• Meet Brent Hockenberry

     
    POSTED March 26, 2017
     

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to brittany.trevick@tigeroak.com.

Brent Hockenberry was recently hired as executive chef for the Omaha Marriott Downtown.

1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as executive chef for the Omaha Marriott Downtown?

I am most excited about being the newest product in an already expanding market. We have the opportunity to positively affect the way hotel food and beverage is done in this city. I am confident that our team will raise the bar for creating a truly unique and memorable experience for each of our guests.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?

The Omaha Marriott Downtown opening will be the fifth hotel opening that I have been a part of. I believe having an understanding of how these openings progress successfully will bring helpful insight to our team.

3. How did you get into the industry?

I was in school for psychology at the time a commercial for Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute popped up on the TV. I drove an hour from school to Orlando, Fla., toured the site and was enrolled the following semester. I joined a hotel group right out of culinary school and fell in love with the opportunities to affect countless people from all different walks of life through cuisine.

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

My main goal is to change the misconception that hotel food cannot be on par with the higher-end restaurant experiences in the city. We will also be implementing some new concepts in the banquet world to bring in more of a restaurant experience.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?

I love that it is always changing. My days, although structured, are never quite the same. I can be working on a 10-course wine dinner one moment and then, later in the day, working with an event planner to bring an international themed reception to life. Also, the hotel industry allows me to connect with my guests more personally. I love having the ability to be a part of a lifelong memory.

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to lauren.pahmeier@tigeroak.com

Michael Cerrie was recently named the Executive Chef for Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel.  

1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role? 

 

“Cannabis can have a presence in the dinner entrées and the desserts at an event. One of our panel experts from the event, Chef Sunflower [aka Enid Parham], plans the meals with ‘microdoses’ of cannabis so there is not too much consumed at one time,” says Connie Seibt, event manager and vice president of programs and education, ILEA Detroit. “It should be planned ahead for the type of cannabis to infuse in the foods, i.e. providing a relaxing mood versus high energy.

 

Congratulations to the finalists for Michigan Meetings + Events Best of 2020 readers’ choice awards. We look forward to celebrating with each of you at the awards celebration on Thursday, May 28, at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.

*Connect with us on social media before, during and after the awards with the hashtag #MIBestof

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