‘People remember moments not experiences’ was the sentiment of Thomas Koch’s Welcome Conference talk earlier this year. As the General Manger of Claridges, he aims to stop people in their tracks and create captivating moments that give guests tangible reasons to return to his property.
I spent most of this month in Europe and my greatest takeaway was that culinary moments are truly elevated when attention is paid to tabletop.
At the Lawcus Farm B&B outside of Kilkenny, authentic Irish breakfast was presented on Churchill China’s iconic Blue Willow. If you are not familiar with this distinctive and elaborate blue and white design, it tells an ancient forbidden love story about a young woman who gave up her fortune to marry for happiness. The couple is eventually transformed by gods into the two doves present in every piece of china. Blue Willow could have been designed for this historic location and the destined couple operating the property.
Equidistant between Paris and Lyon lies La Relais Bernard Loiseau. A true destination for epicureans, this three Michelin-starred property is one of the most celebrated gastronomic houses in history and the place where the greatest culinary experience of my life took place a few weeks ago. I commit a significant amount of time to visiting manufacturing facilities in order to become an expert in production and distribution. However, in all my travels I have found no greater representation or appreciation of a brand than Pillivuyt at Bernard Loiseau. After visiting a barn that houses every mold Pillivuyt produced, I had the privilege of seeing these iconic shapes in finished presentations at the most elevated level. The historic and innovative significance of Bernard Loiseau is evident in every course and every plate is Pillivuyt.
Culminating in the purchase of authentic Dirndl’s from the German countryside to wear to Oktoberfest, my trip to Selb was a true celebration. Playful introductions from Arzberg, bold colors from Versace, and elevated accents to traditional Rosenthal porcelain all provided confirmation that this factory is a leader in decoration. Learning that every release is dishwasher tested for 500 cycles is a true testament to their bold commitment to innovation and color. Customization is easier than ever before, and there is no excuse to not have signature pieces in your operation today.
My recent travels provided an appreciation for true craftsmanship. Mr. Koch benchmark’s excellence in three facets: technical, emotional, and aesthetic. What are you doing to stop people in their tracks? Prost!