Hyatt has recently launched a philosophy Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.
It has forced chefs, in a positive way, to get out of the office and find out what actually grows in their own backyards. Through this I have learned even more about quality products within Orange County and surrounding counties, but nowhere near enough!
Given the opportunity, I would take six months off to work on these local farms to better understand the processes, passion and effort to operate them. I would like to take a few of my cooks along to ensure that they remain inspired.
I will continue to make certain that our local producers remain viable with our support. With globalization, it has been very easy to cook with whatever I want at any given time, no questioned asked. Going local means stripping down menus and changing them more frequent then most people would imagine. It’s a challenge that top notch free standing restaurants have sought to meet for awhile, hotels not so much. Having automated on-line ordering systems causes a disconnect between what is fresh /local and what sounds good when writing a menu description.
Six months to get with my local farmers/producers would be a great once in a lifetime opportunity that no research or culinary school could equal.