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Local Culinary Prodigy, Adam Jones, 24, Takes the Helm as Executive Head Chef at AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast

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AC Hotel Belfast

15th Sep 2023

The young chef credits celebrity food maestro Jean-Christophe Novelli for his ascent to kitchen success

AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast has announced the promotion of Adam Jones, a remarkable 24-year-old culinary sensation, to the prestigious role of Executive Head Chef at its restaurant, Novelli’s.

Adam’s rapid rise from Commis Chef in June 2019 to his current position is a testament to his exceptional talent, drive and ambition and the invaluable guidance of his previous head chefs and renowned chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, the 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and multi–Michelin Star award-winning chef who was named AA Chef’s Chef of the Year and has also been dubbed “The Nation’s Favourite French Chef”.

Adam’s journey within the AC Hotel by Marriott family commenced in June 2019, when he joined as a Commis Chef. Fuelled by the inspiration of his father, a seasoned chef, Adam’s passion for the culinary arts led him to the AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast.

He says: “My dad is a chef and through watching him, with his knife skills and his enjoyment of cooking, I became interested in cooking myself. When I was in my teens, I started to shadow him in his restaurant at Tandragee Golf Club, learning the basics. I was certain that this was a path I wanted to pursue in my career.”

Adam studied at SERC, during which he was approached to join the team as a commis chef at AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, and under the expert mentorship of Jean-Christophe Novelli, Adam’s growth has been exceptional.

He advanced to the role of Junior Sous Chef in November 2021 and continued his ascent to Sous Chef in September 2022. Today, he proudly assumes the esteemed position of Executive Head Chef.

Reflecting on his journey, Adam expresses profound gratitude for the guidance of his mentor, Jean-Christophe Novelli. He says: “He has been a mentor and a friend, always there to give me advice. As a chef, I’m always learning, I know that Jean-Christophe has a lot he can still teach me.”

Adam’s culinary vision promises to enhance and inspire future menus within Novelli’s, just as it gears up for the popular festive season. He adds: “I’m looking forward to putting my stamp on the menu as the new executive head chef and really working with the best seasonal produce all year round. Fresh, seasonal foods will take centre stage, infused with Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli’s modern Mediterranean twist while keeping the beloved classics intact.”

Beyond his kitchen duties, Adam has a passion for culinary exploration, constantly seeking inspiration to stay at the forefront of culinary trends through television shows and travel.

Speaking about the promotion, Jean-Christophe Novelli adds:

“The hospitality industry has faced incredibly difficult headwinds over the last few years, but our business is committed to creating incredible guest experiences in line with consumer trends. Operational excellence is crucial when it comes to attracting and retaining guest loyalty across our properties, so ensuring areas such as food and beverage remain innovative is vital. In light of this, I am thrilled to announce the promotion of Adam Jones to the esteemed position of Executive Head Chef. This decision signifies not only his remarkable culinary prowess but also our commitment to pushing the boundaries of excellence in gastronomy.”

Paula Stuart, General Manager at the AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast, says:

“Adam’s recent promotion marks an exciting milestone among the 13 promotions within the hotel over the past year. This period has seen a remarkable transformation, including the grand unveiling of a spectacular £300,000 Terrace. This addition has truly elevated the hotel experience, introducing alfresco dining with breathtaking views of Belfast Harbour, Titanic Belfast and Harland and Wolff. Despite summer weather disappointments in July and August, it has been a record-breaking season, underscoring our commitment to delivering exceptional hospitality and memorable moments to our valued guests.

“I am proud to be part of the award-winning team responsible for creating a modern, high-spec, 188-bedroom, waterfront hotel on Belfast’s Maritime Mile. I enjoy working collaboratively with the team and building brand advocates, all of whom fully support the offering we have here in Belfast. The senior team and I set the strategic direction and empower staff to collectively work together to achieve our goals. The team have great energy and passion which they channel into delivering an excellent guest experience. I would like to congratulate Adam on his promotion and wish him every success in this exciting new role.”

Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the hotel has doubled up on its commitment to sustainability initiatives and technological advancements too, ensuring an unparalleled guest experience. The implementation of mobile keys has revolutionised room access. In line with global environmental concerns, the hotel has also taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint, earning the esteemed Green Tourism Silver accreditation.

Themed stays including a ‘girls’ night away’ and ‘family getaways’ are on the agenda thanks to the addition of new family rooms that are expanding the hotel’s client demographic.

As the festive season approaches, the hotel is looking forward to welcoming even more guests continuing on its ascent from December 2022, its most successful since opening.

A Christmas Eve Brunch will be just one of the new offerings in the run-up to December 25th, giving families the opportunity to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and enjoy a serene Christmas Brunch. The deal includes a welcome drink on arrival and a delectable array of dishes crafted by Adam and the team. Enjoy live holiday music, keep the little ones entertained at our kids’ craft table, and take advantage of our convenient gift-wrapping station. At the AC Hotel by Marriott, embrace the true spirit of Christmas with great company, joyful laughter, and exceptional cuisine, giving your family the gift of a new and cherished Christmas tradition.