The Locavore wave shows no sign of crashing on the shoals of ho-hum anytime soon. In fact, today’s diners look more than ever for locally sourced, fresh and clean foods. Farm-to-table is the new normal in many parts of the country, and truly conscious chefs have long been taking it a step further. Hotel-to-table, you might call it. With gardens and orchards a few steps from their kitchens, they eliminate “food miles” (expending fossil fuels in transport, losing freshness and nutrients over time) and infuse an authentic sense of place into their cuisine. Here are a few examples of how Destination Hotels properties serve up creative and mindful fare.
Cle Elum, Washington
Garden space is no issue here. Suncadia sits on 6,000 tranquil acres, and the resort’s Hay Creek Garden supplies its Portals Restaurant and Gas Lampe Grille with the fixin’s for countless creative dishes, such as Greenhouse to Gas Lamp Goat Cheese Flatbread (vegetarian flatbread with griddled onion, shaved kohlrabi, medjool dates, goat cheese, shaved manchego and chili oil). Ingredients grown on property include wild arugula, French beans, Ninja radishes, herbs and edible flowers.
Manor Vail Lodge
Manor Vail Lodge is perched at an 8,200-foot elevation, at the base of Vail Mountain. As if that were not challenging enough for a restaurant garden, the hotel’s Fitz Bar & Restaurant babies its four 20-by-80-square-foot veggie beds without chemicals or fertilizers. “We grow things not readily available through local vendors,” says executive chef Kenneth Butler. That includes edible flowers such as violas, pansies and Egyptian star flowers—and three different kinds of kale.
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Chef de cuisine Andrew Vaughan at the resort’s signature restaurant, Mar’sel, has taken what he calls “farm-to-Terranea” cuisine closer to home by relying heavily on the resort’s hilltop garden and Mar’sel’s own garden beds. One bespoke plate that’s sprung from this resolve is a hand-cut nasturtium pasta (shown above, the peppery blossoms infuse the dish with a spiciness unexpected from such a delicate and lovely flower) featuring garden vegetables in a white wine ragu.
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Royal Isabela is a relaxed oceanfront resort on Puerto Rico’s dramatic northwest coast. Due perhaps to its very isolation, the food focus is deliciously local at The Restaurant at La Casa. Its menu showcases Royal Isabela’s own vegetables, herbs and fruits, with contributions from nearby fishermen, cheese makers and farms. Corn, eggplants and peppers thrive on resort grounds and are put to good use in many dishes, including an organic corn salad, piquant with jalapeno, cilantro and lime.
Maple & Pine, Quirk’s signature restaurant, serves beautiful—and beautifully local—food, such as roasted chicken breast, marble potatoes and fennel with tarragon pesto, thanks to this restaurant’s rooftop garden. “Our garden can be seen from our rooftop bar at Quirk,” chef David Dunlap notes. “The items we grow go immediately to the plate, and to the guest. Our herbs and edible flowers add visual pops of color and texture to the modern composition of our plating.”