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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.