Greg Lepesh, new executive chef at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, shares intel on serving what people want to eat—a topic he doesn’t take lightly.
1. Sustainability and knowledge are key elements to how people think about food. At Asilomar we are very focused on sustainability. We are a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and also utilize local vendors and farmers whenever possible.
2. We are seeing more and more interest in international cuisine with crossovers to street food, plus the introduction of spices and flavors that wake up the senses. Guests want diverse flavors. They are less focused on protein and more focused on plant-based diets.
3. People want a sense of place at events. Generally we see planners enjoy [bringing the outdoors in,] using nature as the backdrop to social gatherings and strolling receptions.
4. It is increasingly important for meeting planners to use local products to create authenticity. For example, we work with Monterey, California-based Sparky’s Root Beer to create a root beer float break for meetings.