BEVERLY WILSHIRE, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SPECIALIZES IN THE BEST FOODS FOR WEDDINGS FROM A MULTI-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
With food being one of the most important factors in a wedding – or any event, for that matter – most couples will spend time planning out how to choose wedding food that will please their guests’ palates while also representing their own personal tastes. To create a bespoke guest experience, catering teams must excel in a wide variety of cuisines and customization options. Factor in multi-cultural perspectives and backgrounds, and the possibilities for a single wedding menu are endless. This is where Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel truly shines. As an international company and a culinary team with global experiences, Beverly Wilshire specializes in crafting the best food for weddings, with custom menus that can beautifully reflect multiple cultures.
Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel has always been a favorite destination amongst discerning couples and high-end clientele. Set in the heart of Beverly Hills, the property is synonymous with luxury weddings, lavish celebrations, and even swanky staycations for local Californians. Much has remained the same over the years, but the hotel has evolved to accommodate multi-cultural weddings in an even grander, more meaningful way.
“For instance,” shares Mark Anderson, the hotel’s Senior Catering Manager, “we have closed down our driveway in order for the groom to arrive to his ceremony via an elephant. We have recreated dishes from a bride’s childhood as a sentimental way to include her heritage into the celebration. We have even seen more creative culinary action stations at weddings, when it was traditionally everyone doing a plated dinner with either chicken or steak as the main course. We have a lot of fun helping our guests’ dreams come to life!”
Being an international brand, Beverly Wilshire naturally attracts talent from all over the world. They have an Italian pastry chef who has worked stateside for more than a decade, and the hotel’s Executive Chef, Samir Roonwal, hails from India. Appointed during the summer of 2017, Chef Samir brings something priceless to Beverly Wilshire’s culinary team: his own personal experience. Having worked in kitchens from Canada, to Dubai, to Aspen, his wealth of knowledge when it comes to cultural specialties is second to none.
“If you are preparing, say, an octopus,” says Chef Samir, “how will you cook it? You can’t just turn it into a Japanese or Lebanese dish by camouflaging it with something you’ve learned from a website. I use what I know to make things authentic. Everyone wants to know how things are done differently around the world. For me to be able to pass along what I know leaves them with a legacy of knowledge they can build on. At the end of the day, I’m a cook. Very hands on. A little too much, sometimes; it’s my relentless pursuit for quality.”
Adding another layer of cultural diversity to Beverly Wilshire’s culinary team is Riccardo Menicucci, Executive Pastry Chef. Originally from Florence, Chef Riccardo grew up in his parent’s restaurant, constantly surrounded by art and culture. He even attended the Art Institute of Florence before realizing that he could express himself creatively through pastry, fine dining, and exquisitely plated desserts.
“I also really enjoy the chemical and mathematical approach to the laws of pastry,” says Chef Riccardo. “Pastry is very scientific and precise. Every flavor you touch can assume different forms, textures and consistencies, and that allows me to be exceptionally creative. You can create a dessert with 15 components, but only 3 flavors simply by altering the texture.”
Chef Riccardo accepted his first Four Seasons position in Maui in 2018, and now brings his signature flair to Beverly Hills by creating dishes that are modern, innovative, and still honors the look and flavor of what clients want.
One of the first steps of the wedding planning process typically involves choosing a destination and venue before couples move on to sourcing the rest of their vendors. It seems, however, that Beverly Wilshire’s reputation for specializing in the best wedding foods from any culture precedes itself, as Beverly Hills brides and grooms are putting their wedding menus at the top of their priorities list.
“Food has become a very personal part of the entire wedding experience,” says Mark. I’m finding that our clients are seeking food first, then location. It has become a symbol of the couple’s elevated palate, expert travel experience, and a way to represent their relationship in such a tasteful way… pun intended.”
When describing how wedding food tastings work at Beverly Wilshire, Mark emphasizes that it’s a collaborative effort between the couple and the culinary team. Every element can be customized, and there’s no limitations in terms of set menus or regional styles. Food tastings are usually one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning; but working together with the chefs at Beverly Wilshire takes the whole experience to a new level.
“This is my favorite part,” says Mark. “We usually sit in the restaurant with the chef and brainstorm ways to create what they are envisioning. Coffee or cocktails are often involved to ‘encourage the creative process.’ It’s a treat for me to see our clients’ excitement when they realize our chefs will be able to do something truly unique and special for their friends and family. Once, we even replicated a grandmother’s meat marinade, and I’m pretty sure she proudly told every table that evening that it was her recipe! It’s all about providing the extra ‘Beverly Wilshire touch’ to ensure we not only meet, but exceed, their expectations.”