Ex-Caffe Nero food chief hired to spearhead hotel group’s renewed kitchen push

The former head of international food for Caffé Nero has joined hotel group GLH with a remit to transform its F&B offering.

Marco Zacharia, who joins as food and beverage director, is tasked with evolving the hotel group’s culinary offering to focus on delivering consistently compelling dishes across the hotel group’s five individual brands and 17 properties.

The newly-created post will see him working with the top kitchen talents in each of the hotels to develop new menus focused on locally sourced produce, developing talent and creating a number of destination restaurants across the hotel group’s varied and historic properties.

Mr Zacharia’s first project has been to lead the development and relaunch of the Thistle Hotels’ food and beverage menu, launched earlier this month across eight sites.

With a career spanning almost 40 years in the F&B and hospitality sector, including working as a chef aboard the QEII, heading up the School of Food and Hospitality at renowned Brooklands College and spending nine years at John Lewis, where he oversaw the design and launch of the first John Lewis Brasserie, GLH said Mr Zacharia was the “perfect choice” to fill the F&B director role.

Mike Magrane, operations director of GLH Hotels, said: “It’s a milestone moment for the group as we continue to evolve our offering based on our guests’ feedback. Food and beverage is a key focus across all our properties and I can’t wait to see, and taste, what Marco has planned.”

In addition to his roles in and around international kitchens, Mr Zacharia also recently spent time in the Middle East on catering and retail projects including launching the Fortnum & Mason brand in Dubai, before returning to the UK to take up his role at Caffe Nero, developing innovative food offers across the overseas markets.

Speaking about his new post, he said: “GLH Hotels is on a transformative journey across its portfolio with a greater focus on F&B than ever before, making this the perfect time for me to join. My aim is to use my experience from the last four decades to harness and nurture the incredible talent we have in the kitchens and restaurants across the 17 properties driving forward some exciting changes that will deliver delicious dishes for our guests and build a reputation for excellence and innovation in the hospitality sector.”

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