Last month, Hyatt Hotels introduced a new brandwide F&B program integrating sustainable local cuisine into all of the hotels globally, along with the new corporate website, Hyatt Food. The initiative, “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served,” focuses on three pillars: health/nutrition, sustainability and community. We checked in with Executive Chef Dan Elinan at the oceanfront Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa to get some specifics, and maybe some new lobster recipe ideas.
Prevue: How are you incorporating Hyatt’s new “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served” initiative into group banquets? What are the most significant benefits for planners and attendees?
Dan Elinan: All group banquet menus have been rebuilt around the three pillars of Hyatt’s new global philosophy: healthy food, healthy planet and healthy communities. The resort has already been serving all sustainable seafood for the past year, which corresponds with the second pillar of implementing sustainable practices for a healthy planet. However, with the new global program, we have taken the conscientious dining experience a step further, both for leisure guests and meeting attendees, who will find that the resort has not only freshest sustainable seafood available but also more balanced offerings and natural ingredients, prepared with only the best cooking techniques.
Furthermore, the final pillar of sourcing and supporting local suppliers means that guests and groups will enjoy fresh, local ingredients that reflect the seasons and local flavors of the Florida Keys. In addition to the seasonally inspired banquet menus, meeting attendees will have the peace of mind that they’re making a difference in the local community they are visiting.
What are some sample dishes specific to the region?
We offer a Breakfast Ceviche—mango, pineapple, banana, strawberry, tangerine and dried cranberries served over a crisp plantain chip. Our Veggie Power Wrap includes tomato, roasted zucchini, bell peppers, carrot, avocado, quinoa and hummus in a whole wheat wrap served with baked vegetable root chips. And the Pecan Sweet Potato Crusted Yellowtail Snapper uses honey-glazed baby carrots and broccoli puree with a mango rum sauce. We also offer grilled Florida lobster and chorizo risotto.
Are there any unique educational components that planners can incorporate into their events, relating to new F&B program?
We have not yet developed an educational component for planners. However, the resort is in the process of introducing a series of cooking classes at a local women’s shelter involving menu planning for families where all of the dishes revolve around the three pillars.
The resort also actively participates in the local high school’s “Prostart” program, which involves teaching young students about healthy cooking and assisting them in becoming professional culinarians. By holding a meeting at Hyatt Key West, planners and attendees can help support these important educational programs.