Over the last several months we've had many back and forths to discuss a unique collaboration with Chef Romain Fournel, of the newly opened JW Marriott Nashville. It wasn't but a few weeks ago that the time finally appeared in both of our schedules where we could make something happen... just in time to document something special with Easter quickly approaching. If you've spent much time working for a hotel you know, there are always moments when management wants you to do something special, but around the holidays they take it to a different level. There couldn't be a better time to capitalize on the extra resources they're willing to provide you to help grow, strengthen, and diversify your team's skill set. For example, around Christmas, there's a very good chance you'll be building a gingerbread house of large proportions, for a Mother's Day brunch you may be asked to make several showpieces to put up on the buffet, and around Easter you may be making a lot of extra large Easter eggs, or in this case making a display of Easter bunnies.

When you hear, a display of Easter bunnies, you may have this idea in mind that someone probably just cast something in a mold and did some decorating with an airbrush, but that wasn't the case. In true Easter fashion, the bunnies spawned from egg molds, but what he did after that was interesting. If you've seen many sculptures on social media as of late, you've probably seen the technique Romain used made famous by Christophe Morel where you work with chocolate in a state where it's almost like putty to sculpt and form (instead of just casting) something out of chocolate. To give you an idea of what goes into something like this Romain and his sous chef, Steve Acosta spent almost an afternoon to build one of the seven sculptures on display.

While the sculptures were beautiful, so was the way he had other members of the team contribute. With the number of tasks needed to complete the display, there were opportunities given that would force you to stretch and push yourself. Before our arrival, there were Easter bunnies that were prepared by other members of the team, but while we were there, we saw one of Romain's pastry cooks come up with a variety of different designs and use fondant to decorate Easter eggs to be hung above the display. We saw the encouragement given to this young lady, and it reminded us of our time spent working in hotels years ago. We can remember being told by our chef that, if you're willing to stay after hours, that we're willing to teach you whatever you want.

"If you want to learn something I can not stop you, if you don't want to learn I can not teach you" -Unkown

We understand the struggle of staying after hours after a long day's work to struggle through your first showpiece or learn that new thing, but you have to be willing to put in the work to be the type of chef you want to be. You have to be the one who sets your own standards and goals, because at the end of the day, no one else is going to live your life for you. And as you make it into the chef roles you're working towards; you'll learn that to keep your good employees it's imperative that you feed their hunger to learn.

We want to give a special thanks to Chef Romain Fournel and the JW Marriott team for the invitation to join you and giving us the opportunity to highlight the incredible work you're doing in Nashville!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published