Five Star Food Fight Featured Chef: Tanner Marino

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There’s a certain quintet of culinary genius who will be front and center at ℹ️ Chattanooga Market’s annual Five Star Food Fight , the culminating event of Restaurant Week. Visit their restaurants during Restaurant Week, then come to Chattanooga Market to see them in action. Please come back daily to see all of our featured chefs who will be competing.

ℹ️ The Chattanoogan is one of the city’s largest hotel/restaurant/conference facilities. With 198 hotel rooms, 150 seats in the main dining room, ℹ️ Broad Street Grille, and another 80 seats in the adjoining bar, The Foundry, plus the vast number of catering and banquet bookings, someone with experience in organizing the needs of overnight guests, as well as those coming to experience a meal in the grill or bar, is needed to complete the task.

Enter Marino, who began his culinary career at Devereaux’s in Greenville, South Carolina, before entering the world of hotel food service at Greenville’s Hyatt Regency and The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina.

“Those two opened my eyes to volume cooking, and I gained a ton of experience from it,” he says.

In May, Marino became executive chef for The Chattanoogan. Unlike working in food service for a stand-alone restaurant that operated mostly off of reservations and walk-ins, Marino says hotel food management adds two additional jobs to the equation: accounting for house guests and in-room dining, which, he adds, can make for a busy service on top of the normal guests.

“The Chattanoogan has a great product overall, and I plan to enhance and add to it,” he says. “I’ve been working closely with Anthony Frank, food and beverage director, to revitalize and rethink all aspects of the hotel’s food operations. We have been in the process of rewriting the catering, wedding, Broad Street Grille and Foundry menus.

Marino follows trends, but doesn’t adhere to them for the sake of doing what other chefs are doing. “I am always intrigued by new techniques, but they would have to fit into the dynamic of the restaurant,” says the chef who, when at home, gravitates toward making the wonderful braised meats and sauces found in Latin foods.

“Diners can expect a brand new dining experience with an emphasis on sourcing local ingredients, simplicity in menus, and honest, delicious food,” he says. “Consistency and attention to detail has always been a strong reason to continuously dine at certain places for me. There is something to be said about a place that not only does great food but also does all the little things right. I want to offer a memorable dining experience that guests can expect every time they dine with us.”

For more information visit chattanoogahotel.com. 

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Anne Braly is a frequent contributor to Chattanooga Magazine.

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