Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ermini

Justin Ermini

Executive Chef, Las Alcobas

Justin Ermini , Executive Chef at Las Alcobas is a Connecticut native who attended the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and interned at Le Meridian Hotel in New Orleans, which would mark the beginning of his culinary journey. Soon after, he began training with Wolfgang Puck at Postrio in San Francisco, where he learned the art of California cuisine, developing his expertise by working every type of station. Afterward, he returned to the east coast where he was asked to join the team at, Three-Star Michelin restaurant Jean Georges in New York City. This experience fine-tuned his skills and provided him with the necessary refinement that would become essential for his next chapter, working at several Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Firenze, Italy where he resided and studied for the next two years. Soon opportunity drew him back to the west coast, after being approached by The Palms Hotel and Casino (The N9ne Group) to open their Italian concept in California. After the completion of this project, Chef Ermini relocated to Hollywood to take on the role of chef at the Michelin- starred Watergrill. Here, he studied the art of seafood, bringing in fish from all over the world and studying technique under Executive Chef David Lefevre (formerly executive sous chef of Charlie Trotter's). Years later, he returned to his roots by moving back to the east coast to become the Executive Chef of the Relais & Chateaux, Five-Star Five-Diamond Mayflower Inn, where he incorporated his eclectic variety of skills and technique, combining them with the classic New England cuisine he was raised with. This year, Chef Ermini will lend his expertise as Consulting Chef for the restaurant of the follow-up to Las Alcobas's flagship Mexico City property opening spring 2016, Las Alcobas Napa Valley.

Please visit www.lasalcobas.com for more information.

Mr. Ermini can be contacted at 525533003950 or jermini@lasalcobas.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.