Name: Gustavo F.
Position: Banquet Chef
Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC
Dream destination: Japan
Drink or treat of choice: Blood orange juice with sparkling water
When it came to deciding a career path, Gustavo was inspired by his mother, and particularly her love for cooking. “She loves to cook ceviche and always tried to make it different,” he says.
While Gustavo is passionate about being able to experience different foods from different cultures and corners of the world, his favorite dish to make is, just like his mother, ceviche, which is a fresh combination of seafood (shrimp, crab, squid, octopus), vegetables (onion, pepper, cilantro) and a few other ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, and a bit of chili.
Above all, the freedom to make and create different types of cuisine for different types of guests is what attracted Gustavo to work at Marriott. He started his Marriott journey in 2015 at Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott in New Jersey as Specialty Restaurant Chef, then spent three years at New York Marriott Marquis as a Sous Chef for its restaurants Crossroads and The View, and later moved on to JW Marriott Washington DC, as a Senior Sous Chef, before transferring to The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee, in Georgia, as a Chef de Cuisine for the hotels’ Linger Longer SteakHouse.
In 2022, Gustavo took a position as Banquet Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC, where he now oversees the food preparation, planning, organizing catering events, and “of course, ensuring high quality and consistency at all times,” he says.
Learn more about his creative mojo and Marriott journey, in his own words, below.
How has Marriott supported you as a chef and an artisan?
By having the opportunity to always grow and learn more and having the flexibility to travel and relocate to other properties.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Never a dull moment, there is always something new to learn and improve, every day is different.
What does a good day at work look like for you?
Having a great team dynamic, being able to realize at the end of the day that everything went well, and the guests enjoyed our food.
What inspires you, and when are you able to be your most creative self?
I get inspiration by exploring and trying different ingredients from other cuisines. I get most creative when I am under pressure.
Tell us about a time you were incredibly proud of your team.
At the end of 2022, we hosted a MILUX (Marriott International Luxury Brands) event at our hotel and despite the stress, long hours of preparation, planning and execution, the team executed flawlessly, and the event was a success.
What’s surprised you most about working for Marriott?
Although it is a very large company it is a small world where everybody knows each other.
How would you describe Marriott’s culture?
A people first culture, a large strong family, always embracing change and pursuing excellence.
How would you describe your experience as a Marriott associate?
This is a great company, with good benefits, perks, a good work environment and opportunity to grow.
What would you say to someone who’s starting out or wants a job like yours?
My advice will be, keep learning, create good memories and move to other properties, don’t stay at the same property for too long.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
Pretty often, domestically and internationally. I love traveling!