We spoke with Reina Herschdorfer, director of Marketing, National Meetings Sales & Conventions for Caesars Entertainment, about maximizing impact in food and beverage experiences.
Q: Have you noticed any emerging food & beverage trends over the past year?
A: We are finding that many of our customers are looking for personalized restaurant experiences as opposed to what you typically see in a ballroom. We have steadily moved away from standard buffets, focusing more on creating food experiences for attendees. Chefs are generally in the room and the food is presented in smaller portions and plates, similar to tapas. There is also a growing tendency to include healthier options—quinoa and roasted asparagus are popular choices. Lastly, we’re seeing more grilled items, vegetables and fresh fruit.
Q: Where does the “wow” factor come into play when it comes to food & wine? Has this changed over the past year?
A: Within the last year, we have definitely seen an increased desire to create “wows.” Chefs are given more flexibility and creative liberties in their quests to make an incredible, and memorable, impact. We’ve found that customers are looking for a “practical wow” rather than one that is over-the-top. For example, they will pick one grand event over the course of their three-day conference.
In the past, most clients would have created each event in a way that made it grander than the one before. We’ve also noticed that customers are now working much closer with sponsors for these events.
Q: Can you recommend any “must try” dishes specific to your properties?
A: When visiting The Cromwell, our new boutique hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, you must stop by GIADA. It is the first restaurant from celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. We are excited to have one of the first female chef-branded restaurants on the Strip, and the experience is second to none.
GIADA hosts an antipasto station and an open kitchen where diners can watch chefs prepare the specialty pasta of the day and create mouthwatering desserts. Other menu items include lemon spaghetti and marsala herb chicken meatballs. Giada has embraced her Roman heritage by offering Italian cooking with light Californian influences. The restaurant, lounge and terrace seats nearly 300 guests and offers private dining rooms for large groups and parties.
After adding GIADA to your “must try” list, don’t forget that Caesars Entertainment has more than 40 properties in 20 unique destinations available to you.