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Hotel chain dishes up authentic local cuisine

By Ye Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-30 07:39

Profile | Christopher Koehler

Hotel chain dishes up authentic local cuisine

Christopher Koehler says people have a greater appreciation for their own cuisine. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Gourmets in Beijing enjoyed a feast of some of China's best local specialties on Nov 12 at Hyatt Beijing. Sebastian Wu, executive chef with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, led three hotel executive chefs from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in presenting some typical regional delicacies.

"We have a good reputation for food and beverage in our hotels around the world," says Christopher Koehler, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts vice-president of operations, China. "At the same time, we hope to improve our facilities by seeking feedback from clients - we want to extend that to F&B."

That was the incentive behind the food event, named the Hyatt Connoisseur Program. It was also held in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

According to Koehler, the food event is a good way to bring chefs from different regions together and foster greater communication among the group's 24 hotels in Greater China.

Former executive chef Koehler, from the United States, began his work in China in 1998 as executive assistant manager of F&B at Grand Hyatt Shanghai. He later worked as hotel manager at Grand Hyatt Shanghai, and general manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing. He was appointed to the position of vice-president of operations, China, in August 2011. His current role is to oversee the operations and management of Hyatt Hotels in China, with a focus on people development and owner relationships

"In my role I get to travel to different parts of China and try the food," he says. "I continue to find new cuisines and dishes."

Koehler notices there is a great difference among foods of different Chinese cities. Therefore he thinks it is important for chefs in Hyatt hotels in China to communicate, so that they can learn about local ingredients and cooking styles.

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