InterContinental Stephen F. Austin is in the “Know”

InterContinental Stephen F. Austin is in the “Know”. With the opening of the Club Lounge in Mid April 2010, the InterContinental Austin looked to explore ways of bringing authentic Texas products into the hotel. “Not only did we look for products from our state but we ensured that we picked health conscious items to go with the newly conceptualized Club Lounge” said Patrick Newman, Executive Chef of the InterContinental Austin. Furthermore, Chef Newman states “When we set out to look for product we found Zhi Premium Organic Tea which offers variety, flavor, and healthy selections.”

According to Jeffrey Lorien, CEO of Zhi Tea “One of our core values is true customer satisfaction. The kind that goes, “WOW! This is AWESOME.” When we hear that we know we have done our job.”

Zhi Tea is a homegrown Austin, Texas, company. The company’s active in the community and actually has a tea stand at the Austin Farmer’s Market. Zhi Tea has won a “Local Heroes Award” through the Edible Communities for 2009 and continues to enjoy supporting local non-profits like Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center in Austin.

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Good for the heart: Cooking with Pomegranate

Chef Kurt Mittelberger recently shared his Pomegranate Dressing recipe on WGN-TV

For centuries, pomegranate has been known as the “wonder fruit” for its many health benefits and rich nutrients. A powerful antioxidant for fighting heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis, pomegranate is one fruit that you may want to add to your diet.

Executive Chef Kurt Mittelberger of Zest at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile was featured last week on WGN-TV for his use of cooking with pomegranate. The segment detailed cooking with pomegranate, creating a simple salad dressing that viewers can create at home while noting the monthly seasonal menus at Zest. To view this clip, click here.

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The Premier Grappa Bar in North America: Bar 888 adds 180 bottles of Grappa

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Just last month, Bar 888 added 180 new bottles of grappa, making them indisputably THE premier grappa bar in the nation! If you are an aficionado of this intriguing liquor, make it a “must” on your to-do list to taste their expanded selection. And if you’re undecided whether you love it or hate it, come in anyway for their “Grappas and Tapas” offered Mondays through Fridays from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Nosh on mouth-watering tapas from Michelin-starred Luce’s kitchen at $8.88* each, and explore grappa flights at $14* per flight. Located inside the InterContinental San Francisco, Bar 888 features one of the most extensive grappa selections in America. Master mixologist Francesco LaFranconi has lent his expertise to create unique contemporary and classic cocktails as well as specialty grappa-based cocktails.

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InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta’s Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart

Looking to experiment with a new recipe? Try making this delicious Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart from Chef Didier Lailheugue, Executive Chef, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. Chef Didier shares his recipe here!

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The InterContinental Boston has been “abuzz” with activity!

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In late June 2010, InterContinental Boston launched a rooftop beehive, home at first to 10,000 bees which has now grown to a colony of more than 40,000. In September will be the harvest for all the work these busy bees have put in over the past months. It is anticipated that about 40 lbs of honey will be collected. For the past months, the bees have been pollinating an anticipated 4 mile radius of the hotel which includes Boston’s newest 21 acre green space, the Rose Kennedy Greenway upon which the InterContinental Boston sits.

InterContinental Boston has been working with a bee expert to set-up the hive and train our Sous-Chef Cyrille Couet on bee keeping. In Miel “Brasserie Provençale” we have installed a “Bee TV” that showcases a live camera feed from our rooftop hive on a flat screen in Miel’s dining room for our guests to see.

In honor of National Honey Month in September and our anticipated honey harvest, Miel “Brasserie Provençale” will be hosting the “Honey Harvest Dinner” on September 21, 2010 The reception will begin at 6:30 pm with a short tutorial on bee hives and the impact bees have on the ecology of our planet, followed by and dinner at 7 p.m. in which harvested honey from our very own beehive will be along with seasonal ingredients. Below is the menu:

Amuse Bouche
Sage Honey and Sea Salted Pork Belly
Red Wine Vinegar Marinated Cabbage
Pan-Seared Honey Basted Scallops with Prawns
Baby Arugula, Beech Mushroom
Choice of Entrée
Roasted Duck Breast
Yukon Potatoes and Quail Confit, Honey Port Reduction
Grilled “Loup de Mer”
Mediterranean Sea Bass Served with Honey Roasted Root Vegetables and Honey Balsamic Wild Red Watercress
Venison Wellington
Maitaki Mushroom Duxelle and Wild Goose Berry Sauce
Pineapple and Honey Gelée Terrine
Almond Milk Mousse

$75 ++/person

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InterContinental San Francisco’s Dominique Crenn Wins Battle against Iron Chef Symon on Food Network’s Iron Chef America

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It was a festive evening in San Francisco as guests gathered at Luce Restaurant inside InterContinental San Francisco to celebrate Luce’s Executive Chef Dominique Crenn’s recent win over Iron Chef Symon. With a final score of 53 (Crenn) versus 44 (Symon), guests congratulated Dominique at a private reception featuring creative food presentations and wine selections.

Since 2007, Dominique has been at the helm of Luce Restaurant located in the InterContinental San Francisco Hotel. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Luce serves New American cuisine inspired by global flavors taking advantage of many local farms in the area. Dominique will be featuring a special “Iron Chef America” prix fixe menu from August 9th through September 6th, 2010 for $65 per person.

And, in more exciting news, the InterContinental San Francisco is also proud of Luce Restaurant earning a Wine Spectator award for their impressive wine program. Congratulations to Dominique and Luce Restaurant!

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F&B team shows their appreciation to employees during “Celebrate Service Week”

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By Maxime de La Grange sury, Director of Food and Beverage at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

The F&B team is showing their appreciation during ‘Celebrate Service Week’ a brand-wide initiative launched by IHG.

Food and Beverage Department heads switched roles and spent two hours, in a different department, as line employees. For example, the Executive Chef was washing plates in Stewarding and the Restaurant Manager was setting up banquet rooms with our set-up team. The department head’s new role was determined by a good old fashion “luck of the draw” from a hat.

The two hours began with an energetic line up, all managers in full uniform ready to face the challenges ahead. Some of the highlights of the event include Director of F&B, Maxime de La Grange reviving his bartender skills, cutting lemon twists and mixing drinks. “I forgot how hard and tedious it was to make the perfect lemon twist, but after a few slices, it came right back, just like riding a bike”, Maxime stated. F&B Operations Manager, Kingson Kok had a crash course in being a Barista, trying to speak and understanding the foreign “Starbucks” jargon and keep up with the rapid pace was a fun encounter not soon to be forgotten.

The feedback from the employees has been wonderful. They mainly mentioned that they had a great time and felt appreciated to see the department heads really being into the work and getting their hands dirty.

The event ended off with a staff Pizza Party in ENO our Wine, Cheese and Chocolate outlet. It was great to be able to have the pizza party in ENO as a lot of the employees do not get to see this unique outlet on a daily basis.

We just wanted to say thank you to the employees for all their hard work and to have the employees kick back and see a Manager on the front lines. Of course everyone had a blast and it serves as a reminder how to work better together and teaches us to “seek first to understand, than to be understood”. All examples of how we are trying to create Great Hotels, Guests Love here at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile.

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