Local Cuisine With Award-Winning Chefs From Our Last Two Seasons

Local Cuisine With Award-Winning Chefs From Our Last Two Seasons


DE 304 | Award Winning Chefs

Food is at the heart of any travel experience. In this special episode, Andy McNeill & Todd Bludworth list their top four chefs from all over the world that they’ve featured over the last two seasons. Check-in and get to know who made the list and where you can visit their restaurants for an out-of-this-world, local cuisine dining experience. Stay tuned!

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels in Hong Kong to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here

Local Cuisine With Award-Winning Chefs From Our Last Two Seasons

Our Favorite Award-Winning Chefs and Their Top Cuisine

Andy McNeill & Todd Bludworth list their top four favorite chefs from all over the world, featured in the last two seasons of Destination Everywhere.

Sarah Grueneberg

Sarah is the owner of Monteverde restaurant and Pastificio in Chicago’s West Loop. She offers Italian dishes influenced by her travels, combining traditional Italian methods with some unconventional delicious ingredients. Our recommended menu? Try the Tortellini in Brodo on your next visit.

Dean Fearing

Also known as the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Dean hails from further south in Dallas, Texas. He worked as a chef at The Mansion at Turtle Creek for a while and now has his own restaurant called Fearings in partnership with Ritz-Carlton, coined as the number one hotel dining in the U.S., according to Zagat. Dean is a jack of all trades, and on top of being a restaurateur, he is also an author, kitchen designer, and he’s part of a band consisting of local chefs. If you must try anything from his restaurant, we recommend ordering his Tortilla Soup.

Rudy Stefan

Rudi Stefan is a self-taught chef from Sibenik, Croatia. He is the owner of Pelegrini, a Michelin star restaurant and is known for using natural local ingredients. Located across the Cathedral of St. James, the place offers an amazing outdoor experience on top of great cuisine. Check out their incredible seafood menu on your next visit.

José Avillez

Chef Jose is a Portuguese chef whose focus is making Portugal a top gastronomic destination and is considered one of the premier experts in Portuguese cuisine. If you want to visit his restaurant and have a culinary experience you won’t get, visit his two-star Michelin restaurant, Belcanto at Lisbon and Porto. Make sure to book your reservations early because as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, it’s the place to be for traveling foodies.

Make sure to tune in next season for more amazing chefs, incredible cuisine, and top-notch culinary recommendations that will satisfy your worldly travel cravings.

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort



The Grand Rio Mar Resort offers amazing amenities and embraces the community by fulfilling its corporate social responsibility. Today’s guest is Evy Garcia, the Director of Sales & Marketing at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort. She sits down with host Andy McNeill to discuss the many beautiful offerings of this luxurious event destination. From scenic views courtesy of its ocean-side location backdropped by the beautiful El Yunque National Forest, there’s plenty of areas to explore and enjoy. Evy also shares how they’ve helped restore and reforest the area after the destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. With the help of the community, the guests, and the resort itself, the forest has been reopened and enjoyed by many ever since. Learn more about the many programs offered by Wyndham Grand Rio to care for its nature and the abundant recreational activities to enjoy in Puerto Rico in this episode of Destination Everywhere!

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Grand Rio Mar Resort

In this special spotlight episode of Destination Everywhere, Andy McNeill is joined by Evy Garcia of Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf and Beach Resort overseeing the 400-room hotel, two world-class golf courses, the country club, and the Rio Mar community. They discuss the destination’s luxurious amenities and how they’re giving back to the community by taking care of its nature.

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort is located on the northeastern side of the island of Puerto Rico, just half an hour from the airport. A convenient location for tourists and non-natives who are not familiar with the landscape. The entire hotel sits right on the ocean backdropped by the El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the United States forest system. You are assured of a scenic view from every direction. The beautiful rainforest offers guests various activities such as a relaxed walk around the forest to enjoy and immerse in nature. You can also scale the area and go to the towers to enjoy the beautiful views and vegetation all around. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can opt for a hike around the area for a chance to dip into the waterfalls within the rainforest.

Wondering about what creatures you might encounter? The resort also offers birdwatching activities for you to enjoy and satisfy your curiosities. If you listen closely, the sound of coqui frogs, native in Puerto Rico, roaming around the forest. You have the opportunity to enjoy both fauna and flora without leaving the resort premises.

Another activity you can enjoy across the wide area of the resort is horseback riding. You can follow a trail to the creek in the rainforest, which also flows and connects to the golf course and the river.

With the devastation left behind by hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar people took it upon themselves to embrace the rainforest to rehabilitate and reopen it. With that followed other community-serving programs such as tree-planting and clean-up trails to continually liven the rain forest. The resort has deemed it part of its corporate social responsibility to consistently encourage planting trees in the area and take care of the creeks and trails. After all that work, volunteers reap their rewards by enjoying the beautiful freshwater pools from the waterfalls with free meals courtesy of the resort.

The resort also offers other fun activities to help you get in touch with nature. There’s an annual project surrounding turtle nesting where we welcome leatherback turtles and secure the areas so that when the hatchlings are ready to go, the guests can help bring them back into the ocean safely. For some interaction available all year round, the resort also offers iguana feeding for the whole family to enjoy safely. It is an exciting opportunity to commune and see the magnificent beauty of nature in action.

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf and Beach Resort boasts two great golf courses and spacious tennis centers. The resort offers spa services and yoga classes for businesspeople or even family members looking to relax. You can also enjoy mixology classes and a unique rum tasting experience immersed in Puerto Rican culture and music for more fun adult activities. You may also join in the feasts of the coffee for when the beans are ready for harvest in the different plantations. You can also experience the longest Christmas in the world as well as the San Sebastian Street Festival from November to January with artistic, musical days and wild carnival nights.

About Evy Garcia

DE 50 | Grand Rio Mar ResortJoining the Wyndham Grand family in March 2018, Evy Garcia has led the communications initiatives for Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort as the Director of Sales & Marketing overseeing the 400-room hotel, two world-class golf courses, country club, and the Rio Mar community. With over 20 years of expertise in the hospitality industry at Caribbean resorts, and as a corporate planner, Evy is a seasoned marketing veteran who has been at the forefront of major business strategies while navigating several crises. Prior to joining Wyndham, Evy led the sales team at El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://americanmeetings.com/podcast

Dubai

Dubai


DE 27 | Dubai

 

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? When you are in Dubai, you can have the best of both worlds. In this episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth dive deep into the Jewel of the Middle East, Dubai! They are joined by TV Host, Ryan Pyle, who will explore with us why this city of gold is the top business hub, charting with us its dynamic growth over the last few decades. He takes us to some of the great hotels and destinations that are fit for meetings, events, and, of course, travel!

In line with that, Andy and Todd also sit down with Omar Souab of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk to share with us some of the unique opportunities offered in this luxury hotel. He also takes us outside to give his recommendations on how best to enjoy the city. Join this episode for some fun and luxurious travel options, where you get to enjoy the finer things in life while discovering a different culture that just might enhance your appreciation of respect and tolerance.

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels in Dubai to corporate event management, their team sources corporate event venues with and meeting planners for clients worldwide. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events in Dubai and around the world. For more information go to www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Dubai

TV Host Ryan Pyle Calls The City Of Gold The Top Business Hub, And Explore Luxury Dubai Hotels With Omar Souab Of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

Who says traveling for business has to be a task? In Dubai, you can mix business with pleasure as you enjoy not only its growth as a global business hub but also its many luxurious travel destinations. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth dive deep into the Jewel of the Middle East with none other than two great people who live there who can share with us all there is you need to know about the city.

First up, they sit down with Ryan Pyle. After realizing a lifelong dream, Ryan took off from his hometown in Toronto, Canada, to China, where he became a regular contributor to the New York Times. In 2009, he was listed by PDN Magazine as one of the 30 emerging photographers in the world. Having designed a career-making travel television based on the aspirational idea of making people want to travel and see the world, he shares what drew him into the city of gold and what he is seeing that makes it so attractive to business people travelers alike.

Ryan regards as Dubai his home. He talks about why it has a fantastic social club with so many things happening all the time—from people in entertainment to the incredible restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

Lest you forget the old world in this cosmopolitan environment, Ryan shares his top must-try things and must-visit places in the city that are unlike no other:

  •     Walk through the gold market
  •     Cruise in a morning boat along the Dubai Creek
  •     Visit some of the deserts just north or south of the city

Plus, if you want to bask in the beautiful sunset with unforgettable views and a fine and luxurious experience, then you don’t want to miss visiting Burj Khalifa.

From one great landmark to the next, Andy and Todd also sit down with Omar Souab, the General Manager of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk—the second largest in the world and largest in the Middle East and Africa. Fit for a luxurious city, Omar talks about the great things that make this luxurious hotel unique:

  •     One, this iconic building is adorned with a gold pyramidion and in the shape of an obelisk, representative of the Luxor Obelisk currently in Paris.
  •     Two, it is in a great downtown spot, just 10 minutes away from the airport.
  •     Three, it houses five amazing restaurants.
  •     Four, it offers the Sofitel Spa with L’Occitane
  •     Five, it has three signature suites inspired from the emperor Napoleon and Cleopatra and designed by an Italian designer

Going out to the city, Omar then shares his recommendations that any international visitor must try:

  •     Safaris in the desert
  •     Boat trips in the Arabian sea
  •     Indoor activities such as ski slope and diving
  •     Shopping malls

Through it all, Dubai has proven itself to be one of the must-visit places, be it for business or pleasure or both. Before we forget, it helps to be reminded of the cultural differences any well-meaning traveler needs to know about Dubai. So get yourself acquainted with their culture and, most of all, always keep in mind to be respectful.

Capping this amazing episode off, here are Andy and Todd’s bucket-list items to do in Dubai:

  •     Sand Dune Bashing and Sandboarding
  •     Visit the Dubai Souks (Markets)
  •     Lounge 152 stories up at Burj Khalifa
  •     Zipline across the Dubai Marina
  •     See the world’s largest natural flower garden at the Dubai Miracle Garden
  •     Experience the culture during Ramadan
  •     Attend the activities at the Dubai Opera House
  •     Enjoy the Arabian Gulf on a private yacht

About Ryan Pyle

DE 27 | DubaiBorn in Toronto, Canada, Ryan Pyle spent his early years close to home. After obtaining a degree in International Politics from the University of Toronto in 2001, Ryan realized a lifelong dream and traveled to China on an exploratory mission.

In 2002 Ryan moved to China permanently and in 2004 Ryan became a regular contributor to the New York Times. In 2009 Ryan was listed by PDN Magazine as one of the 30 emerging photographers in the world.

In 2010 Ryan began working full time on television and documentary film production and has produced and presented several large multi-episode television series for major broadcasters in the USA, Canada, UK, Asia, CHINA and continental Europe.

About Omar Souab

DE 27 | DubaiAs General Manager of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Omar Souab leads the strategic direction and managed the pre-opening and current operations of Sofitel Hotels & Resorts largest property in the Middle East.

Souab brings a wealth of hospitality experience with an in-depth background in operations and sales following a 15-year career with Accor Group in Morocco and the UAE.

Souab holds a Bachelor in International Business from Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, USA, a Bachelor of International Business majoring in Marketing from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain, and a Masters in Hospitality from Accor’s International Hospitality Management Program in Paris, France.

In his free time, Souab is a keen golfer, enjoys running – aiming for a semi-marathon – and discovering new Hospitality as well as Food & Beverage trends.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:
London

London


 

From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba shares her Blue-Badge Guide knowledge on all things London for your next corporate meeting or event planning. Plus, from the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel shares some insider tips.

Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth see London as you’ve never seen before, for business, pleasure or both. Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip, this episode will give you a glimpse of the London scene through the eyes of locals.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing venues in London, to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

London

London. Official Blue Badge Guide Sophie Malerba Shares Best Things To Do In London, And Catch Iconic Events With The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel

There is a reason why London is simply a must-visit travel destination. From its medieval history to pop culture, this United Kingdom capital has something to offer every traveler. From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba joins this episode to share her Blue Badge Guide knowledge on all things London. Plus, as the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, hear from The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel. Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth, they take us into a view of London as we’ve never seen before, be it for business or pleasure or both.

Starting with the basics, Andy and Todd dive deep into the world of tour guides. Bringing you only the best experience, they talk to Sophie Malerba to share the prestige that comes with being a Blue Badge Guide.

A Blue Badge Guide stands out from all other guides in the city. One, it is not just a summer job; it’s a profession. People wearing this badge have to go through a tough and competitive 2-year course with roughly 30 people a year. From entry exams to written and practical, the Blue Badge ensures that any traveler, no matter where they come from and what language they speak, is getting high-quality standards.

Kicking off this tour in the most English way, Sophie gives us an insider perspective of London, revealing some of the city’s secrets.

Her top three places to visit for an afternoon tea are:

  •     The Goring Hotel – This hotel is a family-run hotel just outside Buckingham Palace frequented by the Royals.
  •     Ham Yard Hotel – This hotel offers design-oriented, beautiful interiors. They do afternoon tea for £25, which is a steal in London.
  •     Fortnum & Mason – This final entry serves not only the three tiers but after you finish them, they then bring along the cake trolley with more cakes to choose from.

From there, Sophie takes us to the streets, but not just like any other streets out there, because for her, “Whenever you’re in London, don’t stay on the main streets. Go to the side streets.” Everybody knows Piccadilly, but not many know the treasure that is St. James. If you want to shop where the Royals go, then this is the place to be! A lot of shops here have Royal Warrants, which means they produce goods and services for the Royal Family.

If you’re into the arts, then Sophie recommends the East End of London’s Shoreditch, London’s creative hub. Most people nowadays are familiar with this area as the place where street artist Banksy started. Since then, this has become the holy grail of the world’s best street artists.

Moving on from the Royals to A-listers, Andy and Todd also sit down with Anjie Keegel of The May Fair Hotel, which is the official hotel of the iconic London Film Festival and the London Fashion Week. She shares some insider stories, celebrity encounters, and high-end events that take place in this great hotel.

Going deeper, Anjie tours us to some of the little gems around The May Fair area, where musicians, celebrities, and the Royals also love to visit:

  •     The Coach & Horses – One of the oldest pubs in May Fair
  •     Shepherd’s Market – Located just at the back of the hotel where you can visit a few galleries, pubs, and restaurants

Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip not only with a great hotel but also with equally great bucket list items to match, listen to this episode and have a feel of the London scene—be it the lifestyles of the rich and famous or exploring the city through the eyes of locals.

About Sophie Malerba

DE 22 | Iconic London EventsSophie Malerba has been a Blue Badge Guide of London for 5 years and absolutely loves it! She mainly works with the US market, both private bookings (families and couples) and Incentives.

Her past experience is in the travel industry, where she worked for an Italian DMC for 8 years, before returning home to London.

She then worked for a London DMC, before fulfilling her dream to be a guide, which takes 2 years training.

About Anjie Keegel

DE 22 | Iconic London EventsAnjie Keegel has been in the industry for over 20 years.

She started out in operations (reservations, reception/ front of house) prior to moving in to reactive sales, then proactive sales.

Some of her previous roles includes, Corporate Sales Manager, Director of Leisure & Group Sales, Business Development and Director of Sales (property based) for hotels in London, Heathrow and Manchester UK.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Anjie moved to the UK over 25 years ago and never looked back.

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:
Coronavirus airplane exposure. Check out this CDC infographic to guide you.

Coronavirus airplane exposure. Check out this CDC infographic to guide you.

Meeting Professionals and business travelers can spend upwards of 60% of their time, on average, on the road. As each of us navigate the Coronavirus threat, it is important to stay informed. The CDC has established the following exposure risk categories to help guide air travelers.

Photo Credit: CDC

The infographic and information is provided by the CDC for the following potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure. These categories may not cover all potential exposure scenarios and should not replace an individual assessment of risk for the purpose of clinical decision making or individualized public health management. Any public health decisions that place restrictions on a person’s or group’s movements or impose specific monitoring requirements should be based on an assessment of risk for the person or group. These risk levels apply to travel-associated and community settings. CDC has provided separate guidance for healthcare settings. All exposures apply to the 14 days prior to assessment and recommendations apply until 14 days after the exposure event.

To sign up for daily updates from the CDC Click Here.

For more information on this topic from the CDC Click Here.

Travel well and be safe.

Please Note: For information on transitioning a live meeting to virtual on to one of our enterprise platforms, Click here, or email us at virtual@americanmeetings.com to schedule a capabilities presentation