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Marriott Chefs Feel the Heat in Culinary Challenge Final

Marriott Hotel & Country Club Team

Forest of Arden, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club Team Crowned Champions of Marriott’s Prestigious Black Box Final in Brussels.

LONDON—Heralded as the ultimate culinary challenge, Forest of Arden, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club was crowned the winner of Marriott International’s coveted Culinary Black Box competition, which took place at the Brussels Marriott Hotel last Friday evening. Competing at the finals were six teams of food and beverage associates Marriott-branded hotels across Europe – Renaissance Moscow Hotel, Frankfurt Marriott Hotel, Vienna Marriott Hotel, Courtyard Neuilly and Courtyard Saint Denis, Amsterdam Marriott Hotel and Forest of Arden, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club. The Black Box finalist teams each developed their own three-course menu from the surprise ingredients found inside the “Black Box” which was presented at a glamorous gala dinner. The winning menu included a trio of salmon, loin of venison and lemon meringue tart. Teams were also judged on creativity and appearance of their stunning table presentations.

Over the past 18 months, the Culinary Black Box Competition has brought together Marriott associates across Europe, specializing in the kitchen and service disciplines, to educate and train on Marriott’s CookSmart philosophy and service standards. CookSmart is a philosophy of successful cooking which includes four key elements: perfect execution, great ingredients, kitchen technique and focus on the guest.

Simon Beaumont, director of culinary for Marriott International in Europe said, “We are delighted to have brought together the best of our chefs across Europe for the Culinary Black Box Final, the first of its kind for Marriott. Over 100 Marriott hotels across Europe have participated in regional competitions and it was great to see Marriott culinary excellence at its best with the Black Box Champions from Forest of Arden, as well as the five runner-up teams here in Brussels last week. The challenge was a great opportunity for the Marriott chefs and service associates to express their creativity, as well as their culinary skills, service standards and team work.”

The culinary creations from the six hotel teams were tried and tested at a formal dinner the Olympia Bourse Ballroom at the recently renovated Brussels Marriott Hotel, with a judging panel including – Simon Beaumont director of culinary, Robert Junkte director of events and Jörg Kröter director of food and beverage. 

Marriott International’s CookSmart philosophy and intensive chef training programme is testament to the company’s dedication to ongoing professional development and investment in its associates, who each year receive a personal development plan and a discipline-specific training programme.

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