July 10, 2019

The League of Kitchens Spirit to Serve CRS Initiative

Marriott International APAC’s Culinary Workshop by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

When 40 International and local chefs get together, there’s nothing short but a big bang of culinary escapades hosted by Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. A yearly event, Marriott International sets out to host The League of Kitchens on all their hotel locations all over the world. Gathering their culinary teams from all Marriott properties, these chefs are set for 3-day workshop focusing on trends and culinary innovations in the F&B industry.

The 5th edition of the annual Marriott International’s APAC Culinary workshop was held recently in June 2019 at Le Meridien with 40 chefs from Marriott properties in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and The Maldives together with 12 top culinary students from Taylor’s University School of Culinary Arts & Food Studies, Sunway’s Le Cordon Bleu Institute Malaysia, and KDU University College.

Lead by Toine Hoeksel, Senior Culinary Director of APAC, the 3-day workshop took everyone through a high-level and immersive experiential training, networking, learning new trends of the trade, ‘Black Box’ challenge and ended with a fun and insightful outdoor cooking session for charity.

The finale of the Marriott International’s APAC Culinary workshop was held at Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) where everyone takes on an outdoor challenge of cooking up a storm for 100 stateless children from Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih, a stateless children school by Ministry of Education. Part of Marriott International’s ‘Spirit to Serve’ CSR initiative, Chef Hoeksel together with Le Meridien KL Executive Chef Antoine Rodriguez along with Regional Culinary Director of APEC, Marriott International Raheel Ahmed and Area Director of Operations Nicolas Kassab together with the culinary team were all on-site in making the event a fruitful and fun event for the children.

Despite an early morning shower, the team work hard to setup all the cooking stations in preparation for the big cookout. With 6 teams set together with culinary students, members of the media and bloggers, the morning took flight as the weather cleared up to a bright and sunny day. The menu of the day consisted of Chicken and Beef Satay, Ulam Kerabu, Butter Chicken with Vegetable Dalcha and Rice, Grilled Fish and Squid with Tamarind Sauce, Wok-Fried Vegetables, Stir-Fried Egg Noodles, Assorted Malay Kuih, Roti Jala, Banana Porridge and Durian Porridge.

A quick speech by Chef Hoeksel boosted the spirit of the team and the atmosphere of the day of certainly vibrating with much energy, joy and laughter from everyone.

Chef Hoeksel has been with Marriott International for 7 years and has been leading the APAC Culinary workshop since the beginning. The APAC Culinary workshop host 13 workshops through a year internationally with the purpose to bring Marriott chefs together and how to continuously improve the food quality of the international hotel group.

‘Marriott International continues to grow with 850 hotels in the pipeline over 5-year timeline. Therefore, it is crucial that everyone grows with the group. The goal is to focus on food quality, building reputation, storytelling, driving revenue, food authenticity with locally source as well as sustainable ingredients. Besides this, Marriott International hopes to work with local schools to bring in new talents through their apprenticeship program and allow them to grow globally with the group’, says Chef Hoeksel.

The day concluded with much success and laughter as everyone made sure the children were well-fed with the delicious menu along with singing activities and even a dance performance by Chef Hoeksel and all his team.

The 12 top culinary students from the local culinary schools were also presented with certificate of recognition from Marriott International. The certification is said to serve as a strong entry point for the young graduates to seek employment opportunities with any Marriott property internationally.

More tokens of appreciation were also presented to the culinary team from Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih management team.

Perhaps the most priceless moment of the day was the group photo of the smiles on the children with the team that day…


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