Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Contreras

Brian Contreras

Director of Culinary Operations, Americas, Hyatt Place & Hyatt House

Brian Contreras was named director of culinary operations for the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands in February 2018. In this role, Chef Contreras supports more than 400 Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in the Americas, which includes menu development, food and beverage training and design services consulting.

Most recently, Chef Contreras was responsible for reimagining the Hyatt Place breakfast experience, which now gives guests the option to choose from a variety of high-quality breakfast offerings that draw from food culture from five regions across the country, including the Atlantic, South, Heartland, Southwest, and West Coast. The complimentary breakfast for World of Hyatt members focuses on holistic, regional and craft food offerings that closely align with Hyatt's Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. philosophy.

Originally from Arizona, Chef Contreras began his career at Hyatt in 2010 as a line cook at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz., and soon after was appointed to supervisor. He then served as chef de cuisine at The Driskill in Austin, Tex., where he oversaw the operations of the hotel's 1886 Cafe, The Driskill Bar and The Driskill Grill.

In 2016, Chef Contreras returned to Hyatt Regency Scottsdale as executive sous chef, where he was responsible for running the hotel's 10 food and beverage outlets, which included banquet operations, spa, in-room dining, and the market. Prior to Hyatt, Chef Contreras held a variety of roles at independent restaurants, including chef de cuisine at Eddie's House, a restaurant run by Chef Eddie Matney, a celebrity chef in Arizona.

Chef Contreras graduated from University of Arizona and Arizona Culinary Institute. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.

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

Mr. Contreras can be contacted at +1 847-864-2300 or brian.contreras@hyatt.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.