September 14th, 2022
Cheers to Green Cuisine
Green cuisine is sweeping the hotel industry. With properties upping their veggie-forward options and introducing meat-free variations on classic dishes, there’s never been a better time to travel as a vegan, vegetarian, or generally health and environmentally conscious traveler. By embracing plant-forward menus, hotels are appealing to a broader set of travelers and winning over a younger generation of environmentally aware travelers.
When it comes to green cuisine, innovation abounds. At Shou Sugi Ban House, the Hamptons’ first wellness resort, world-renowned chefs Mads Refslund of Noma fame designed a menu that uses a variety of techniques like fermentation, juicing, and en papillote to transform organic foods that are plucked from the hotel’s biodynamic gardens and local farms. Fresh, briny oysters might come from West Robins, a sustainable shellfish operation in Southampton, while the nearby Bhumi Farms might provide sugar snaps, heirloom tomatoes, and mini cucumbers.
At Oxfordshire’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, cooking vegetables is elevated to high art. At the hotel’s signature restaurant—which earned two Michelin stars during its first year and has held them ever since—French chef Raymond Blanc OBE creates stunning dishes that highlight only the finest and freshest ingredients, sourced from his two-acre vegetable garden. Among the 90+ plants that are grown include 20+ species of mushrooms, every French and English herb imaginable, plus an apple and pear orchard and more than 70 varieties. Guests can broaden their botanical knowledge by joining half- and full-day classes at the gardening school. Or they can enroll in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School to learn how to transform the seasonal bounty into multi-course meals.
In the Maldives, Gili Lankfansuhi has made a name as being one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly resorts in the archipelago. Executive chef Hari Govindaraj is passionate about plant-forward cuisine and has introduced a comprehensive veggie-centric menu that transforms locally-grown ingredients into colorful, creative dishes with a sense of place—think: Maldivian vegetable curry with coconut sauce, served with chapatti and poppadum; a beach lettuce salad with pomegranate and mint; and a steamed banana cake with fresh fruits and lemongrass sorbet. Chef Hari’s goal is to create 2,000 new plant-based recipes over the next two years (he’s currently at 600!). Guests can enjoy a plant-based tasting menu in the property’s garden, take part in a private vegan cooking class, or opt for the “Powered by Plants” package. The exclusive experience includes plant-based menus (signature dishes include aloe vera and beetroot tartare, or seared radish and spinach cannelloni), yoga classes, sustainability initiatives like the Coral Lines Project, and vegan treatments at the spa. What’s more, 100% of the resort’s food waste is processed in an advanced rocket composter, producing natural fertilizer for the hotel’s garden.
London might be better known for its bangers and mash than its vegetarian fare, but at L’Oscar, travelers can get their greens without sacrificing any flavor—or culinary prowess! The property’s vegan menu is a celebration of the freshest produce and the city’s crossroads cultures. Enjoy a chickpea velouté with French vierge sauce and seaweed oil to start, followed by an Acquerello risotto with saffron. Sides might include pak choi with shichimi or marinated Japanese aubergine with soy sauce and jalapeno peppers. And don’t miss dessert, especially the pineapple carpaccio with vegan crumble, Madagascar vanilla, and coconut sorbet.