Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Garcelon

David Garcelon

Director of Culinary, Waldorf Astoria NYC

Chef David Garcelon took his first kitchen position at the age of 14 and soon recognized his love of food and culinary passion. Throughout his career, Chef Garcelon has consistently developed his culinary expertise to successfully lead some of the largest hotel kitchens in the world. “As someone who has worked in hotels for the majority of my career, the opportunity to be part of The Waldorf=Astoria is something I have always dreamed of,“ remarks Chef Garcelon. “Leading kitchens where numerous iconic dishes were created instills a powerful drive to expand upon and innovate the hotel's culinary offerings.” Chef Garcelon, director of culinary at The Waldorf=Astoria, is responsible for the entire kitchen operations of the landmark hotel. A 20-year veteran of executive chef positions around North America, he brings his love of food and passion for using the finest, locally sourced ingredients to the iconic hotel's distinctive restaurants: the stylish Peacock Alley, the jewel of the hotel's lobby, renowned for its extravagant brunch and seafood menu; Bull & Bear steakhouse, a Manhattan institution; and Oscar's American Brasserie, offering casual dining. Chef Garcelon, who grew up in New Brunswick, Canada is a graduate of Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of Canada, and is a Certified Food and Beverage Executive with the American Hotel & Motel Association and a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation. His dedication to the culinary world even extends into his personal life as his wife shares his love of food and hospitality and is currently a culinary instructor. Prior to joining The Waldorf=Astoria, Chef Garcelon served as executive chef of the 1,364-room Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, where he led Canada's largest hotel kitchen. As an advocate for local and sustainable food sourcing and purchasing, Chef Garcelon proudly oversaw the hotel's rooftop herb garden, only one of its kind in Toronto, as an extension of the hotel's environmental program and in 2008 established a rooftop apiary. He has also served as executive chef for The Fairmont Southampton Bermuda; Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta; and CP Hotels' The Lodge at Kananaskis, Kananaskis, Alberta. Chef Garcelon is charged with bringing his expertise to The Waldorf=Astoria, the epicenter of New York City's business, social, cultural and political life and one of the city's most diverse dining destinations. He is poised to innovatively expand on the hotel's already famed culinary history. The Waldorf=Astoria is credited with the creation of such American staples as veal Oscar, lobster Newburg, eggs Benedict and (of course) Waldorf salad and helped popularize culinary traditions like Thousand Island dressing and red velvet cake. Chef Garcelon has enjoyed numerous culinary awards and accolades, including: - Certified Chef de Cuisine Canada - Slow Food member - Certified Executive Chef USA - 2005 Chef of the Year Award, Bermuda Visitor Industry Partnership - Bronze Medallion of Excellence, Bermuda Baillage Chaine des Rotissuers - Dish of the Year, Chaine des Rotissuer, Alberta Nord - United States Meat Export Federation Menu Competition Winner - Bronze Medal National Team Hot Competition, Quebec City - Canadian Champion's and Gold Medal Winner, Canadian Provincial Team Hot Competition - Achieved 1st AAA Five-Diamond Award for The Newport Room Restaurant, Fairmont Southampton - Achieved 1st AAA Four-Diamond Award for L'Escapade Restaurant, The Lodge at Kananaski

Mr. Garcelon can be contacted at 212-355-3000 or david_garcelon@hilton.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.