Stewarding The Ship

Bubu hugs Chef Thor. Credits: Bubu at GSH

One of the most overlooked elements of a hotel is the importance of the back of the house. The unsung heroes of a business, in a part of the operation that the customer never sees, are imperative to its success. A guest cannot be served in a restaurant or banquet setting without the support of the stewarding department.

No employee embodies the work ethic required for this better than The Grand Summit Hotel’s Chief Steward Joseph “Bubu” Geese. Bubu has been a fixture in the hotel’s banquet kitchen since his arrival at the hotel in 1994.

While the hotel prides itself on long-term employees, Bubu takes pride in the fact that he has been in the kitchen longer than many who comprise the kitchen management team -- an impressive fact when you consider that the average kitchen manager at the hotel is in excess of 15 years. He is not shy to let them know about it, and is quick to introduce new employees and managers to The Grand Summit way.

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“We consider it a luxury to have someone like Bubu who is so important to what we do on a daily basis,” says long time Executive Chef Charles Burke. “He knows what we are thinking, as we are thinking about it, and works in lock step with my culinary team to ensure we have what we need, when we need it, in the condition we need it in.”

Bubu’s responsibilities go beyond just overseeing the dish machines. He can be seen assisting with plate up on Saturday nights during large weddings assisting the culinary team. He is also a big part of ensuring the hotel staff has lunch and dinner available to them in the employee cafeteria seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Bubu resides with his wife in West Orange and is the proud father of four children. He makes time to visit family he has in both Haiti and Canada. Bubu takes great pride in his reputation as one of the most fashionable people at the hotel. When Bubu puts on a suit, his fashion sense is nothing short of tailor made. “Bubu has a wonderful sense of style,” says long time Executive Sous Brigham Smith. “We always look forward seeing Bubu dressed for an important event, because his style is so on point.”

Director of Purchasing Brenda Hartman oversees a staff of seven stewards who perform what many consider to be one of the most integral roles on the hotel/culinary team. “We consider ourselves very lucky to have employees like Bubu who come to work every day focused on the task at hand and willing to do whatever the day throws at them,” said Hartman.  “Bubu has been that employee that I can always count on for years, someone I trust in my absence, and someone I know will do the job right.”

With 149 guest accommodations and over 10,000 square feet of recently-renovated event space, The Grand Summit Hotel -- the shining star in the town of Summit -- remains one of the area’s most prestigious addresses for social and corporate events.

The hotel’s culinary reputation is unmatched in the area and has been extended to the wildly popular HAT Tavern in the hotel’s lower level. The management team built on this success recently with the grand opening of the Arts and Crafts Lobby Bar serving private label coffee and espresso, Ironbound Nitro Brewed Iced Coffee, a selection of hard to find craft beers, and wine.

The Grand Summit Hotel is located at 570 Springfield Avenue in Summit, New Jersey 07901. For more information call the hotel at 908-273-3000 or visit our website at   

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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