Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday HGI Fairfax!

The Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax turned 7 years old on February 19th, 2009. In celebration of this milestone event, we had a birthday party complete with party hats, a pinata, and of course, a yummy birthday cake provided by Wanda of Wanda's Cake Decorating Joining Steve Steinberg, General Manager, in blowing out the candle were several of our employees that have been with us since that momentous first day.

Happy Birthday Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax and many more!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Interview with Ed Martinez, Executive Chef

Interview with Chef Ed Martinez:
Can you please share with us a little about your culinary background?
I began learning from my grandmother when I was very young. She was very creative and knowlegeable and she shared a lot of techniques and skills. This interested me and made me want to continue learning about new styles of cooking.
Tell us some more about your education.
I didn't go to culinary school per se. I learned everything I know from working with others. I got my professional start in the kitchens of large hotels including the Grand Hyatt, DC. I learned by watching executive chefs and taking the best part of their techniques while infusing my own personality into what I do to make it my own.
Speaking of other chef's, your personality is very pleasant and mild mannered without any of the ego and drama that we usually see in large kitchens. How do you explain this?
While I'm cooking, I'm also praying for God to keep me humble. There is love and passion in everything I prepare. I do this for my guests. Making our customers happy is what makes me happy. If they are happy, it makes me want to keep doing what I'm doing.
What is your favorite type of event to prepare for?
Cooking for weddings is the most fun. It reminds me of the Love Boat. Each event is a new episode and a new set of menu requests and personalities. Every weekend, we have the chance to wow a whole new group of people. When I leave at the end of the evening, I already know that they were happy with their food which makes it all worthwhile until the next weekend when I get to do it all over again.
Tell us something about the Ed outside of the kitchen. Please share a fun fact with us.
After being at work all day, when I can prepare anything that I want to eat, at home, I want something easy. My favorite after work foods are grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs. Easy, filling, and comforting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Cozy Winter Wedding: Sara and Joe, November 30, 2008

Sara and Joe were a very laid back couple who made wedding planning look easy! From the very beginning, they were very clear about what they had in mind and each decision brought them closer to their dream.

One of the key venue features that they were looking for was plenty of photo locations indoors since the weather was likely to be chilly and gray on a late November afternoon. But, from the warmth of the fireplace and the love in their faces, you'd never know it was winter time! Their smiles lit up the entire ballroom!

They chose a deep red for an accent color on a field of white and black. All of the details were simple and classic. For a fun detail, the tables were all named after their favorite bands!

For a fun send-off, the couple departed through a flurry of bubbles! Best wishes to Joe and Sara for a long and happy marriage!

All photos courtesy of Grover Studios

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Try this for a fun Valentine's Day cocktail:
Mix Vodka, Bailey's Irish Cream and Creme de Cocoa in a shaker with ice. Dip the glass into Cherry Juice and then roll in Chocolate Shavings. Pour a drop of Hershey's Chocolate syrup in the bottom of the martini glass. Fill with the cocktail and garnish with a strawberry.
Yum! It tastes just like chocolate milk!
Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Women in Weddings February 10, 2009

In the spirit of cooperation, networking and just plain fun, I joined 74 other talented and dynamic ladies for the first Women in Weddings luncheon on Tuesday. Here you can see Jennifer Bodnar and Jeanna Hilton greeting us at the registration desk. Thank you for putting together such a great event!

Myrna Grossman of For All Occasions, was our speaker and gave an outstanding performance. Not only that, the food was delicious. Best of all, I got reconnect with old friends and meet a whole bunch of new ones!

All photos courtesy of Allison Britton,
Check out her blog for more details from this amazing event at

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Congratulations to the HGI Fairfax Team!

2009 Bride's Choice Awards presented by WeddingWire  Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers & More
Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax wins
2009 Brides Choice Award
from Wedding Wire.

Thank you to all of the happy couples who voted for us and
thank you to Julio, Chef Ed and everyone at the hotel
who made this possible!
Press release from Wedding Wire below:

In its inaugural year, the Bride’s Choice Awards recognizes and honors vendors from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. This year’s recipients represent the top three percent of WeddingWire’s vendor community, which includes over 100,000 wedding vendors from across the US. That means Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax is one of the very best Reception/Ceremony Venue.

Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the company, the Bride’s Choice Awards are determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews.

“We are excited to launch this annual award program to honor high-performing vendors based solely on the experiences of our WeddingWire community,” according to Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s recipients have set the bar high, exhibiting excellent service and expertise in the wedding industry.”

Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax would like to thank our past clients for speaking on our behalf and helping us win the 2009 Bride’s Choice Award!