Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Souza

Jesse Souza

Executive Chef, Riviera Palm Springs

As Executive Chef of award-winning Circa 59 restaurant at the iconic Riviera Palm Springs, Chef Jesse Souza creates signature epicurean creations with a twist. With more than 17 years of culinary experience and extensive time spent cooking in Noble House kitchens across the country, Chef Souza brings a wealth of excitement and expertise in fine dining to the kitchen and table. Chef Souza joins the resort most recently from his role as executive chef at Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, Calif. He joined Noble House Hotels & Resorts in 2002, working at the exclusive Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Florida Keys. In 2007, Chef Souza took the lead at BALEENmiami at The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, soon moving to BALEENnaples at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in 2008. Along the way, Chef Souza had many successful stints launching Chispa restaurant in Miami, where his team developed the Nouveau Latin Cuisine for which the brand successfully became known. In 2005, Chef Souza returned to his native New England to work closely with the farmers, fisherman and artisans of the region while at Havana Restaurant and Natasha's, two prominent Maine restaurants.

Mr. Souza can be contacted at 866-588-8311 or jsouza@psriviera.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.