Photo courtesy Jack Oughton.

Due to the ever-changing mood of high-end diners, hotel management continues to adapt to new and exciting challenges within the food and beverage sector of luxury travel. In a recent post by Texas Meetings + Events, executive chefs and management members discuss trends within the western region of US that are becoming universally seen in hotels across the country.

Local Sourcing & Authenticity

“Traveling is all about experiencing a new culture, and that includes fare from the region guests are visiting,” says James Morin, executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa located in San Antonio.

“We see a lot of guests enthralled by the culture of our Lone Star State, and they want to experience that unique Texas flavor in authentic cuisine.”

Showcasing the sourcing of ingredients and partnerships with local suppliers is a shift from previous priorities. The George R. Brown Convention Center also works to showcase its local partners by prominently featuring their branding in restaurant and café experiences, according to Chris Bupp, general manager of Levy, the exclusive food and beverage provider for the convention center.

Photo by Jack Oughton.

One example of this is the convention center’s relationship with local company Java Pura as a coffee vendor. “In telling people about it, it’s roasted down the street and it’s available across Texas,” Bupp says. “What a great story to tell, and consumers love hearing about it.”

Photo by Vishnuvardan.

Healthy Alternatives & Dietary Restrictions

Chefs at multiple hotels and resorts spoke about an increased desire to develop menus with healthy options for attendees. For breakfast, often groups are looking for healthy options and “light action stations,” as they “want to see how the food is prepared,” says Christof Syré, executive chef at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.

In regards to particular ingredients, grains such as quinoa, farro and sorghum have gained a new spotlight, as well as cold oatmeal and avocado toast topped with smoked salmon or a poached egg. Salmon has been a strong ingredient for Ruffy Sulaiman, executive chef at Hilton Americas-Houston. “When we do a lot of tastings, each time we have salmon in the tasting, salmon always wins,” Sulaiman says. He credits the interest in salmon because it’s loaded with Omega 3 and appeals to most health-conscious eaters.

Coinciding healthy options are dietary restrictions, a complicated but rewarding challenge that the hotel industry finds itself constantly working toward accommodating, says Sulaiman. “It allows us to be as creative as possible to make sure that we take care of those folks.”

Goodbye Buffets, Hello Pop-Up Experiences

Long buffet lines are going by the wayside, according to Sulaiman, as event planners are now sticking with smaller plates to continue the “less is more” trend. Sulaiman has developed different pop-up food experiences that highlight various cultures represented in Houston, including an Indian station with chicken Marsala and lamb shashlik and a pho station to represent Vietnamese culture.

To learn more from these inspired experts from the Lone Star state, visit Texas Meeting + Events’ post!

Photo courtesy By Swastiverma.