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Taking local to the next level

Sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local producers is quickly becoming commonplace throughout the world of F&B, and now the cutting edge has moved to cultivating “hyper-local” products grown right on property.

Hansar Samui in Koh Samui, Thailand, recently transformed 1.2 acres (0.5 hectares) of land adjacent to the hotel from a dumping ground into an organic garden and fish farm. I love the idea of changing something ugly into something beautiful, and what’s more, the resort has added a hands-on element, incorporating the garden in cooking classes and allowing guests to cook with produce they picked just moments earlier.

Hansar Samui guests can use vegetables and herbs they picked themselves in the resort’s garden to create traditional Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai.
Hansar Samui guests can use vegetables and herbs they picked themselves in the resort’s garden to create traditional Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai.

Even properties without a ton of outdoor space are getting in on the hyper-local action. Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton recently began harvesting its first honey from rooftop beehives located on the 25th floor, and Sous Chef Valeria Benner is using the product in dishes such as baby beet salad and a berry ice cream sundae. “The honey produced from such a diverse group of plants downtown produces a much richer flavor than a honey from bees who feed only on one type of plant,” Benner says.

An especially distinctive use of hyper-local honey can be found just outside Chicago, at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, which has partnered with neighboring Lake Bluff Brewery to create a signature Honey Badger Beer. Available only at the hotel’s Brew Lobby Restaurant and Bar, the beer is brewed with honey sourced directly from on-property bee hives. In the future, the resort even wants to brew the beer with its own locally grown hops.

Honey Badger Beer, available on draft at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort for US$7, is a golden ale brewed with honey from the hotel’s on-property bee hives as well as Caramel, Munich and Vienna Malts balanced with three hop varieties.
Honey Badger Beer, available on draft at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort for US$7, is a golden ale brewed with honey from the hotel’s on-property bee hives as well as Caramel, Munich and Vienna Malts balanced with three hop varieties.

Local sourcing is not a fad that will fade away in a few years, so it’s exciting to see hotels finding new ways to adapt this movement in ways that best suit their particular circumstances. I’d love to hear from you about the latest hyper-local F&B that has caught your attention.

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