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Marriott and River Cottage partner to co-create the future of hotel dining  

Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, has announced an innovative partnership with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage that celebrates and supports local and sustainable food.  New seasonal menus will launch from 14 October 2013 at Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club in West Yorkshire, and from 21 October at Cardiff Marriott before being rolled out to cover more of Marriott Hotels’ 50 UK hotels.

Responding to national interest in the provenance of food, the new menus will showcase the very best local and seasonal produce with starters costing from £4.75. Graig Farm in Newton will provide organic Welsh lamb for a signature dish including shoulder of lamb, smashed celeriac, chilli and thyme. Swillington Farm near Leeds will produce beef for a signature dish of slow cooked beef brisket with anchovy, rosemary potatoes and a red wine sauce.

River Cottage has proved to be an invaluable partner for Marriott, facilitating the introduction of key local suppliers and sharing best practice on sustainable sourcing along with daily menu planning.  The collaboration also supports Marriott Hotels’ new Travel Brilliantly campaign that aims to inspire exceptional travel experiences through innovation in culinary, design, technology and more.

“Culinary enjoyment is a crucial element of any travel experience and the partnership with River Cottage will not only enhance the guest experience but hopefully encourage local people to try our restaurants too,” said Osama Hirzalla, Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce for Marriott International in Europe.

  In addition to Marriott’s Future Fish programme that aims to select and serve fish and shellfish from sustainable sources, the partnership will see changes in the following areas of Marriott’s food offering:
  ·      Local sourcing – Increase the percentage of food sourced by each Hotel from within a 60 mile radius to 80%
  ·      Menu change frequency – Increase the number of times the restaurant menu changes, from quarterly to daily
  ·      Waste management – Further reduce food wastage from a current level of 5%
  ·      Sustainability rating – Improve the Sustainable Restaurant Association rating of each hotel
  ·      Organic meat – All meat used in the restaurants will be organic
  ·       Free range chicken – All chicken used in the restaurants will be free range

The chefs at both hotels have undergone rigorous training at the River Cottage recently launched Chefs’ School and obtained City & Guilds accredited certificates in a range of competencies, from procuring sustainable food through to butchery and nutrition.

Chris Griffin, Head of Education at River Cottage, says:  “This is an exciting project for River Cottage because of the substantial changes we can help Marriott make in procuring and cooking food.  The new menus embrace our SLOW philosophy – Seasonal, Local, Organic and Wild - and we are delighted that local food heritage is being celebrated at each hotel.  This is the first phase of a project that we hope will grab the attention of the hospitality industry.”

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