Two years ago marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of NOGUCHI KANKO, the developer and operator of a number of popular resort hotels. We talked to the company's CEO Hideo Noguchi about the secret to its popularity.
Part 5
【Toward the improvement of meals】

An in-house fair in the form of a cookery contest

For many people, food is an important factor in the enjoyment of a trip. In the past, meals at Noguchi Kanko establishments did not enjoy a particularly favorable reputation but, by taking action to improve the food, the meals are now highly regarded.

One of the secrets behind this is an in-house cookery contest. Twice a year, chefs from each of the hotels pit their skills against each other. Each time, aspects of the contest differ: themes, the names of menus and the use of ingredients such as venison and the like, and participants compete to create the most appealing and delicious dishes within a stipulated cost price. The dishes that receive the Grand Prix awards are then served in the hotels.

Judging takes several hours, within which time dozens of dishes are tasted and marked, so the judges must also take care of their health in preparation for the day. Once the theme is determined, the chefs come up with an image and repeatedly make and taste the samples at their workplaces until they have their perfect dish. Preparations are made and judging is carried out to enable those efforts to be properly sensed. Each dish is sampled after the chef has explained his or her intentions and points to note regarding the process.

After the results have been announced, the chefs that work in the hotels that are located far apart have the chance to get together and exchange information, where they gain even more hints to take back to their respective places of work.

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