The Charlotte Marriott City Center in North Carolina welcomed a new Director of Eat & Drink, Todd Brinkman, an industry veteran who brings a wealth of food, beverage and restaurant management experience from Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott properties to his new role. Todd oversees the hotel’s food and beverage portfolio, which includes fine dining restaurant Stoke, Stoke Bar, private event space and speakeasy The Dock, and coffeehouse Coco and the Director. A certified sommelier, Todd is also revamping the wine program.
Prior to joining the Charlotte Marriott City Center, Todd was the Lead Sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in California. Previous positions include Director of Restaurants at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson and Director of Food & Beverage at L’Auberge de Sedona. He was on the opening team of the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona, overseeing the property’s beverage program. There, for the first time, he designed a wine list in addition to creating the seasonal cocktail program and curating the bar’s whiskey collection. Todd has also worked harvest at Antica Winery alongside then assistant-winemaker Nate Wies, who later moved on to Silver Oak. He received his sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds an MBA from the University of Arizona.
Charlotte dining destination Stoke offers a wood-fired culinary experience overseen by Executive Chef Chris Coleman, one of North Carolina’s most respected chefs. At the heart of the open plan restaurant’s concept, a wood burning oven adds a distinctive rustic yet refined character to Coleman’s contemporary Southern cooking. Guests are immersed in a kitchen environment where boundaries between chef and diner are removed: the kitchen itself is devoid of walls, allowing guests to watch the kitchen action. Working with local farmers and purveyors to highlight heirloom ingredients, the menu highlights include Charred Octopus with Virginia chorizo; chili-sorghum glazed Sticky Pork Shank with crushed peanuts & benne seeds; and the famous one-pound Doughnut for dessert. Cocktails feature local spirits in creative signatures and seasonal takes on classics.