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HN talks to Franck Page, Executive Chef, Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut, to learn more about the hotel’s culinary training program and the added value Phoenicia Culinary Institute offers
Are your staff training and assessment programs created in-house or imported?
As part of the Phoenicia Culinary Institute, we are launching a program for training the hotel’s kitchen teams. In addition to regular cooking sessions specifically dedicated to each level, we’ll focus on the importance of service and display and presentation training as these are key areas of importance in order to deliver outstanding experiences to our guests.
How does the Phoenicia Culinary Institute differ from others currently in operation?
Phoenicia Culinary Institute consists of offerings to both amateurs and professionals – diversified experiences related to the world of gastronomy. Other than our regular Cooking Courses, we offer our guests and members: Unique Dining experiences to discover local producers; Club Tasting events, where members will be giving their input for the launch of specific menus; Exclusive Dinners held at your private residence; special events with celebrity chefs coming from all over the world; and Culinary Travels to special locations, among others. Our aim is to offer something unique in an outstanding location and in a historical place, while always ensuring the ultra-luxury service that a 5-star hotel Culinary Institute could offer.
What are the biggest challenges faced and how are these being handled?
The management of Phoenicia Hotel gave me the chance to be the Chef of the most historical hotel in Lebanon as well as the Phoenicia Culinary Institute. This is a great opportunity and a big challenge at the same time. Having this important F&B offer with seven outlets and a very special culinary project motivates me and my team to be fully dedicated to our guests and to serve them all equally, while always offering something special and unique.
How do you train individuals on upcoming trends and innovations?
The R&D program is a key section of the Phoenicia Culinary Institute. All our team members are continuously researching, while looking for new trends and new techniques. Today, the most important part is to exceed our guests’ expectations and to offer different experiences. In order to do so, being and remaining at the cutting edge of innovation in our field, while never disregarding the quality of our products, is crucial.
What can you tell us about the programs on offer?
Our clientele is quite diverse and our events are open to all ages and all levels, whether professionals or amateurs. Our cooking sessions include up to 20 people and are being undertaken at the Phoenicia Penthouse. We are hosting up to two events per month and due to high demand, our regular guests and members have priority access to the different events.