Q&A: Getting to Know Chef Roger, The First-Ever Chief Cookie Officer
Get ready for some serious job envy. DoubleTree by Hilton has just appointed the first-ever Chief Cookie Officer. You read that right, CCO: Chief Cookie Officer.
The sweet new position was announced in conjunction with National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 4 and to celebrate DoubleTree by Hilton’s new Cook(ie) Book, Start with Cookies – a page turner that will add a touch of sweetness to any kitchen.
Below, Chef Roger Maune talks about his new role, gives advice to bakers and cookie connoisseurs alike, and shares the craziest way he’s ever seen someone use a DoubleTree Cookie in a recipe. He also reveals how many DoubleTree Cookies are served to guests each year (can you guess?) and how you can celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in your own kitchen, every day of the year:
Q: Tell us about yourself – how did you land this Chief Cookie Officer gig?
A: I’m thrilled to be the first Chief Cookie Officer in DoubleTree by Hilton’s nearly 50-year history. I’ve been a part of the Hilton culinary team for almost 30 years now, working at hotels in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Arizona, Santa Barbara and now San Jose, where I’m the executive chef at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Jose. In addition to my culinary experience, I think my passion for serving my community is what sealed the deal. I’m involved with a local organization that supports food banks and shelters and I am passionate about mentoring young chefs. DoubleTree also has a commitment to serving the communities around them, which made this a natural fit for me.
Q: What makes you most excited about the role?
A: Well, for starters it’s a dream job and sounds like something I would have made up as a kid. One thing I am excited about most immediately is our new Cook(ie) Book, Start with Cookies, which features recipes from DoubleTree Team Members around the world. Every recipe starts with a DoubleTree Cookie and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. You can download or view it for free online at StartWithCookies.com.
Q: What’s the “secret dough” behind the signature DoubleTree Cookie?
A: You know I’ll never tell! The DoubleTree Cookie recipe is top secret, but anyone can order a tin of the signature Cookies or the dough online at DoubleTreeCookies.com.
Q: What’s your favorite recipe in this year’s Cook(ie) Book?
A: Well, I’m obviously partial to my own recipe — the DoubleTree Cookie Pancakes — but the DoubleTree Cookie-Coated Chicken Fingers recipe, which uses a Cookie and breadcrumb coating, is also delicious. This is a sweet and savory recipe that is a total crowd pleaser.
Q: What’s your advice on cooking with Cookies to any bakers out there?
A: My advice is to have fun! That’s the most important thing to keep in mind when cooking with Cookies – or whenever you’re in the kitchen. Draw inspiration from your surroundings and don’t be afraid to try something unexpected; that’s how so many of our DoubleTree Cookie-inspired recipes – like my own DoubleTree Cookie Pancakes – came to be.
Q: How many Cookies do you serve a day? A year?
A: The short answer here is, So. Many. Cookies. Each day we give out 75,000 DoubleTree Cookies, which is more than 27 million each year — that’s a lot of Cookies! In fact, DoubleTree by Hilton has given out more than 420 million Cookies to date. At my hotel alone, we bake more than 20,000 DoubleTree Cookies every month.
Q: What’s the “craziest” way you’ve seen someone eat/use a DoubleTree Cookie in a recipe?
A: Hmmm, one of the most unique recipes I think you can find in Start with Cookies is the Beef Rendang DoubleTree Cookie Pie from DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur’s Pastry Chef Low Kin Kang. It’s a really fun twist on a traditional Malaysian dish, combining rich and flavorful spices, beef and coconut with a DoubleTree Cookie crust for a sweet and savory result that you just have to try.
Q: What do you think the future holds for DoubleTree Cookies?
A: I think the future is full of possibilities for inventive, new recipes that utilize our signature Cookie. Every year, we see more and more innovative dishes coming out of our hotels and I think that’s only going to continue. We want everyone to try their hand at creating their own unique cookie-inspired creations too, so please share them with us @DoubleTree on Facebook and Instagram, using #StartWithCookies. Who knows – maybe they’ll be featured in a future book!