MOSCOW, RUSSIA--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Everyone loves a good mystery, whether it's a novel, a movie or -- if you're a chef in a national culinary competition -- a box of ingredients. On September 3, 2014, the last of these was precisely what confronted chefs from Marriott hotels around the country as they embarked on the 2014 Marriott Black Box European Culinary Challenge - Russia, which was hosted by the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel. And while the chefs composed the ingredients in different ways, one unifying element did appear at the forefront of every dish: passion.

Seven teams, each comprised of three chefs and three waiters, arrived at this business hotel in Moscow, Russia for the competition. Their objective? To craft a tantalizing and innovative three-course meal from one box of mystery ingredients. The components of each box were identical, and within hours, the teams had transformed the fresh dorado, salmon, chicken, vegetables, fruits and other edibles into delectable appetizers, entrees and desserts.

As with any meal, however, the food was only part of the equation. The other part centered on presentation, which was where the expertise of the service staff stole the spotlight. Each team developed a theme that united the décor and menu, and then the service staff brought in glassware, chairs, linens, leaves, twine and even, in one instance, a fish tank to create tables that were as inventive as they were customized. Everything from Old Russia to journalism appeared in the finished results.

Representing some of the best restaurants in Moscow, Russia and beyond, these hotel teams made it difficult for the three judges to name a winner. After recognizing every team with an award for a dish or other category, the judges (comprised of senior-level Marriott staff) finally selected one winner for the overall prize: the Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg Center West/Pushkin Hotel. Coming in at a close second was The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow. Other teams hailed from the Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky, Courtyard Moscow City Centre, Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel, Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel and Marriott Moscow Tverskaya.

Holding the competition at the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel, meanwhile, was a much easier decision. A premier destination among business hotels in Moscow, Russia, the property boasts 12 meeting rooms with 26,910 square feet of event space. Spacious, modern and elegant with wood tones, natural light and an upbeat palette of white, golds, blues and purples, the event spaces are both inspired and flexible. And they created the perfect backdrop for the competition's final event: Each team prepared its Black Box menu for a table of 10 guests, ranging from hotel clients, to general managers, to the senior hotel staff.

Mysteries, it turns out, can be delicious to solve.

About the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel
Offering luxurious rooms, modern conference space and boutique service, the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel extends a warm Russian welcome to its visitors. And the rest of the hotel is equally enticing. Guests enjoy marble bathrooms and rain showers, high-speed Internet access and mini-refrigerators in their accommodations, which include options for suites and extended-stay apartments in addition to traditional guest rooms and Executive-level rooms. Those looking to experience a vibrant Russian restaurant in Moscow need go no further than downstairs, thanks to the hotel's four exciting dining options featuring a seasonal outdoor restaurant and the stylish Mozaic and Premier restaurants. A fitness center, Turkish hamam and indoor pool offer plenty of ways to relax, while 12 meeting rooms and a full-service business center accommodate those in town for work. And with a location near the Moscow Hippodrome, Red Square and Petrovsky Park, the property positions guests to enjoy themselves off-site as well.

Contact Information:

Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre Hotel
31A bld.1 Leningradsky Prospect
Moscow 125284 Russian Federation
7-495-995 0009