Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending Marriott’s second annual Masters of the Craft competition for the Americas. I traveled via Amtrak to and from our nation’s capital for the semifinals and finals. The semifinals were held in the center of Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Marquis, and the finals were held at Marriott’s headquarters in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.
Launched last year to foster creativity and recognize talent, this year’s competition attracted 3,024 contestants from 378 Marriott International properties in the Americas across 30 brands in both mixology and culinary. Over the past six months, competitions were held at individual hotels until the sectional and regional competitions. This week, 12 semifinalists traveled to D.C. for the final battles.
The competition is similar to Chopped, where the competitors are given a mystery ingredient and then a set amount of time to shop and cook. For mixologists in the semifinals, the mystery ingredient was carrots, and they had seven minutes to shop and seven minutes to create. In the finals, the secret ingredient was China Martini Liqueur, and the winning mixologist, Fraliza Gianniodis from The Ritz-Carlton Boston, created an Old Fashioned-inspired drink also using mezcal and chocolate bitters.
During the semifinals, chefs were surprised with the mystery ingredient of crab and had five minutes to shop and 30 minutes to cook. During the finals, the secret ingredient was chicken, and winner Chef Henry Mateo of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa made a Chinese-style noodle dish.
Enjoy these pictures from this week’s events, and should your travels take you Boston or Hawai’i, be sure to taste the winning chef’s and mixologist’s creations.
— Kim Krol, editor in chief
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