Promoting Women Chefs

July 26, 2018


Promoting Women Chefs
Bill Marriott, Arne Sorenson, and chefs Thais Rodriguez, Lara Brown, Paula DaSilva, Jennifer OBrien, Laura Bartholomew, and Ilkay Suuctugu

Every quarter, the Marriott International Food and Beverage team pulls together a “taste” panel with some of our top chefs and senior management. It’s sort of a “Chopped” without the judges, drama, or competition. We eat great food, explore new menu concepts, and meet our in-house talent.

One recent tasting was filled with delights: Brazilian shrimp stew, spring lamb with cucumber yogurt relish, and grilled branzino with salsa verde.

But the icing on the cake for me? All six chefs were women. See us in the photo pictured above with Arne Sorenson, our president and chief executive officer.

Much has been said lately about the need for more women chefs and restaurateurs. The James Beard Foundation, which hosts the largest annual awards ceremony for the U.S. restaurant industry, made a statement this spring when so many women collected top honors.

I am proud of Marriott’s women chefs, but I know we could do more to encourage more women in the field to explore career opportunities with us. Most chefs typically pursue careers in the independent restaurant world. We have to figure out how to bring more of that talent to us. We have a lot to offer as an employer that operates more than 10,000 restaurants worldwide. The chefs have a lot to offer us as professionals.

Marriott International has always supported women leaders. My mother, Alice S. Marriott, helped my father, J. Willard Marriott, build this company from a nine-stool root beer stand almost a century ago. She was the first chef when the root beer stand started serving tamales and chili, and, ultimately, became known as the Hot Shoppes – the restaurant chain that started it all for Marriott International. She would have been bowled over by the creativity and culinary talent of our female chefs. 

It’s in her honor that we are going to launch a Global Women’s Chef Council for Marriott. We will work to determine better mentoring initiatives for women chefs, while providing more career opportunities and membership in industry associations. I want us to lead the industry in this effort to advocate for women culinary leadership.

I am proud of the six chefs I met at the taste panel. Their skills are outstanding, their dedication is inspiring, and their food… well, I’m still talking about it! 

If you’d like to hear more about their stories, please watch this video.

I’m Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me keep Marriott On the Move!

The comments to this entry are closed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bravo, Mr. Marriott! As a Marriott Quarter Century Club Member, I am thankful every day for the career I had with Marriott and the opportunities bestowed upon me and everyone that works for your organization. I still carry around the card in my wallet from your 1987 FSM Leadership Conference. Number 1. - "Take care of your employees and they'll take care of your customer". This is just another example of walking the talk!

Absolutely LOVE this post. Food is one of the most important things in every single persons life. We love that Marriott is investing into up and coming chefs.. we hope that Marriott is a MAGNET to our female chefs and developing new and interesting ideas along with furthering their dreams. Bon apetit! Thanks Mr. Marriott. :)

-Karyl :)