Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli to compete at The European Black Box Culinary Challenge

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli hosted “Black Box Cooking Competition” on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 in the presence of Arne Sorenson; President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International and Amy McPherson; President and Managing Director of Europe.

Ozgur Tore attended the ceremony of Black Box Cooking Competition and had chance to talk with Mr. Sorenson. As I asked where he locates Istanbul, Mr. Sorenson said that it is definitely a European city; with a cultural of Europe and Middle East mix.


The Black Box Culinary Challenge is a team-based event for both front and back of house associates, showcasing high quality skills from the kitchen to the table.


Teams of Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli, JW Marriott Hotel Ankara, JW Marriott Hotel Absheron Baku, Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel, Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel, and The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul competed to win the ticket to attend the final event of Europe Black Box Culinary Challenge which will take place in Frankfurt, Germany in December 2014.


Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli became the winner of Black Box Cooking Competition of Eastern Europe with a point of 90.11.

The following teams will compete for grand prize. The winning team will have the honor to cook and serve to Mr. Marriott.

  1. Marriott Şişli - 90,11 (Turkey & Azerbaijan overall winner )
  2. Paris Marriott Rive Gauche - 91,06 (France overall winner)
  3. Swansea Marriott - 88,00 (UK overall winner)
  4. Ghent Marriott - 86,67 ( Belgium & Holland overall winner)
  5. Munich Marriott - 87,67 (Germany overall winner)
  6. Courtyard St. Petersburg West Pushkin Centre - 88,00 (Russia overall winner)
  7. The Ritz-Carlton Vienna - 86,72 (Austria overall winner)

The European Black Box Culinary Challenge has influenced more than 400 young associates over the past year from the UK, France, Germany, Amsterdam, Brussels & Vienna.


Each event consists of 4-8 teams of which each team has 6 associates. All brands of Marriott International can participate. Each team consists of 6 persons; 3 chefs (1 sous and 2 chefs of lower ranking position) AND 3 service associates (1 restaurant supervisor and 2 service staff).

Teams are given a mystery 'Black Box' filled with ingredients which includes local and seasonal produce. It also includes spices, fruit & vegetables and dairy products. The chefs have to write a three-course menu using the products from the box and create recipes and finished dishes for the judges. They must make sure that they use the ingredients using the correct culinary procedure, as well following the Marriott "CookSmart" Philosophy. Each team of chefs has 5 hours to prepare 3 courses of 12 plates; 2 of each course will be judged and photographed.

The Service associates also have 5 hours to lay a table with a Theme. They will be judged on Innovation (creative use of display materials, unique presentations of centerpiece); Professional Presentation (table is laid to exacting international standards of dining etiquette; quality of napery, cutlery and accoutrement used); and Hygiene (Material used is suitable for food services, cleanliness of linen, flat ware and glasses).

• 3 chefs - 1 sous and 2 chefs of lower ranking position AND

• 3 service associates - 1 restaurant supervisor and 2 service staff

The team can represent any of the following establishments within the hotel:

• Restaurants team

• Banquets team

The regional competition is run with a minimum 4 teams up to a maximum of 10 teams at any one time.

The event in Europe will be hosted by hotels listed on the Event Schedule Sheet and coordinated by property Executive Chef, Director of F&B, and Regional Office.

Each team is given a judging schedule during the briefing of which they will need to produce 2 dishes of each course to be judged and photographed. So that means a total of 12 dishes must be produced for the day.

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