[EATYALL Podcast #39] Chef Kristian Wade Talks About Sourcing Ingredients for a Major Resort Property
Behind the Scenes of a MGM Resorts Culinary Operation
In this episode, we visit with Chef Kristian Wade, a 22 year veteran in the kitchens of MGM Resorts Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS. Chef shares his commitment to continuing education, better ingredients and the everyday challenges of his Executive Chef role at this world class resort property.
Selling to chefs can be hard work; often the bigger the restaurant or property, the more difficult it can be. As Executive Chef at an enormous resort property with 18 kitchens and 740 hotel rooms, Chef Kristian Wade talks about how farmers and food makers can sell to him and what challenges he faces in his effort to source the best ingredients possible for his guests in a property of this size.
Kristian shares some of his farm relationship success stories and gives us tips on how to persevere through the MGM corporate systems to get ingredients on their menu. He also shares his own pursuit of continuous learning and how much time he spends training his staff about new ingredients as well as beverage and food pairings to accentuate the flavors. You’ll also hear him talk about how “the story behind the ingredients can help increase sales.”
9:26 – The supply chain is still suffering in some areas for this resort.
10:33 – Staffing has been a challenge. Business has been really good in certain areas. But everything is getting better as time goes on.
11:38 – Keeping employees and guests safe is the number one priority.
12:07 – Cooking for the essential staff during the actual shutdown. Cooking for 100 people on property that were all staff.
13:58 – 80% of the Executive Chef role has become administrative, but Kristian makes time for study every day to stay current in the culinary game. He’s intent to know what’s going on locally, regionally and nationally with the food scene and always working to be ahead of the curve. “That’s part of my job.”
14:52 – On sourcing new products, and getting hands on with new products.
15:45 – First way to help the Beau Rivage get an ingredient on board is “getting it in our hands.” “We get excited about these things.” Chef says they’re excited about a great tomato and a beautiful piece of fish. He reiterates that’s what makes he and his chef team want to come back to work every day.
17:02 – If you have a beautiful tomato, they want to see it and serve it. They are willing to do the legwork to get your ingredient into their kitchen. But it’s important that you know how their corporate system works.
18:02 – The Beau Rivage serves approximately 7500 people on any given day.
18:46 – Most of the people who eat in Beau Rivage restaurants would like to consider themselves foodies.
19:33 – The stories behind the ingredients help them sell your products.
19:58 – Chef wants his staff to be educated, and spends a lot of time on education.
23:27 – Example of a success farm relationship that the Beau Rivage has had.
26:26 – A lot of people want to sell to the Beau Rivage, but it’s a lot of work. What to expect in the process.
30:14 – The very important “biscuits or cornbread” question begins the fan favorite Lightning Round.
Listen to Episode #39 Now >>
Connect with our guest, Kristian Wade
Learn more about the Beau Rivage Resort property on their website at https://beaurivage.mgmresorts.com/en.html or follow them on social media.
If you’re interested in selling products to Chef Kristian Wade, please contact EATYALL and inquire about the best next steps. https://eatyall.com/contact-us/
About the EATYALL Podcast
The EATYALL Podcast is hosted by Andy Chapman, CEO and founder of EATYALL. EATYALL provides training & culinary support to the global community of chefs on behalf of food farmers and producers, so they can achieve generational sustainability, chefs can serve award-winning food and consumers can access healthier food options.