Meet Henry Salmo, the Executive Chef and F&B Director at The Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Innsbrook. He has been recognized for numerous titles including: “Director of Food and Beverage of the Year” for Hilton Garden Worldwide and “Food & Beverage Top Performer” in the Mid-Atlantic region for Hilton Worldwide.

Tell us a little about your company
Whether you plan a corporate luncheon or a lavish celebration, we pride ourselves on our personal attention, stylish design, innovative menus and have the experience and knowledge to help execute a worry-free event.

How did you get started in this business?
I am the Executive Chef and F&B Director and started in the hospitality business 15 years ago. I discovered my passion for food and at an early age starting in professional kitchens at a young age of 14 and worked my way through the ranks, learning different techniques from all the different chefs to find my own way and to give a memorable experience to guests.

Over the past 10 years, traveling up and down the Eastern United States, I have succeeded working as a Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef task force member and an opening lead for Forbes 5-Star, AAA 4-5-Diamond hotels over 35 multi brand hotels. I have held true to my professional career standard of being progressive, modern and ever evolving, focusing on food quality, customer service and culinary standards.

What’s your favorite wedding story?
I was working for an independent hotel in Washington, DC and hosting the Owner’s daughters wedding with an RSVP of 750 people. Her wedding was over 300K with very high profile guests. With the pressure being at an all time high, my team was outstanding and I realized in that profound moment, that with a strong team you can accomplish anything.

Why do you like working with weddings?
The inspiration of creating a dream wedding menu, whether you’re into traditional wedding fare or want more of a culinary adventure.

What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a couple and how did you resolve it?
While hosting a wedding, a guest accidentally knocked over the wedding cake while taking a picture. My team rushed to clean it up with hopes of reconstructing it. We were able to salvage the two bottom layers with piped frosting and luckily we had a matching stand that we used to top off the cake with a layer of cupcakes.

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
If there’s one thing that guests are sure to remember about your wedding, it’s the food and service.

How far in advance should couples book your services?
At least six months in advance. Your tasting should be arranged around the third or fourth month to ensure consistency in seasonal items. Also, setting a menu will help cement logistics for the rest of the day.

What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?  
When I found my daughter in the kitchen playing with pots and pans pretending to cook, her interest in the kitchen at such a young age inspired me to excel in everything I do, knowing she is looking up to me.

What do you like to do when you are away from work?
In my leisure, I enjoy visiting local breweries, and experimenting with different recipes as I prepares ethnic comfort food for family and friends.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I have a private mentoring service to encourage and guide the young generation professionally.

You can learn more about the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Innsbrook on our website.

Photo Credits: The Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Innsbrook