In order to offer their patrons the freshest, tastiest and healthiest menu items available, sustainable-conscious chefs are harvesting from their on-site gardens or turning to local growers as their main source of food supply. This practice of using locally-sourced ingredients results in a three-pronged win scenario for the chef, consumer and local economy. Chefs receive the opportunity to incorporate the freshest foods into their recipes, while also helping the local economy thrive, and consumers benefit by enjoying delectable meals that can only be experienced via foods that are produced locally.
The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxurious destination spa for nutrition-conscious travelers, embodies the culinary philosophy that food not only fuels bodies but ignites passions and nourishes minds. Nestled in the pristine Pocono Mountains, the Lodge believes that food that is good for you can also be creative, artfully presented and graciously served. Executive Chef Josh Tomson and his talented team at Tree Restaurant hand select naturally raised meats and fish along with organic, locally grown vegetables. With three kitchen gardens on the property, guests can be assured that fresh, natural flavors are highlighted.
“I love being outdoors including time spent in the garden,” says Tomson. “One of my favorite things is foraging and wildcrafting. Picking ramps, wild greens and mushrooms are a great interest of mine.” After years of developing innovative recipes which demonstrate that food can be used for healing, beauty, energy and nourishment, the food and nutrition experts at the Lodge have published a cookbook, “Nurture with Nature.” Tomson says, “Most of the recipes in the book are health inspired, like most of the food at our resort. We try to find ways to cut calories without sacrificing quality.”
Kindred Fare, a Finger Lakes dining experience in Geneva, New York, speaks to connections, not only in the community, but also on plates. Susie Atvell, owner and operator, explains, “Connections through food are very important and it’s something we think about everyday. Whether that’s through a combination of ingredients, wine pairings, supporting our local producers or the people we come into contact with along the way. We love it when our farmers or winemakers show up at our back door to make a delivery. Locally sourced ingredients are always on our menu and our specials reflect what’s in season. We partner with a variety of local farms in the region and take the time to source each of our ingredients.”
She adds, “We have been committed to using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients from the beginning. We feel it’s important to connect with our region and support the community by offering local food and beverage in our restaurant. It’s important to honor our sense of place and reflect the flavors of the region through our menu. Our guests notice these details in our dishes and through our employees who are passionate about what they are serving. It’s more interesting to us if we can tell the story about where your food is coming from. Our Executive Chef, Max Spittler, believes in a scratch kitchen and everything is made in-house.”
Helmed by Chef Steve McHugh, Landrace, San Antonio, Texas, opened under the radar at Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk in 2021, against all odds. A concept several years in the making, Landrace is McHugh’s ode to Texas products, farmers and producers. “Landrace” refers to an heirloom strain of plant or breed of animal that has been nurtured and allowed to remain unchanged. Guiding McHugh’s new concept is his fascination with ingredients, his deep appreciation for Texan heritage farmers and growers, and his belief that something tastes better when it’s prepared and served near where it was grown. With Landrace, McHugh is stretching his culinary wings beyond the charcuterie deep-dive of his first restaurant, Cured, where dishes such as Grilled BBQ Oysters with charred lemon, Canoe Cut Bone Marrow and Berkshire Pork Chop with Chipotle-Lime Compound Butter are prepared.
Union Tavern, located at Bobby Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is a brand new restaurant that celebrates local farms and ingredients in a big way, with a majority of local farms and purveyors gracing the menu. Some of these include Bear Creek Farm Tennessee. There is a Bear Creek Farm Steak of the Week on the menu, as well as a Bear Creek Farm Pork Belly with smoked apple butter, carrot scallion salad with cilantro lime dressing. A Greener Roots Salad features a greener roots Nashville mix, honey crisp apple, Manchego, almonds and Chardonnay vinaigrette.
BodyHoliday, St. Lucia, marries Western knowledge and holistic practices. Ideal for health-conscious travelers prioritizing nutritious and sustainable dining, the resort offers an I-TAL farm-to-table dining experience, sure to fuel both the body and soul. Situated within a treehouse surrounded by the lush jungle, the restaurant draws on Jamaica’s Rastafarian movement, with “ital” referring to the plant-based diet that’s thought to improve energy, while deepening one’s connection to the universe. The unique concept includes an introduction to Rastafarian culture along with an informative visit to the property’s organic garden where Rastafarian farmers and chefs will teach guests about organic farming. Guests will also learn about the health benefits associated with select produce and herbs, and how to incorporate them into a meal. Guests will forage through the garden and learn how to prepare and cook a nutritious and sustainable meal, such as a delicious pesto coconut chutney with grated papaya, coconut milk, chili pepper, spring onion, ginger and garlic.