Turning Ideas Into Entrees

February 11, 2014
taste panel
My first job was in the kitchen; recent taste panel menu

It’s no secret that I’ve always loved good food. Our company started out as a root beer stand and I flipped hamburgers throughout my college years. These days, I get to indulge myself by attending regular taste panels hosted by our culinary team at corporate headquarters.

The idea for these taste panels started very simply. In 1994, our culinary team held an in-house cook off to test a chicken product. The event turned out to be so popular, the Executive Taste Panel was born. We hold them every month – and it’s one meeting I really look forward to. Our Corporate Chef Brad Nelson and his team prepare a whole range of dishes for us to sample. As we taste the wonderful food, they fill us in on what’s new and exciting in the culinary world, including food trends, restaurants in development, and other topics.  (view video below)

Over the years, the Taste Panel has been the showcase for many of our popular food and beverage programs and the menus of our hotels’ high-profile restaurants, like the JW Steakhouse at London’s Grosvenor House, the LA Market at LA Live in Los Angeles and our new Goji Kitchen concept for Asia. We have a Taste Panel coming up soon that will feature recipes being considered for our newest brand, MOXY HOTELS.

I’d like to take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of a place few people get to see – Marriott's test kitchen at corporate headquarters. This video was shot as Brad and his team were getting ready for a recent taste panel. They are an incredible team!


Brad has a knack for getting me to taste things I might not ordinarily try like kale,  but he can’t make me like them. I’ve never developed a taste for sushi.

The taste panel is one meeting that will never drop off of my schedule. I love learning about our restaurants and hearing what our customers want in food and beverage. And I sure do love tasting the wonderful food.

What new food concepts and trends do you find interesting?

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Listen to Test Kitchen blog

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I had no Idea that Marriott had a taste panel! I am excited to find this out. I have been with Marriott for 3 years and will be going back to school for Culinary Arts in July. I would love to work in the Kitchen Headquarters one day and reading your artical just keeps me more inspired and devoted to achieving that goal one day. The trends I find interesting are the "green and organic" food options and restaurants out there. We have many restaurants like this in Columbus, Ohio. I love gardening and Farmer's Market's and think it would be great if we were able to grow some of our own herbs and vegatables on property and/or utilize the Farmer's Market's in our cities. Thank You Mr. Marriott for having a wonderful company to work for and sharing your thoughts with us. Hope to see you in the Taste Panel one day!

Nice article, Mr. Marriott. I was thinking how terrific it would be to have a "Marriott Cookbook" created. Your dinners are always so delicious.

My love and apprecation for the Marriott Brand including the wonerful food, quality sevice, along with top notch people...started with my signingup for your awards program. If I recall it was when I was a yound officer in the U.S. Army.

R. Hatton

Bill, how about inviting some of your Lifetime Platinum customers (like me!) to your taste panels. We eat at your restaurants constantly and it might be helpful to have some "outsider" views and insights on the food you are serving. By the way, I love sushi!