Hilton Adelaide Appoints Brent Assam as New Executive Chef

Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. September 11, 2019

Hilton Adelaide has welcomed back Brent Assam to lead the team as Executive Chef following time spent working on the Islands of Fiji.

Following time working in Africa, Perth, Fiji and Hilton Adelaide where he was Executive Sous Chef from 2013 until 2015, Brent said the time is right to return back to Adelaide.

Born and bred in Durban, South Africa, the outdoors have shaped Brent's outlook to appreciate the smaller things in life. He is inspired by the abundant and diverse resources offered by South Australia's local landscape (ocean, garden, farmlands) and its rich food history and heritage.

"My food incorporates innovative cooking and preparation methods, plated with attention to detail and inspiring levels of artistry - I'm constantly experimenting with new flavours and ideas, stretching the boundaries, and I am looking forward to elevating the hotel's dining experience."

With a background in five-star hotels and resorts, Brent describes his food as clean, honest and sophisticated, as he balances his natural flair with being on trend to create food that is appealing to all senses.

Brent will oversee a team of 30 chefs and seven kitchens, including the hotel's signature restaurant, Coal Cellar + Grill, which is jointly spearheaded by local Chef de Cuisine Julian Nicolas, whose experience includes Magill Estate Restaurant and Peel Street.

The creative duo will continue to champion the Seriously South Australian® brand which is embraced at Coal Cellar + Grill. The latest menu has already seen Brent and Julian's influence, which reflects a sharing-style dining experience.

The share-plates will be offered as either small or large servings and will be committed to the integrity of the ingredients, offering a simple approach and rich flavours. The sharing-style dining complements the core grill menu, with the hero dish continuing to be the Black Angus Tomahawk steak.

"The team and I love finding new foreign flavours and combinations, and it's finding the unknown that excites us. We can't wait to share these discoveries with our guests," said Brent.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.