As the farm-to-table movement becomes mainstream, numerous hotels have joined the pledge to provide locally-sourced, fresh, and organic foods at their establishments. Some destinations have become agri-hotels by installing rooftop gardens, or farm plots adjacent to their property in order to offer guests homegrown and sustainable foods. Other luxury hotels and resorts have taken the concept of eating like a local to the next level by adding more experiential and sophisticated offerings.
One such property that has made a commitment to providing organic, local produce whenever possible is Hermitage Bay in Antigua. The 5-star luxury resort uses the best of locally-sourced ingredients to create a new menu each day, with most of the fruits and vegetables coming from their on-site organic kitchen garden. Thanks to the property’s commitment to sustainability, the garden has doubled in size since its creation and grows a large variety of crops such as peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and callaloo, just to name a few. Taking the experience a step further, guests interested in learning how to prepare a meal using the local produce from their garden can take part in a cooking course at the resort under the guidance of one of the Hermitage Bay restaurant chefs.
While it’s obvious one garden will most likely not be able to supply all food and beverage required, resorts can still embrace the farm-to-table concept while supporting the island economy by building relationships with local growers to provide fresh produce. The key is to identify the options available for locally-sourced, organic foods in your environment so that the experiences are truly authentic and ultimately appreciated by your guests.
With an abundance of resources, farm-to-table hotels can operate working farms to grow and produce a variety of food and rum right on their property. However, not every destination will have these opportunities available. Through research, development, and the guidance of experts such as chefs, landscape architects, and farmers, luxury resorts and hotels can become known for their local, sustainable food menu and programming. The farm-to-table movement’s bigger picture can help sustain local economies, increase the health and wellness of their guests, and encourage people to learn more about the cultures of the places they visit.