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Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
#103263 03/10/2011 12:14 PM
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Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.

Here is an idea that may or may not fly.

Often at Hedo you’ll run into a professional Personal Trainer that is there for the week and staying free in exchange for their ‘services’ in the gym or for aerobics or whatever else they are there to do to earn their keep. Sometimes there’s a Tennis Pro there to help people with their game and who knows how many others show-up in exchange for a free vacation.

Well, there seems to be a number of complaints as to the ‘dining experience’ some people have had recently so how about bringing in an ‘adjunct chef’ to bring some fresh-air into the dining room? The visiting Chef could bring-in some of their regional specialties –thinking Southwestern food, French Canadian, Chinese, Soul Food. . . endless possibilities – to keep them from stepping on the toes of the cooks already there….do it in the name of education & diversity. Obviously they would have to ship-in some of their own ingredients (I’m thinking spices, canned / jars of unique food-stuffs…).

And not thinking it would be a full offering rather a section of the food line in the dining area to offer limited quantities.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking and impossible to implement . . . but rather than complain it’s something to think about.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103264 03/10/2011 01:32 PM
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Wondering how many visiting Chef's have the experience cooking for two to five hundred guests at one time? While thought provoking I believe few Professional Chefs would volunteer for this trade of services for accommodations.


Anita
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103267 03/10/2011 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ric & Suz
Obviously they would have to ship-in some of their own ingredients (I’m thinking spices, canned / jars of unique food-stuffs…).
I would enjoy the added variety this would bring. However the hassle of getting items through customs from off the island would be a major hurdle to jump. The resort continually has problems with stuff sitting in the customs area for long periods of time.


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103268 03/10/2011 02:49 PM
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It is an interesting and positive idea. The key to cooking anywhere, at home or for 500 people comes down to ingredients. It isn't the chef or the cook staff that are limited, it's what is provided for them to prepare.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
bob/jean #103271 03/10/2011 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bob/jean
it's what is provided for them to prepare.
Exactly ... and people have to remember that they are in Jamaica and the ingredients are not what you get at home so there will be unfamiliar food and different tastes to familiar food.

Some people are locked into only eating familiar foods and drinking familiar liquors that if they can't find that, they are not happy and categorize the food as "poor quality".


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
DennyP #103276 03/10/2011 05:58 PM
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I personally think people are far to picky about the food at Hedo. I know I certainly can find something there that I really like.

I love trying the new local dishes etc. and have always thought there should be enough variety there to please anyone!?

But, I suppose there always has to be something for folks to complain about!? True???

Hell, I'd be happy there if they just had the nude and prude grills!!!!! yummmy!!!!

Last edited by flfungal; 03/10/2011 05:59 PM. Reason: added text
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
flfungal #103277 03/10/2011 06:48 PM
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Definitely thinking outside of the box. However, I'm not sure you could get someone to do it unless it was like 1 meal a day. The yoga trainers, spin trainers, etc only work like an hour a day if I recall.

I'm with flfungal 100% though.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103283 03/11/2011 03:31 AM
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No offense but it would and could never work. No one could just walk into a kitchen and start cooking for that amount of people. Just for starters, you would have to learn where everything is. then you would have to figured out what each employee is capable of. The food service would be a disaster.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
DennyP #103285 03/11/2011 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DennyP
Originally Posted by Ric & Suz
Obviously they would have to ship-in some of their own ingredients (I’m thinking spices, canned / jars of unique food-stuffs…).
I would enjoy the added variety this would bring. However the hassle of getting items through customs from off the island would be a major hurdle to jump. The resort continually has problems with stuff sitting in the customs area for long periods of time.


Denny brings up a good point here in that I rarely see complaints about food on breezes sites and seeing as how Superclubs has at least 4 resorts in JA,maybe the superclubs home office should look into this to see if customs has a problem with stuff designationed for H2. A little grease might be needed to ease the backlog.

I have been a couple of times when outside chefs have been brought in on short term contracts(6 mos)and the difference in food choices and quality was VERY noticable. As others have stated,trading work for free stays would not work very well in the short run, but Respect to Buck and Doe for coming up with a new angle on solving the problem.


After 27 trips I've seen what the kitchen is capable of and also seen when they slack off. Yes,it's nice to be there with your friends and party but how about some food that is well prepared with a little thought and effort. Even Pastafari is down from where it was a few years ago. Did SuperClubs cut that budget also?

Respect, John
trip 28 03/27 - 04/06

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
mugsey #103286 03/11/2011 04:34 AM
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I've stayed at the old Grand Lido Braco, and the food was, more or less, the same quality. The breakfast offered fewer choices, lunch was great and dinner was on par with Hedo. BTW, people who go to Breezes rarely post on message boards, unless they are also Hedonites who are used to many postings.

In any case, people who volunteer to do something in return for a comped room usually do something that lasts an hour or two a day. A guest chef would require far, far more time. It certainly would discourage volunteering.

Last edited by AdirondackPaul; 03/11/2011 07:50 AM.
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
AdirondackPaul #103287 03/11/2011 05:14 AM
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I do believe hedo could benefit from bringing in a quality chef, and they have in the past...but i think you need someone dedicated to working the kitchen...not working so that they can get out on the beach.

as a guy who went to hedo as a gym instructor i can tell you ....the job is cake. I did an hour or two a day...either as a personal trainer (this was a few years ago) or as a spin instructor, and it was next to no work at all. great deal!!

no way a chef could put in the time I did and put out any kind of a decent meal.


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Boston Mike #103289 03/11/2011 07:27 AM
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I don’t think we should import foods and dishes to Hedo from abroad. I think Hedo should capitalize on MORE local foods and dishes. Their was a time that the current omelets/pasta station area offered Jamaican food/dishes for lunch and dinner daily. I miss that.

Locally grown foods spiced with traditional, easily attainable ingredients would be cost effective. Guests would be able to ‘go native’ and experience Jamaica with their taste buds as very few guests venture out of the resort to experience it.


Anita
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Bunz z #103292 03/11/2011 07:40 AM
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I have a lot of food allergies so I stick to "known" items when I am traveling simply because I know they won't trigger a reaction. I would love to try more of the local dishes, but I need to know what is in the dish. Yes, I try to ask, but that does not work very well most of the time.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103309 03/11/2011 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ric & Suz


And not thinking it would be a full offering rather a section of the food line in the dining area to offer limited quantities.


That line, in my opinion says why IMHO, it would never work. Instead of people complaining the food isn't good then would then complain that there was good food BUT they never got any becasue there wasn't enough. The same as the towel situation used to be, the loungers on the nude side, lobster night..you know the saying, if you don't have enough for everyone...

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Rickster #103317 03/11/2011 04:35 PM
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Maybe bringing in outside chef might not work but what if SC shifted their resort chefs every month between the resorts they own. That way there would be a different way of preparing and even some new dishs. They would already be use to preparing food for large number of guests.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Hedobill #103319 03/11/2011 04:41 PM
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At one time the then Grand Lido Negril and Hedonism II shared the same Executive Chef. So did Hedonism III and Breezes Runaway Bay.

I'm sure it would be difficult to get chefs to relocate across the island.


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
DennyP #103371 03/13/2011 09:21 AM
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I can't speak for everyone else, but on every trip, I've gained at least 5 (or more) pounds from the food at Hedo. How many of you out there also gain weight that week? How bad can the food be if we're gaining weight. LOL... I will always find something good to eat. I'm just tryng to shed some humor into this post.


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
pafuncouple #103374 03/13/2011 09:49 AM
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I always gain weight too, but I think it is more from the Dirty Bananas and Red Stripe. I shudder to think how many carbs and calories I consume at the bar over a week. I always find something to eat at Hedo, but that's not why I gain weight there. smile
Roy

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Roy in VA #103379 03/13/2011 12:51 PM
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I have found that all the walking we do helps to keep the added pounds off while there. I also find myself eating better than at home. Fixing salads and eating more fruit because it is already prepared for you.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Hedobill #103381 03/13/2011 01:40 PM
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A big reason that having chefs for a month or two would not work are the employment restrictions in Jamaica. It is one thing to have a guest arerobics or tennis instructor that is usually a paying guest who does not spend the majority of their time at the "job" and another thing to have a paid employee. I also really doubt that the kitchen staff would react very well to a new chef every month or two. Other than the practical reasons, Jamaicans are not too keen on "aforeign" workers until they get acustomed to them personally. It would not be practical to go through the government application process for short term chefs. Having an occasional guest chef who merely demonstrates a few dishes or techniques might be interesting. I know of one resort who brought in a chef from one of their other resorts in another country to suggest changes to their menu. The resort management was very sure that the visiting chef wore the wrist band showing that he was indeed a guest. He was only around the kitchen for a short time each day. The GM explained that they had to be very careful. If Jamaica tried to showcase their local products, I think that visitors would really enjoy better food and drink and perhaps purchase those items that they could take home. Because of weather and other factors, some of these products are not available on a consistant basis. The banana supply is an example. Many of the bananas in Jamaica come from Central America and are usually cheaper to buy than local ones. This creates a vicious circle. If Jamaican growers and suppliers do not have a buyer due to weather one year and then the resorts buy from Honduras in the next year when the product is in abundance in Jamaica, the growers, in this case, will not bother to care for the crop. This past year has seen wholesale coffee prices decline in Jamaica. The prices have recovered somewhat, but I do not understand why resorts in Jamaica are not encouraged to use Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and then showcase it in the resort shops. It is available but many more guests would buy it if they had been drinking it for a few days. I remember when Negril Beach Village served true Blue Mountain. One can, if it is really Blue Mountain, tell the difference.Organic farming could be very successful in Jamaica but just a few farmers are trying this method and they are very good at organic techniques. They should be encouraged as Jamaica is an ideal place for such farming.Rastafarians, for example, have a long history of producing this sort of food.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
AdirondackPaul #103424 03/14/2011 06:05 PM
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You guys are missing the obvious.I would love to do an evening at Martinos. Not only would I do 1 night but while I am setting up etc, i would be training the cooks in Martinos the basics of Italian cuisine. The guests get great Italian and the knowledge is passed on to the staff. I bet you the pasta stations would improve pronto.

Mikey


you want to know about hedo,you want answers? You want the truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
UPSMAN #103427 03/14/2011 08:08 PM
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I agree that it seems like a good idea in theory, but in practice has a lot of logistic difficulties. Employment, quantity, availability of foodstuffs, etc.
As far as the guest aerobics instructor situation, it depends on the resort. At Hedo, it is pretty easy because not too many people are interested in taking classes and whatnot (it is not free, by the way- very discounted, but there are fees involved). At other resorts, it is more difficult. When I was the guest instructor at Breezes Punta Cana, for example, I worked 3 hrs every day in the heat (they had an outdoor platform for classes, they weren't in the gym) because so many people wanted classes and they showed up every day!


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
monieb #103429 03/15/2011 04:19 AM
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The Executive Chef at a resort of any size doesn't cook. He may taste on occasion, but the job is one of management, not cooking. What goes on in large kitchens is a production line and production lines do not respond well to change. That is why you see menu A on Monday, menu B on Tuesday, etc. Everyone in the kitchen, and in the supply chain that feeds the raw materials into the kitchen, knows exactly what their job is to produce the food required for that day, and the next day, etc.

Regarding making the menu 'more' Jamaican, I believe that part of the problem with the current offerings is that the 'non' Jamaican dishes are all jamaicanized to some extent. Case in point in the way the meats are butchered. What I would have otherwise enjoyed as a beef dish is diminished in appeal by the meat, rather than being cut in a way that eliminates the bone, is hacked into chucks which each seem to contain more bone that meat. Another is the excellent shrimp in a wine sauce that was served one evening. The shrimp was not shelled before cooking, so one had to fish each piece of shrimp out and peel it before eating. As best I can tell, all the kitchen staff is now all Jamaican. Perhaps a couple of staff who are not Jamaican, who have a European or American frame of reference for taste and presentation, would help the kitchen be more diverse in it's offerings.

And no, I don't starve at Hedo and I am not going on a hunger strike, but I go there in spite of the Main Dining Room food, not because of it. My favorite foods at Hedo are served at the nude grill and they are my favorites because of where they are served, not what they are.


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Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103471 03/16/2011 11:34 PM
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Food's is very important in the human life so healthy food is necessary.....so, for that your idea is great I am really appreciate your food ideas

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
T-38 #103516 03/18/2011 08:12 AM
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No, no, no.... my thoughts were never to ship in large quantities of food, supplant kitchen help, cook for all 500 people… and in fact I personally really don’t have a problem with the food that is currently served but I do see very simple things that could offer a better product and perhaps a learning experience for those that are full-time in the kitchen.

I was thinking more of a “Visiting Chefs” station in the dining room with limited nightly or lunch time offerings. .. and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Spices and techniques that offer variety and can add a new dimension to the longer-term choices available in the rest of the dining room. Food stuffs that can be shipped or requested for purchase months in advance – A Cajun spice rub or Curry rub for grilled chicken so it isn’t Jerk or Jerk or Jerk; stock and marinades to add something to the daily Rice & Beans; Beans other than Pigeon Peas and Small Reds; find a local source (or grow them on the grounds)that could provide herbs in quantity like Cilantro, Basil, Lemon Grass…; Greens other than Callaloo; new techniques to offer (various sauces to local fish dishes – fruit marinades for chicken or fish or…) when most of the ingredients’ are right there elsewhere in the dining room anyway.

Now some may say this would take away from the local ‘character’…but ‘local character’ is offered throughout the existing ‘menu’ of dishes and up-and-down the beach as well. Again, pitched as an educational sharing that can go both ways I could see it as a workable improvement and in the end, a better product should bring in more visitors and more employment possibilities for the locals. Stranger things have been tried . . .

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103517 03/18/2011 08:51 AM
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Ric and Suz,perhaps, you should read my post and others one more time. Never thought that you advocated bringing in additional large quantities of food etc. Resorts and other businesses have to be very careful how they engage foreigners at their establishments-even one person. Somewhat ironic considering the many Jamaicans working in the States where many of them are illegally employed. As much as I might like, I do not think that any resort can change in the way that you suggest. You might consider Houstoncpl s remarks. I suspect that they have had some experience in this field. However, when management reads any of these suggestions, I feel that they come away with at least a little impression about what guests might desire.

Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Ric & Suz #103518 03/18/2011 08:54 AM
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Hedo can not coordinate an EC game/events schedule (that has been in place for decades) to occur as scheduled. I’m thinking about them coordinating a 'visiting chef' but I can’t stop laughing.

I like Ric and Suz's cooking suggestions to provide variety through differing spices and marinades, but that is the Chef's responsibility every day of the year. Better to lobby for a new Chef.


Anita
Re: Food’s not great? Here’s an idea.
Bunz z #103568 03/20/2011 09:21 AM
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I have often gone to the Hi-Lo in town. I think with what they offer, I could turn Martinos into a real Italian restaurant for 1 day and the knowledge past on for a lifetime
Mikey





you want to know about hedo,you want answers? You want the truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!

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