Rosen Plaza’s Recipe for Successful Events

Author: Michelle Russell       

Rosen Plaza Executive Chef Michael McMullen grew up on outstanding food cooked by his mother and grandmother, who made everything from scratch. “Their cooking was all about love, family, and gathering people together,” he said. “Because of their influence, I’ve always had this love of food and a desire to pass this on.”


For the past 10 years, McMullen has enjoyed sharing his personal touch and made-from-scratch cuisine with meeting planners, creating unique menus to complement the versatile range of options within the hotel’s 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space. From a 26,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Grand Ballroom and well-appointed Salons to the high-energy ambiance of 3NINE and the laid-back ’39 Poolside Bar & Grill and adjoining tropical pool deck and mezzanine, the 800-room Rosen Plaza easily hosts groups up to 2,800 for fetes of all types.


One of the award-winning hotel’s newest and most talked-about destinations is 3NINE, an entertainment venue which comfortably accommodates small groups to parties up to 500 — and up to 1,500 when using the palm-tree-lined outdoor pool deck, where the sunshine by day and balmy breezes by night make Orlando and Rosen Plaza such an appealing destination for attendees. For planners, 3NINE is a dream, with built-in theming and AV including a stage with lighting, sound system, customizable flat screens throughout, two bars inside plus a poolside bar and a dance floor.


“Everyone really enjoyed our evening of dining and dancing at 3NINE,” said Williams Company Southeast CEO Robert W. Lipscomb. “I had so many people tell me that it was one of the best venues we’ve been to. I think the best part of the event was the inside/outside aspect. Many of my guests stayed inside and ate and drank and danced, while others were able to enjoy watching the football game at the outside bar area, which was a bit quieter.”


Beyond the pulsating sounds of 3NINE, tucked behind the newly refreshed lobby bar, is a Rosen treasure where guests dine under the stars. Jack’s Place is truly unique venue for a memorable gathering for groups up to 90, named after owner Harris Rosen’s father, who, while working at New York City’s Waldorf =Astoria in the 1940s, sketched the hundreds of autographed celebrity caricatures — including Jackie O, JFK, Babe Ruth, NASA astronauts, international dignitaries, sports stars, and more — that line the restaurant’s’ walls.


“Jack’s Place and 3NINE in the Rosen Plaza Hotel are hidden gems. The food, the venue — and most of all, the service — are beyond compare,” said Ryan Mikolasik, chief marketing officer, EPIC Fuels. Mikolasik, who recently hosted a reception and dinner on back-to-back nights for the company’s top customers, said they received rave reviews from every attendee. The chefs “prepared fantastic choices with the best-quality and freshest ingredients I’ve seen,” he said. “I would be hard-pressed to find another restaurant in Orlando that was able to be the best at all that [they] did — each course was great and it was a perfect event from start to finish.”

While many of the hotel’s unique spaces are pre-themed, Chef McMullen and his team rise to the challenge of expertly transforming the more traditional spaces such as the ballroom and salons with unique culinary themes. For example, McMullen was once asked to create a “mad scientist lab” for 2,000 conference attendees who had only a one-hour break from sessions. He and his team prepared six buffet stations that included spiraling fruit kebabs, hot nacho cheese flowing into beakers, and a liquid nitrogen ice-cream station. “It was a challenge to offer creative food to so many people in such a short amount of time, but it worked well and was a lot of fun,” McMullen said.

Of course, the Rosen standard of service excellence is a consistent presence throughout any event, whether a small group or an in-house convention. “From the moment I first met the team during our site visit, to the last moment of our second event,” Mikolasik said, “the team — and they work as a real team! — had prepared every detail to finest perfection.”

Add in Rosen Plaza’s convenient location — connected to the Orange County Convention Center via the Gary Sain Memorial Skybridge and just a short stroll across the street to International Drive’s Pointe Orlando shopping, dining, and entertainment complex — and you’ve got the final ingredient for your most successful event in Orlando.

For more information, visit or call 407-996-9700.

This article is brought to you by Rosen Plaza


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