Interview: Nenad Jovanović, a chef at Courtyard Belgrade City Center Hotel

24. April 2019
Interview: Nenad Jovanović, a chef at Courtyard Belgrade City Center Hotel

That the customer care in Marriott is one of the most important but not the only one, says the practice that has been nurtured for years in this company. Once a year awards are given to the best hotel teams and individuals who have given, with exceptional results in their work, a strong impetus to the strengthening of this global hotel brand and its competitive advantages in the market. This year, Courtyard Belgrade City Center Hotel and its employees have received even several high recognitions. One of the prestigious awards with a long name – The Europe Winner for Select – International Brands for the ACE Executive Chef (Award of Culinary Excellence) Award, went to a young chef Nenad Jovanović, totally dedicated to the work that is obviously– much more than a job for him.

● You have received a unique recognition many chefs dream of and you entered the world chefs’ league. How, in fact, does one apply for the award and what is crucial for winning the award?

- The very fact that at the global level the best employees and teams in Marriott are being nominated and rewarded every year says enough of how serious the nomination must be. The principle is that top management of all brands chooses representatives who, during the year, stood out in innovation, creativity, refreshing the image of the restaurant, contribution to an increase of income… and nominates them for recognition in a particular category. My recognition is related to the chefs within the Courtyard brand.

On Marriott company’s gastronomy map

● What does this recognition mean to you and the hotel?

- Each recognition carries some level of satisfaction, but responsibility as well. When you find out that you are in the game for the best in the world, you get a strong wind in the back, because it is a serious acknowledgment that you do your work well and the impetus to continue good work until you reach the top.
 
I am very happy that we managed to place our hotel and restaurant "Credo" on the world gastronomy map of restaurants within Marriott. Thanks to this award, both Serbia and Belgrade are known all over the world. All of this gets to our potential guests which may be the reason why they choose our city for their next adventure.

● Do your guests now have higher expectations from you?

- Honestly, I believe that they enjoy the food we prepare and that they feel my effort and the efforts of the entire "Credo" team in every bite, as well as our desire to overcome their expectations and justify their trust.

● Speaking of food, what do you focus on in your menu concept? What do you insist on and what standard do you always follow?

- Restaurant Credo’s menu concept is ‘casual food’, and the focus is on distinct tastes and the use of local ingredients. We use more or less classic cooking techniques, but I insist on a modern dish presentation. Every dish that comes out of the kitchen must look the same and have the same taste, regardless of the cook who prepared it. A guest, simply, must not feel the difference, just like I don’t deviate from my ideology of cooking and serving food. And there is no compromise.

● Many colleagues must be wondering how to reach the world’s league? What would you recommend to them?

- Only dedication and perseverance in this business can lead to success. And the success is that your guests enjoy each meal and follow your ideology, no matter where you cook.

Ljiljana Rebronja

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