Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ferrier

Chris Ferrier

Executive Chef, The National Conference Center

Executive Chef Chris Ferrier joined the team at The National and West Belmont Place in 2015. The property is one of the largest meeting, training and event facilities in the nation located within close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport and just outside of Washington, DC. Chef Ferrier's background includes experience in high-volume kitchens and 4-star resorts, banquets and fine dining. Most recently, he served as executive chef at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. His resume includes various Hyatt Hotels and resorts, Boar's Head Inn, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. As a property that specializes in hosting meetings, training meetings, trade shows, weddings and special events, food is a significant factor. “Chris shares our mission and vision in working with local farmers to source local food for sustainability, freshness and quality,” Lawson explained. “He has brought our culinary offerings to the new and higher level.” Chef Ferrier is now sourcing from additional local farms for The National and West Belmont Place. This is no ordinary feat given the fact that, at times, there are more than 1500 meals prepared in one day. With new renovations throughout the property, including The National dining room, the Black Olive Bar, and a new Lavazza Coffee shop, it is only fitting that the property also features an expanded culinary program with new catering menus for West Belmont Place and great new menu items at The National. In addition, The National has added a Chef's Table where guests of the property can opt to hold a special dinner for up to 20 people in the kitchen with Chef Ferrier. In recognizing the importance of food to meetings, “We know that food plays an important role in the overall experience of our guests and their meals,” added Lawson. “And we also know the value that food plays in ensuring that meetings, including training meetings, are more efficient and more productive when participants are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.”

Please visit http://www.conferencecenter.com for more information.

Mr. Ferrier can be contacted at 703-729-8000 or sales@conferencecenter.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.