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EHL students recreate culinary experiences for global luxury hotel brand

Dr Marc Stierand
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In March 2021, the École hôtelière de Lausanne students had a chance to work on a unique assignment during “Creating the Future of Food Service”, a course designed and delivered by Dr. Marc Stierand, Director of the Institute of Business Creativity (IBC), in collaboration with Rosewood Hotel Group.

Dr. Stierand, a former haute cuisine chef and one of the country’s leading creativity researchers, founded the IBC, EHL’s longest serving institute, with the aim to create a transdisciplinary hub where outside-of-the-box thinking is possible to provide research and knowledge relevant to practice.

For the EHL students, this was a one-of-a-kind chance to demonstrate their creativity and develop deep experiential knowledge of the hospitality industry as it is required in practice. The assignment was introduced by Sebastian Seitel, Senior Corporate Director of Food & Beverage at Rosewood Hotel Group, and Stephane Foucher, Corporate Director of Culinary Development at Rosewood Hotel Group. They tasked the group of 17 enthusiastic students to re-design a Rosewood’s ‘Sense of Taste’ program with the aim to wow their clients in whichever worldwide Rosewood property they happen to be staying at. The new program will have as its goal to immerse Rosewood guests into the local culture by offering unique gastronomic experiences.

The students also benefitted from the IBC’s unparalleled network of academic and industry associates with global reach and reputation. For example, they were able to speak to EHL alumnus, Michael Staub, Food and Beverage Manager at Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, California, who provided them with an in-depth insight into Rosewood’s culinary philosophy. Then, Dr. Viktor Dörfler, University of Strathclyde Business School, UK, one of the leading authorities on the management of artificial intelligence and smart technology, tuned in and helped the students to better understand the role artificial intelligence and smart technology could play in such an ambitious new program. To finally shake up the creative process, Dirk Haltenhof, Executive Director Culinary, The Katara Towers, Lusail Raffles & Fairmont, shared his professional experience with and passion for the F&B industry, today’s meaning of luxury and the DNA of any successful gastronomic experience.

The mission:

  • To upgrade the current Rosewood Sense of Taste program (SoT) by creating a new framework that can be applied at all Rosewood properties worldwide.

The deliverables:

  • To carefully study the current Sense of Taste (SoT) program and identify areas for improvement.
  • To combine consistent Rosewood quality and unique identity of the location.
  • To come up with a new name to replace the current “Sense of Taste”.
  • To create a mood board to provide emotional and visual access to your new proposed framework.

The solution MUST:

  • Reflect Rosewood’s idea of luxury F&B experiences.
  • Appeal to the Rosewood guest (Rosewood persona), bearing in mind that both hotel guests and locals are targeted.
  • Assure consistent Rosewood quality across different properties.
  • Be within the luxury price range but still be affordable (and profitable!)

 

Insights from the course

Students:

This project was very inspiring because it made us think outside of the box and push ourselves to be creative. As a team, we have exchanged many ideas, and with the help of Professor Stierand, we are incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve in such a short period. - Tatjana Limburg, BOSC6 Student.

Going through a creative process like we have for Rosewood “Sense of Taste Program” has been very insightful and something completely new to me. The elective was definitely one where you don't get bombarded with loads of new theory, it’s more about testing your own creativity and balancing that with inputs of your other team members. I thought it was a great learning experience due to its very much hands-on learning style and I’m sure that this type of thinking is going to help me develop projects and concepts post-graduation. - Tim Schaechter, BOSC6 Student.

Rosewood Hotel Group:

“The students have done good research around the topic and presented their ideas professionally. Seeing their creative work was very informative and a good learning experience for us. Our work has definitely benefitted from the students’ fresh input of ideas.” Sebastian Seitel, Senior Corporate Director of Food and Beverage at Rosewood Hotel Group.

Thanks to industry collaborator, Rosewood Hotels, the professional insights of the guest speakers, the support and infrastructure provided by the IBC and Dr Stierand’s guidance in their recommendations, students showed a thorough understanding of the luxury Food and Beverage industry, and demonstrated visionary and innovative approach.

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Written by

Associate Professor of Service Management and the Director of the Institute of Business Creativity at EHL

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