Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Guidry

Lee Guidry

Executive Chef, Seagar's Prime Steaks & Seafood - Hilton

A graduate of Delgado Culinary Institute in New Orleans, Executive Chef Lee Guidry has spent more than 11 years in the culinary industry, honing his skills through various positions in Nashville, Chicago, and Crestview, Florida. His passion for cooking stems from his summers spent in the south of Sardinia, Italy where he learned classic and regional Italian preparations. He also worked with classically trained chefs from Germany, France, Spain and Japan absorbing the distinct philosophies of each region's cooking techniques. Drawing on his expertise in authentic Italian techniques and his extensive time exploring the flavors of the coast, Chef Guidry delivers a signature style and experience unique to Seagar's.

Before joining Seagar's Prime Steaks & Seafood, Chef Guidry dedicated two years to the Meli Cafe Group in Chicago, where he designed, executed and oversaw their first venture into dinner service. He also spent four years as the head chef at SushiSamba Rio in Chicago, where he was responsible for all aspects of the hot kitchen and worked side-by-side with Chef Shige-san, a certified Sushi Chef in the U.S. Before that, Chef Guidry worked as executive chef at Bound'ry in Nashville, where he designed seasonal menus featuring local products .

In addition to his culinary arts and chef training at Delgado Culinary Institute in New Orleans, Chef Guidry studied Psychology at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile. He is also continuing his education through the ACF Florida program to obtain a certified executive chef title and is a certified foodservice manager in the state of Florida and the city of Chicago. He was voted "Top Ten Young Chefs" by Sarasota Magazine and nominated for "Best Chef Chicago" in 2012 by Best Chefs America.

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

Mr. Guidry can be contacted at +1 850-622-1500 or lguidry@hiltonsandestinbeach.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.