Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gonzalez

Eduardo Gonzalez

Executive Chef, Grupo Alta

Chef Eduardo Gonzalez leads culinary operations at Casa Palopó. As Executive Chef, he oversees menu development and food & beverage programming to enhance the overall gastronomic experience at Guatemala's first and only Relais & Chateaux property.

Chef Gonzalez is locally renowned for his role in the television program "Flavors of my Land," in which he and his co-host focused on ingredients native to Guatemala. He is currently the host of "A Menu for All," a daily cooking program that features simple recipes and techniques for the at-home cook.

The son of a farmer, Chef Gonzalez spent his childhood lending a hand at his father's fincas, where he developed a love for the land. He studied agronomy, intrigued by the process of crop production. Today, Chef Gonzalez's 23 years of experience include restaurant openings, internships at Michelin-star restaurants and culinary school instructor, always leading with his passion for locally grown ingredients and traditional recipes.

He brings this approach to Casa Palopó, where newly launched menus feature dishes such as Pepían, a spicy stew that's recognized as the national dish, as well as Trucha Asalmonada, a fresh local trout filet in orange sauce, roasted coriander seed and cilantro sauce served with sauteed spinach and sweet potato puree, among other dishes to satisfy every palate. The new menus also zero in on local herbs and ingredients like vanilla and cacao native to Guatemala.

Chef Gonzalez arrives at Casa Palopó on the heels of a highly anticipated property expansion. Last year, the hotel debuted six brand new rooms and suites inspired by local artisans. The new food and beverage menus and culinary programming will continue to elevate the guest experience at Casa Palopó, while raising curiosity toward Guatemala's emerging food culture.

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

Mr. Gonzalez can be contacted at +502 7762 2270 or egonzalez@grupoalta.com

Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.