How Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Continue to Innovate In the Boutique Hotel Space

In this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron is at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Barron sits down with George Morrone, Director of Culinary Development for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to talk about how this boutique hotel chain builds out independent restaurants; what they look for in specialty food, and tips on recruiting employees, among other topics.

“What drew me to the Kimpton hotels was just this whole approach to every detail mattered, you know, from the hotel side to the food and beverage side, which is usually where, in hospitality… that’s where it separates,” said Paul Barron. “If it’s going to break down, it’s going to break down at the restaurant.”

Morrone replied that the reason why Kimpton Hotels places such high importance on the food and beverage side of their business, as well, is because the late Bill Kimpton, boutique hotel developer, had a great passion for both sides of hospitality and instilled this philosophy to his employees early on.

George Morrone, a trained chef who is now focusing on guiding the growth and development of future culinary talent, as well as, the menu for Kimpton’s 70+ restaurants and bars, has turned to hiring from within when it comes to promoting executive chefs for new Kimpton concepts.

“What we’ve looked at and we’ve been successful with it is grooming the number twos and promoting them as we grow as a company and that way they already know our philosophies, financially how we operate,” says Morrone. “So, it’s been a successful formula for us.”

To learn more about what other factors set Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants apart in the hospitality space, check out the video above!

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


Kimpton Predicts More Plant-Based Dishes and Mocktails on Menus in 2019

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

With only two more months left of 2018, the 2019 food trend predictions are starting to roll out.

Last year, like many forecasts predicted, we saw a spike in vegan dishes.

But this was just the beginning.

Plant-based options have now become mainstream and they aren't only being selected by vegetarians or vegans either.

According to the Kimpton's 2019 Culinary & Cocktails Trend Forecast by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants group, the plant-based movement is going into overdrive in 2019.

"Expect to see more “whole beast movement” but with a vegetable twist, as more chefs experiment with “whole vegetable” entrées, like a roasted eggplant with eggplant caviar, and crispy eggplant skin chips," writes Kimpton.

The Kimpton 2019 Culinary + Cocktail Trends is based on the feedback received from a survey sent to the leading chefs, sommeliers, general managers, and bartenders at 80+ Kimpton restaurants and bars.

According to Kimpton's data, besides plant-based focused dishes, restaurants are introducing more adventurous protein dishes like fried kidneys and lamb liver. Simple classics are expected to see a revamp like cauliflower gnocchi and Fois Gras fried rice.

Superfoods that "pack a strong nutrition punch" are also here to stay in 2019.

"Expect to see more gut-friendly, fermented and probiotic-rich ingredients like tapache and sauerkraut infiltrating both dishes and drinks alike," according to Kimpton.

In terms of bar programs, 80 percent of the bartenders surveyed said that they are incorporating more mocktails.

Besides also adding more adventurous ingredients to cocktails like jackfruit, endive, chorizo, and more; bartenders are making a push to develop more sustainable beverage programs.

"Eighty-eight percent of bartenders consider sustainability whenever they design a cocktail for their menu," according to Kimpton. "In fact, bartenders are incorporating sustainability in a variety of ways, including edible garnishes, on-site bee hives, room temperature cocktails, and bar and kitchen menus featuring fewer ingredients that can be incorporated into multiple cocktails and dishes."

Read more of Kimpton's food and beverage trend predictions now.

Every year Foodable makes predictions based on Foodable Labs data about what’s to come in the foodservice business. Check out this episode of Plugged In, where Paul Barron broke down his top eight predictions for 2018, most of which were spot on.

Boleo's Chef Morris Lives By the 'Take the Stairs, Not the Elevator' Motto

Video produced by Vanessa Rodriguez

Chef de cuisine, Cory Morris, is making Boleo brighter, bolder, and more flavorful by blending his cooking style with the unique characteristics and sultry beats of South America. Boleo, located on the 15th floor of the Kimpton Gray Hotel in downtown Chicago, focuses on Peruvian and Argentinian cuisine which have distinct flavor profiles. Together, these flavors balance each other out and create a well-balanced menu.

"In Peru, you have your ceviches which are really bright and acidic dishes, and you can balance that out with some of the Argentinian wood-fire cooking like grilled skewers or roasted mushrooms," says Chef Morris.

Boleo takes the dining experience a step further by focusing on three central concepts: music, food, and drinks. The restaurant changes up its bar and food menus every few months. In addition, they mix up their music selection to create the perfect dining atmosphere regardless of the season.

Chef Morris has a very humble leadership style where he focuses on his team first. At Boleo, his team focuses on being hospitable towards each other so that they can be more generous and considerate towards their guests. He also believes that starting at the bottom and working through the ranks will enhance your overall skill set.

"A chef told me years ago, 'take the stairs, not the elevator.' You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It'll really round out your skill set," ends Chef Morris.

Be sure to check out the chef innovator video above to gain more insight about Chef Cory Morris’ journey and Boleo in downtown Chicago.


Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Releases 2017 Culinary and Cocktail Trends Forecast

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Releases 2017 Culinary and Cocktail Trends Forecast

By Mae Velasco, Associate Editor

Inventive twists on avocado toast, rainbow foods, poke bowls, and the comeback of the classic cocktail seemed to run rampant in 2016, but what culinary and cocktail trends can we expect the next time the New Year's Eve Ball drops?

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the first boutique hotel and restaurant company in the United States and a large chain that boasts more than 65 award-winning concepts, unveiled their annual trends forecast for 2017. This forecast, self-proclaimed by the brand as "chef-driven" and "bartender-inspired," was determined by an extensive survey of trailblazing chefs, sommeliers, general managers, and bartenders across more than 70 Kimpton restaurants, bars, and lounges across 30 cities. 

"When it comes to culinary trends, Kimpton chefs and bartenders are on the hunt for the flavors and techniques that tantalize taste buds and expand diners’ culinary universe. They’re true trendsetters and innovators in our kitchens and bars,” Alex Taylor, Kimpton's senior vice president of restaurants & bars, said in a press release. “These are the most creative and cutting-edge culinary concepts that will pepper menus and home kitchens in the coming year.”

No need for a countdown here. Without further ado, below are 2017's most anticipated trends. 

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