Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Grohs

Darin Grohs

Director Food & Beverage, W Hotel New Orleans

Chef Darin Grohs got the bug for hospitality with his first job as a bus-boy at age 13 working at a bowling alley in Rapid City, SD. He worked as a server and a dishwasher in addition and helped out in the kitchen when he could as he was not old enough to become a cook. After his time in the US Navy, doing anything but cooking, he got back into his groove and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where he graduated a term early and second in his class with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Grohs went on to attend Georgia State University to attain his four year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. All the while he focused on anything and everything in the food service industry. He worked at a liquor store to learn and understand his beverages and start his knowledge of wines. He even worked at a Bed and Breakfast for a well rounded understanding of the Hospitality business. He was classically trained in French Cuisine, he worked at multiple Italian restaurants and had the influence of his mentors in Atlanta who imparted the knowledge and understanding of the Low Country and all the flavors that are indicative of this area. He moved back to the Mid-West for a time, to Southern Florida with its Latin flavors and then landed in Southern California where he adopted the practice of market to table before heading to New Orleans. Chef Grohs believes in simple flavors that speak for themselves. With his vast background, he enjoys using local ingredients in new and inventive ways that could represent the culture at hand or the culture from where the dish came.

Mr. Grohs can be contacted at 504-207-5030 or darin.grohs@whotels.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.