The Drive Behind Marriott’s Food And Beverage Offering
The Marriott Group is no stranger to hospitality. Their rich 90-year history spans across a portfolio of 30 hotels and brands including the Westin, Sheraton, and St. Regis. Their reputation in the global culinary scene is considered unmatched, and if you’ve ever had interactions with their brand, you’ll no doubt be aware of the uncompromised quality laced in every aspect of what they do.
What makes a Marriott experience so memorable, though? Their unique take on a multitude of hospitality offerings across their international identity definitely plays a part. Take the Le Meridien in Phuket for example, which had six different restaurants each offering cuisines from various global pockets. While their location in the Maldives, St. Regis, follows suit with the likes of Lobster Popcorn and pizza that’s worthy of the flight alone.
Come early October each year, Marriott bring together locally sourced ingredients, their highest calibre chefs, bartenders and sommeliers to showcase what they’re truly capable of. In conjunction with De Bortoli Wines, their two day event is not only an opportunity for Marriott to highlight their expertise, but a way for their staff to collaborate and learn together.
This year’s event was held at the De Bortoli winery, sat within the rolling hills of Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Upon arrival, we were taken for a tour through the vineyard. Equal parts educational and leisurely, our knowledge of the wines on offer at the cellar door experience felt all the more proficient – though that may have been the wine speaking.
Lunch put us side by side with their chefs for an afternoon of fresh food, banter, and a little nostalgia. The chefs were tasked with recreating our childhood memories with the ingredients they had at hand. A trip down memory lane immediately conjured up the Banh-Mi rolls I’d had from the Vietnamese bakery after school; I knew them as “$2.00 rolls” – inflation is a hell of a thing.
Chef, Ambrose Andrews was quick to assign himself to the challenge. He began working his magic while guests sipped on the locally sourced craft beer on tap, as well as the cocktails complete with just-harvested fruit. Before too long, Andrews presented a contemporary take on the Banh-Mi; stuffed with barbequed quail meat, baby carrot that was pickled in a Yarra Valley bio-vinegar, mint, and a hint of chilli. A far cry from the $2.00 roll of yesteryear, yet reminiscent in all the ways it should be.
There were five groups of chefs testing their ingenuity with their outdoor kitchens, and the smell of barbequed meats whisked its way through the spring air. The sentimentality of Andrews’ modern Banh-Mi had us content, although we couldn’t help but let our palette wander to the other creations as the afternoon continued. Fortunately, each kitchen produced a generous serving, allowing the guests to graze to and fro between the flavours on offer. Both western and eastern cuisines were touched on, all produced with local vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
A mock farmer’s market showcasing the ingredients, and where they came from, had been set up to add to the day’s atmosphere. Insights like these, while important, are often overlooked; Marriott’s dedication to quality produce establishes itself as something that’s taken seriously throughout their business.
There was much to take away from such an immersive culinary experience. Cuisines varied from traditional dishes to the more experimental, yet the quality was both consistent and unique through everything served. Watching the chefs and staff in action together over the two days proved why Marriott is at the forefront of their trade. Learning from each other, as well as the local producers, creates a harmonious relationship from farm right down to the plate – something evident in their Australian locations and across the group internationally