Friday, September 28, 2012
In spite of it's name association with frozen foods this hotel company which was alive and well in the 80's was very focused on food quality and there were some very good chefs and some high profile hotels at that time. There were also a few duds; The Madison Hotel in Seattle being one of them. One of the high profile hotels was The Esmeralda Resort in Palm Desert California. It was the jewel of the desert.
At the time the hotel was run by an excellent general manager called Anthony Stewart Moore. He had not reached the full scope of his abilities at that time but he definitely had the heart and spirit of a real hotelier. I am sure he improved greatly over the years and would become one a few outstanding managers that I have seen. He had a very difficult job at the Esmeralda and did not have the greatest of support staff save.
He was eventually replaced by someone who would have been better off as a stevedore on the New York docks and from there the decline of the hotel started. This fellow spoke from both sides of his mouth and was never seen in the operation except for one time. We were doing a function for BMW motors. He wanted a BMW so he was everywhere looking as if he was in charge of things he did not fully understand.
He spent most of hit time on the golf course and was never seen out and about in the hotel like a real general manager. He was really a salesman and knew little about running a hotel in my opinion. When he wasn't on the golf course he was in the bar.
The company was eventually sold to Renaissance Hotels. They told us everything was going to remain the same and the quality was going to be a primary concern. So we were told not to worry.
Then they changed everything, fired all the key people and put young , inexperienced people in their place. Everything went downhill from there. They replaced me after almost nine years in the company and in this fine hotel with a banquet cook.
A few months after the acquisition the President was gone, corporate chef was gone, corporate f&b was gone. Otherwise nothing changed.
This photographer who took these photos was absolutely awful. I don't know who hired him.