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Creating Customized Dining Experiences for Conferences

The conference planning process is not for the weary. It requires a great amount of focus, close attention to detail, and patience. We are often amazed at how well our clients can juggle the many demands of their organizations while still catering to the needs of their conference attendees. We have recently noticed a particular area that requires a lot of extra attention: food & beverage.

Our organizations are diverse and the attendees of our programs come with very unique dietary requests. We often encounter cultural requirements, taste or socially motivated preferences, and very commonly, food allergies. Is it possible to create a menu that meets everyone's needs?

In an effort to ease the anxiety of our clients, we work very closely with our culinary teams to simplify the group dining process. We strive to create an elegant and refined experience that accommodates every special request.

Our culinary team at Destination Hotels & Resorts is challenged to expand their recipe books and cook with a mix of flavors from cultures all across the world. Executive Chef, Nunzio Cassara, at the Hamilton Park Hotel in Florham Park, New Jersey has a passion for meatballs, sauce, and other traditional dishes from his Italian – American upbringing. But he also insists that his team is well versed in delicacies from other cultures. Recently we hosted an executive leadership seminar that was attended by several guests from Kuwait. Knowing that food can have a very comforting affect, Chef and his team put many ours into perfecting a dish called machboos – a rice, meat, and veggie dish flavored with spices such as cardamom and saffron. It was a dish dear to the hearts of our guests, and they appreciated that bit of normalcy while travel abroad for several weeks. Hamilton Park Hotel is also very fortunate to have a recent International Association of Conference Centers North American Copper Skillet Award Winner, Charles “CJ” Chambers, on their team. 

The Food & Beverage Directors of Destination Hotels & Resorts work closely together to share recipes and review recent trends. Our collection of properties has broadened to 40 locations, which allows us to keep a pulse on what’s happening in all areas of the country. When it comes to vegetarian delicacies and health conscious fare, our west coast resorts are discovering new dishes every day. At the Miramonte Resort in Palm Springs, California, our Grove Artisan Kitchen has become very well known for its  "farm to table" fresh seasonal California cuisine. Our Vineyard Lounge also features an exquisite menu of tappas items, including pinot grigio steamed mussels, Moroccan spiced seared tuna, and heirloom tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella.

With an inspired culinary team and an impressive selection of quality ingredients, our conference planners are prepared to provide a delicious dining experience fit for every guest. We ask all of the right questions to understand the expectations of your attendees. They will leave our dining rooms feeling refreshed and energized; grateful for the time to engage with their fellow participants and focused on the conference events at hand. To learn more about the exciting culinary experiences at all forty of our Destination Hotels & Resorts locations, visit our meeting collection website.

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