Gaylord Nite

12 Mar, 2011

Touring the “Heart of the House” at the Gaylord Resort, National Harbor

Event Recap  
Blog Types

Read time: 1 minute, 25 seconds

On February 23, 2011 a group of bold SMPS members ventured where few outsiders have, into a behind-the-scenes tour of the restaurants and kitchens within the Gaylord Resort at National Harbor. Hosted by SMPS DC sponsor and kitchen designers Cini-Little, and lead by hotel management staff, the tour offered a unique perspective on the teamwork and coordination that keeps this bustling resort running smoothly.

The first leg of the tour explored the restaurants of the hotel, and the group had the pleasure of being guided through by the Gaylord’s Special Events Manager. Attendees had the opportunity to view the spaces outside of business hours and learned about the average price of a meal, rental space options, and the personality and design of each restaurant. Cini-Little Project Manager Laura Lentz also had the architect on call in to answer the group’s questions. The Gaylord has four restaurants offering distinct and memorable dining experiences, each with their own management team and head chef.

Next the group headed into the “heart of the house” for a tour of the banquet facilities with Cini-Little Chairman of the Board William Eaton and the Gaylord’s Banquet Manager. The impressive facilities, (roughly the size of a football field), are equipped to handle meals for up to 15,000 people a day. While our host described the various functions and responsibilities of the banquet kitchen and its staff, he also cheerfully responded to the group’s curiosity regarding the equipment and machinery found therein, including dishwashing facilities that can handle the hotel’s 124,740 individual pieces of flatware. The group was also granted a peek at the tasting room, where chefs and clients meet to create menus around a stately dining table imported from Tuscany.

After the conclusion of the tour, the group was invited by Cini-Little President and COO Ted Farrand to enjoy a gorgeous sunset and networking happy hour in the hotel’s atrium overlooking the Potomac River. The reception was the perfect cap to a terrific event. Special thanks to Cini-Little’s Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, Kathleen Held, for organizing this one-of-a-kind experience.

By Francescka Bailey Frankie's Folio Creative Co.