News reaches us that Cardiff Marriott is one of two hotels of the groups 50 UK establishments chosen to pilot a new menu, that has been developed in collaboration with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage. The chef’s at the Marriott have all been to the newly established River Cottage Chefs’ School.

Menu’s will be based around local, seasonal produce and sourced, where possible, from local suppliers. The Marriott is aiming to source 80% of it’s food locally.

The new menu will debut on the 21st October before being rolled to more of the UK hotels.

We think this can only be a good thing and will be trying the menu for ourselves in early November. Watch this space for a review.

More details in the press release below.

CARDIFF MARRIOTT & RIVER COTTAGE PARTNER TO CO-CREATE THE FUTURE OF HOTEL DINING

Marriott commits to increase the use of locally procured food to 80% to support Welsh farmers

London – 30 September 2013 – Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, today announces an innovative partnership with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage that celebrates and supports local and sustainable food. Cardiff Marriott has been chosen as one of two UK Marriott Hotels to debut new seasonal menus. The specially created menu will launch on 21 October 2013 before being rolled out to cover more of Marriott Hotels’ 50 UK hotels.

Responding to national interest in the provenance of food, the new menu will showcase the very best local and seasonal produce in south Wales with starters costing from £5.45. Graig Farm in Newton will provide organic Welsh lamb for a signature dish including shoulder of lamb, smashed celeriac, chilli and thyme. Other new suppliers working with Cardiff Marriott include Abergavenny Fine Foods, Gower Coast Seafood and the Welsh Box Scheme.

River Cottage has proved to be an invaluable partner for Marriott, facilitating the introduction of key local suppliers in south Wales and sharing best practice on sustainable sourcing along with daily menu planning. The collaboration also supports Marriott Hotels’ new Travel Brilliantly campaign that aims to inspire innovation in travel through culinary, design, technology and more.

“Culinary enjoyment is a crucial element of any travel experience and the partnership with River Cottage will not only enhance the guest experience at Cardiff Marriott but hopefully encourage local people in the Cardiff region to try our restaurant too,” said Osama Hirzalla, Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce for Marriott International in Europe.

In addition to Marriott’s Future Fish programme that aims to select and serve fish and shellfish from sustainable sources, the partnership will see changes in the following areas of Marriott’s food offering:

  • Local sourcing – Increase the percentage of food sourced by each Hotel from within a 60 mile radius to 80%
  • Menu change frequency – Increase the number of times the restaurant menu changes, from quarterly to daily
  • Waste management – Further reduce food wastage from a current level of 5%
  • Sustainability rating – Improve the Sustainable Restaurant Association rating in both hotels
  • Organic meat – All meat used in the restaurants will be organic
  • Free range chicken – All chicken used in the restaurants will be free range

The chefs at Cardiff Marriott, headed up by Executive Chef Anthony Barnes, have undergone rigorous training at the River Cottage recently launched Chefs’ School. They have also obtained City & Guilds accredited certificates in a range of competencies, from procuring sustainable food through to butchery and nutrition.

Chris Griffin, Head of Education at River Cottage, says: “This is an exciting project for River Cottage because of the substantial changes we can help Marriott make in procuring and cooking food. The new menus embrace our SLOW philosophy – Seasonal, Local, Organic and Wild – and we are delighted that local food heritage is being celebrated at each hotel. This is the first phase of a project that we hope will grab the attention of the hospitality industry.”