Food & Beverage Q&A: David Dvorak of Starwood Hotels & Resorts

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 Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

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We spoke with David Dvorak, CMP, VP catering/event management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts to learn more about fun F&B events.

How can planners make F&B events more interactive?

We think that Planners have no choice but to make events interactive as its become an expectations from their attendees.  This can be as simple as a 15 minute peanut butter and jelly sandwich competition (what team can make the most!) for donation to a local food bank, to more elaborate interactions such as a food and wine pairing event complete with a sommelier and gourmet chef that provide attendees a unique and special educational experience. At Starwood werealized that interactive events were important to attendees and three years agowe created On Site Specialty Events to be a resource for Planners in executing these events in a turnkey fashion. On Site Specialty Events simplify things for the Planner in several ways not the least of which is providing a menu of more than 20 pre-planned ideas to start from.

Are there any culinary-themed tours/events available in your hotel or destination?

Yes, one of the core pillars in Starwood’s On Site Specialty Event program are culinary experiences. From Dinner in the Green (farm to table), Rock N¹ Roll Sushi, or Bordeaux Blending, Planners can find a list of turnkey culinary themed events at many Starwood hotels and resorts in the US and Canada.

 What’s new in the world of food/drink pairing dinners?

Pairings are such an important part of enjoying a culinary experience and the move to nontraditional  pairings rather than the typical wine pairings are growing. Craft beers as well as bourbons and other distilled spiritsare frequent pairings we see today. Our hotels also have fun featuring local products that enhance the indigenous nature of a pairing event at one of our properties and the pairing events often go beyond the tasting experience to include education on the entire brewing and distilling process.