We all know that good food is the cornerstone of wellness. No matter how much you exercise, how much water you drink and how much quality sleep you get, you can never achieve maximum wellness without consuming the proper nutrients. There is good news for the wellness-minded traveller! Major hotel chains are launching new healthy cuisine initiatives in their restaurants. In the last three weeks Travel to Wellness has heard from three hotel chains â€“ Fairmont, Westin and Delta - each offering new healthy eating options.
Yesterday, late afternoon under a canopy of blue broken up by Toronto’s towering skyscrapers, I attended the launch of Fairmont’s new Green Cuisine menu. In the shadow of the CN Tower, about three dozen media representatives gathered on the rooftop of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel â€“amidst the hotel kitchen’s herb garden â€“ to sample a selection of dishes the likes of which will be incorporated in food and beverages services throughout the chain.
Always, on the leading edge when it comes to anything “green,” Fairmont is the first hotel company to formally commit to using, wherever possible, sustainable, locally sourced and organically grown products as part of everyday food service operations. Earlier this year, Fairmont eliminated all trans-fats from their dining room offerings and introduced a program to offer patrons organic eggs. Fairmont spokesperson Mike Taylor says the objective is to “infuse this new culinary philosophy into all of our F&B efforts, so it will touch Fairmont menus in a number of ways.”
Incorporated into the concept are considerations such as local, organic, sustainable (production enables the resources from which it was made to continue to be available for future generations), biodynamic (farming with a holistic approach) and fair trade (products that are Fair Trade Certified confirm that they were sourced from operations that emphasize fair prices, fair labor conditions, community development, and environmental sustainability.)
Basking in the golden sunlight of a beautiful later summer afternoon, we dined on dishes prepared by the chefs at The Fairmont Royal York, The Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa and The Fairmont St. John’s in Newfoundland. Gazpacho Shooters; Chilled Minted Pea Soup Shooters; Birch glazed Loin of Cod with Newfoundland Chanterelle Ragout; Charcoal Grilled Rowe Farms Grass-fed Beef Skewers with Roof Garden Tarragon Béarnaise, Organic Potato Frites; and Lavender Honey Crème Brule in Chinese Spoons. As Rachael Ray would say “yum-o.”
Elsewhere, Westin Hotels & Resorts has launched a SuperFoods focused menu. Based on nutritional concepts outlined in the bestselling series of SuperFoodsRx books, the menu focuses on the book’s acclaimed 14 super foods including beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt. You'll find dishes such as a Bowl of Field Grown Berries, Beefsteak Tomatoe Caprese Salad, Roasted Green Tea Infused Salmon, Tossed Arugula, Pear and Shaved Turkey Salad and a whole lot more. I haven’t sampled the menu as yet or tasted any of the foods but hope to do so soon.
Delta’s hotels in British Columbia have just announced a partnership with Ocean Wise, a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program that guides restaurants and their patrons in making environmentally friendly seafood choices. Wild sockeye salmon harvested along the Skeena River, Dungeness crab from the Queen Charlotte Islands and wild sablefish caught along the Pacific coastline are but a few of the sustainable seafood options now easily identified on hotel restaurant menus by the Ocean Wise symbol. “People often feel overwhelmed about what they can do to help the environment, and Ocean Wise is a great way to empower consumers,” says Eric Solomon, vice-president of education, conservation and research at Vancouver Aquarium. “Choosing sustainable seafood when you’re at a restaurant or the market is a small, easy way to contribute to the health of the oceans.”
My husband has to travel frequently on business trips - and one of the biggest disadvantages is the unhealthy restaurant food he has to eat. So it is great to know that hotels are waking up the need to provide their guests with food that is high on health, and not just taste.