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 525533003950 or jermini@lasalcobas.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.