Food is Art

The Assignment:

What started as an idea at an opening party turned into an international known food and beverage program that built Sonesta’s reputation in the culinary arts. Borrowing on an Egyptian saying, loosely translated as “eyes eat first,” each plate and each display were artistically arranged to please the eyes in addition to the stomach.

The mission was to enhance every event and dining experience by creating food presentations that looked like art. The culinary displays were chef-inspired, locally grown and creatively presented. This was rolled out across a collection of 20 hotels in the US, Egypt, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Scope of Work:

In 2003, at the opening of the new Trump International Sonesta Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, FL, the assignment was to come up with a creative concept that would be unique, press worthy and high profile. The opening had 500 “A” list VIP celebrities including Donald Trump, national recording artist, Jon Secada, as well as local dignitaries and political officials.

The subsequent roll out of the international marketing and branding campaign involved the creative food displays photographed for brochures and websites. The entire hotel learned the meaning of Food is Art as a philosophy to embrace.


  • Elevated Sonesta’s food and beverage presentation across all outlets, in-room dining and banquet service areas
  • Increased incremental check revenues by 12% without increasing costs
  • Created a strong brand message that garnered national media attention
  • Social catering became a major source of revenue