Mr. Toine Koeksel (4th from the left) at Restaurant & Bar + Culinary Workshop by the Asia Pacific of Marriott International
Mr. Toine Koeksel (4th from the left) at Restaurant & Bar + Culinary Workshop by the Asia Pacific of Marriott International

At the recent Restaurant & Bar + Culinary Workshop by the Asia Pacific of Marriott International, Delta Bridges had the pleasure to talk to Mr. Toine Hoeskel, Senior Culinary Director, Asia Pacific about the current and future plans in culinary development at Marriott International.

 Delta Bridges:  Is it the first time that you do something like this? The workshop.
 Toine Hoeksel:  No, this is not the first time. Every year we host creative workshop. There was one year, we wanted to cancel it and we got a lot of comments from the hotels saying “where is the workshop this year”. I have worked for Marriott International for many years and the annual workshop has become something that our associates look forward to every year. It is very important for us to reach out to properties and spend time with them. But also, I think most importantly is the networking that you create between hotels. There are more than 20 hotels here in Guangzhou in the Marriott family, so it is the size that makes that matter in that respect.

 DB:  Why does the Asia Pacific of Marriott International choose Guangzhou and Guangzhou Marriott Hotel Tianhe this year to host the workshop?
 TH:  The hotel volunteered and I am glad that we are here today. Guangzhou is a very important city in South China. It is also the capital of Cantonese food. I used to work in Guangzhou ten years ago, so I have a better understanding of Guangzhou and its culture. There are so much happening in South China, especially in Guangzhou if you see the number of new hotels that came. On the other hand, Guangzhou is, from a city perspective, easy to access to from anywhere in South China. Today, we even have participants from Chengdu. Guangzhou Marriott Hotel Tianhe is conveniently located with good access to the city center from wherever you are. Good location makes a big difference.

 DB:  There are many executive chefs here today from different hotels in different locations. How do you inspire each one of them individually?
 TH:  With chefs, we are speaking the same language when it comes to F&B. We are all driven to lift quality; we are all eager for new information. When we talk about concepts and directions of what we think is important for them to be successful, we are in their service to make them perform better in business. At the workshop, we ask participants from different hotels to do presentations in front of the group. It is to share their best practices with other hotels. For example, we just had representatives from Guangzhou Marriott Hotel Tianhe to talk about what is the success story for the hotel, what are the things that really work well for the hotel. For other hotel representatives in the group, they might be inspired: ‘it might be a good idea, we can do something similar”. It is all about sharing ideas. During the workshop, it is also very important for us to do some exercises with them on things that we presented.

 DB:  Is there any other programs that Marriott International has prepared every year?
 TH:  We do many types of training every year. It is the foundation of the company and shows that we really focus on our people. The fast and steady growth of the company is a very good example. It provides opportunity for our associates to go to other properties, learn from other hotels and create new experience. Then we have many online based trainings, conferences and workshops that take place every year. So, there are many from the cooperation side that focus on promoting people, giving them opportunities to learn and grow. What makes the differences is that we give them a personal development plan. We support them with planning their career into details, such as what they want to become; and we are there with them throughout the journey to help them.