In summer 2013 President and CEO of Kempinski Hotels Reto Wittwer came up with idea for a challenge for all general managers of the group. They needed to create a signature dish that must fit several criteria. First of all, the dish must be popular with hotel guests. Then, the dish should be not just some mix of ingredients. It must have a story behind it, and it must be connected with location of the hotel. Finally, nonstandard ingredients or method of preparation are also highly welcome. The dish should not be bound to its creator, so that it can be served in different Kempinski hotels.
In February 2014, during the annual meeting of Kempinski GMs, which took place in Kempinski Hotel Airport Munich, general managers had an opportunity to show their cooking skills and prepare the signature dish of the hotels they were representing.
The meeting gathered managers from all over the world, so their dishes were also unusual and exotic. For example, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg offered their historical lobster bisque, which was originally created by the hotel’s maître in 1909; the Tugra Testi Kebab Ciregan Palace hotel in Istanbul presented a dish in “cracking pot”; Kempinski hotel in the Seychelles offered guinea fowl curry, and the Adlon hotel in Berlin showed curry sausage with secret homemade sausage bred by Havellander Apfelschwein. Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta prepared Bubur Ayam chicken porridge, and the Kempinski Hotel Haitang Bay in Sanya (China) offered Hainan chicken rice.
For some GMs the task was definitely easier than for others around 80% of GMs in Kempinski hotels have food and beverage background. The rest had to learn how to cook and prepare the dish for their discerning colleagues. Now Kempinski Hotels plan to issue a recipe book with stories behind each dish. All the dishes are also available in individual menus of the hotels.