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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.