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala PREVIOUS POSITION: Executive Chef,
As the demand for cruising rapidly increases, so too does the need for the cruise industry to evolve and make sure it’s delivering an experience that’s appealing to a wide variety of guests. This is especially true for F&B offerings, as more and more travelers are booking vacations that incorporate unique and personalized culinary experiences. In fact, F&B has become so much of a cornerstone of an overall cruise vacation, MSC Cruises has made the unusual decision to combine F&B operations with hotel operations so those in charge of overseeing F&B, such as myself, are able to incorporate many of
Working virtually has its merits. For instance, a hotel restaurant manager can check on his chicken fryer remotely. Technology has blown the lid off what was possible in the past, but when all is said and emailed, there’s still a flesh-and-blood staffer selling your F&B to real live guests. Going face to face isn’t just important in service and management within a restaurant or hotel property. Michael Costa shares his inside experience from a recent Benchmark Resorts & Hotels F&B conference, where in-person networking among peers within the brand reignited passions, ideas, and progress. Similarly, Holiday Inn’s new C.A.S.H. program
In this digital age, something as simple as a telephone call, let alone a personal visit, has become too time-consuming or inconvenient for many. Spoken communication has become a lost art in personal friendships as well as business relationships. Not so with Nate Waldron, director of operations at the Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Ken Persson, VP of sales and marketing at Maywood Furniture Corporation. “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and have worked at multiple Benchmark Hospitality International properties, and I have never nor would ever come to anyone but
Timberline Lodge, a historic, WPA-built resort with 73 rooms, sits on the south slope of scenic Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon. Skiers enjoy snow well into August, and more than two million people visit the lodge year-round for weddings and other events. And they eat a lot of French fries and fried chicken. But in 2011, F&B Director Wesley Gagnon found himself dealing with a waste oil accident that severely injured employees. When moving pots of hot oil from the kitchen fryer to the holding barrel, the transfer cart overturned. The employees received terrible burns and made a huge
Bill Fink of Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center oversees event management of one of the busiest hotels on the Eastern Seaboard. The resort hosts some 60-plus events per week, each averaging 1,400 attendees, and has over 510,000 square feet of meeting space. That’s why Fink says he chose Southern Aluminum’s meeting and banquet tables; he’s ordered more than 1,000 of the lightweight, linenless iDesign models, which are designed specifically for heavy-use hotel and conference center meeting spaces. Fink says he chose the linenless aluminum tables because of their durability and the choice of hundreds of laminate top finishes.
AMERICAN METALCRAFT introduces new waterproof, smudge-proof, and fade-proof Securit Waterproof Glass and Chalkboard Markers to protect artistic creations and marketing messages. In small and large tip sizes, they come in six colors (white, black, yellow, green, blue, and red) and work on all non-porous surfaces including signage displays, glass, mirrors, and plastics. CONTACT: 800-333-9133, www.amnow.com The new, multi-purpose, dry Round Heated Well (RHW) by HATCO® features a heating element temperature that is monitored by an electronic controller for evenly distributed heat. The RHW also offers three temperature set-points and features an energy-saving low-power mode. The Freestanding RHW is available
Eclectic design meets durability with Neo glassware from the Master’s Reserve® Performa Collection by LIBBEY®. Neo endures through intense usage, offering trend-forward presentations for your banquet, event, or high-volume operations. CONTACT: 800-356-8006, foodservice.libbey.com For a real “charm-to-table” look, check out AMERICAN METALCRAFT’S Antique White Melamine Bowls and Platters. Organic edges, textured surfaces, and dark brown mottled accents combine for attractive designs in durable melamine. CONTACT: 800-333-9133, www.amnow.com HATCO® CORPORATION’S Rapide CuisineTM Induction Range, constructed of black ceramic glass, is designed to withstand back-of-the-house cooking and prep area rigors but is also adaptable for buffet lines and front-of-the-house applications. CONTACT: 800-558-0607,
SCOTSMAN ICE SYSTEMS announces the hiring of Nick Mirkovich as the new VP of sales and marketing. Mirkovich is responsible for managing sales through distribution, key chain, and direct accounts throughout the Americas. He is based at Scotsman Ice Corporate Headquarters in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Mirkovich has spent nearly 15 years working in foodservice sales, marketing, product management, and retail capacities. For more information, visit www.scotsman-ice.com. SERVER PRODUCTS is pleased to announce the hiring of Greg Hug as engineering manager. In his new role, Greg leads the engineering team in developing new products and improving existing ones. He is a