Successful hotels are not islands unto themselves—partnering with neighbors or others in the area is a popular way to offer something different for guests and draw in locals, as well as build on consumers’ quest for local flavor. Hotels are using this strategy to great effect when it comes to food and beverage.
A number of properties host various F&B festivals, and many feature celebrity chefs to increase the attraction. One of the most experienced at this type of culinary tourism is the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which holds a number of events, such as the Dorado Beach Culinary Getaway, which is set to be held at the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel this month. This year’s event is the third annual, and is presented in partnership with world-renowned Chef José Andrés.
The culinary celebration will once again present guests with unprecedented access to and interaction with an impressive roster of elite chefs and personal friends of Andrés, including Eric Ripert and Tim Love, who will be returning for the third year, in addition to newcomer Jacques Torres. Chefs from the Ritz-Carlton Reserve will also be in attendance during the weekend, introducing guests to an array of dishes that celebrate local ingredients and cuisine.
The weekend consists of more than 40 carefully curated experiences including a beachside cookout, wine and rum tastings, culinary demonstrations and outstanding meals. At exclusive meet-and-greets, guests will also get the unique opportunity to directly interact with each of the participating chefs and learn from them. Highlights from the weekend will also include an intimate cocktail party at the property’s stunning private residence, Su Casa, as well as a Chef’s Dinner and a farewell Champagne brunch.
The The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, will host the 10th annual Cayman Cookout in January. Originally created by Chef Eric Ripert—seafood master and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York City and Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman—the Cayman Cookout 2018 will see Ripert joined by an impressive roster of globally recognized culinary stars including Anthony Bourdain, José Andrés, Emeril Lagasse, Alfred Portale, Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, Michael Mina, Rick Bayless, Robert Irvine and Sean Brock.
Cayman Cookout brings together talented chefs, wine and spirit experts, and culinary influencers in one of the most prestigious celebrations of food and wine in the world. Guests at this exclusive, interactive weekend will enjoy vivacious cooking demonstrations, tastings, tours, dinners, pairings and unique epicurean experiences. The annual gathering at the hotel is hosted in partnership with Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
But Ritz-Carlton is by no means the only company on the culinary event circuit. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa recently hosted the 2017 Gourmet Seafood & Spirits Festival Coastal Chef’s Table pairing dinner.
The event was supported by a plethora of sponsors, including the Savannah Morning News, iHeartMedia, Certified Angus Beef, EventHaus Rentals, US Foods, Eat it & Like It, Blue Point Brewing Company, Cask & Crew Whiskey, Plymouth Gin, Absolut Elyx Vodka, Old Forester Bourbon, Herradura Tequila, Fiji Water, Adfish Group, Libbey Glassware, Coca Cola and more.
The festival included a five-course Grand Ballroom event featuring in-room course preparation and cocktail demonstrations. Guest chefs showcased their own take on “Southern Coastal Cuisine” and certified spirit and wine experts delivered pairings to accompany each creation.
Event proceeds support scholarships, family-focused nonprofits, and children's charities through the Savannah Harbor Foundation.
Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wis., is another property that sees the value in special F&N events featuring celebrity chefs. The 17th annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience once again brought together a roster of award-winning chefs and exclusive culinary and wine tasting experiences in October.
“Kohler Food & Wine celebrates the confluence of great food and wine, quality ingredients and local flavors,” said Jenna Check, associate director of special events. “We’re thrilled to welcome industry pioneers, Midwestern talent, renowned purveyors, winemakers and craft producers to the stage this October for this signature celebration.”
The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hosted the inaugural Playa Beer Fest at the resort last week.
Known for creating special gastronomy events, highlighting local products and homemade cuisine, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort partnered with local Mexican artisanal breweries unique to Riviera Maya to create the exclusive event and to highlight signature beers and delicious bites with diverse flavors.
Guests and resort visitors enjoyed regionally sourced selections from participating brewers including Cerveza Artesanal Tatich, Cerveza Artesanal Pescadores, Cerveceria Tulum, Cerveza Curvato, El Viejo Cerveza Artesanal y Mundo Brewing Company. To enhance the experience of this premiere event, the culinary experts at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort's signature restaurant, La Cocina, created innovative, artistic and delectable takes on regional favorites to pair with the specialized cervezas.