Marriott International’s Masters of The Craft (MOTC) Northeast Regionals!

By Mallory Ambrose | August 10, 2023

Over the past few months, aspiring culinarians, and beverage professionals from Marriott properties have competed in local and regional Masters of the Craft competitions to prove their prowess through quick-fire cooking and mixology challenges.

Marriott’s Masters of the Craft is an annual food & beverage competition, which sees associates from hotels across the US and Canada battle it out in a competition to be crowned Master of the Craft. This series of competitions showcases the extraordinary culinary and beverage talent within Marriott International hotels with an emphasis on developing and promoting these talents.

Last week the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk hosted the MOTC Northeast Regionals where 15 competitors competed in both mixology and culinary competitions.

The event started off with the beverage competition allowing mixologists to highlight their cocktail skills. Within each event, there is a secret ingredient that must be incorporated into the dish or beverage created by the contestant, this competition’s secret ingredient was Rosemary.

“Every Marriott hotel holds their own competition at the property level,” said Lauren Parton of IMI Agency. “The competition was broken into three different rounds with each competitor given their own bar. Competitors were given seven minutes to set up their bar, seven minutes to go shopping in the pantry, and seven minutes to craft four of their cocktails, three for each judge and one for display.”

The regional competition was overseen by a panel of accomplished judges, of which included Lauren Parton, Junior Account Manager for IMI Agency, Adam Halyckyj, Client Solutions Manager for CGA, and Diane Corcoran, Beverage Director for Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants. Together they critiqued beverages based on presentation, creativity, taste, and showmanship.


“It was really interesting to see how everyone worked and all of the different skill levels,” said Parton.

“The competition is a great equalizer because you can tell there were some contestants that were more classically trained competing against others who were kind of brand new to it. It was fun watching everyone’s creative journeys throughout the process of the competition. That’s the whole idea, getting everyone involved a little bit more and exploring their creativity.”

Winners will move on to the next level of the competition in hopes of advancing all the way to the Finals held at Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Masters of the Craft semi-finals will take place on August 23rd.