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 52-55-3300-3950 or jermini@lasalcobas.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.