Last fall, Canadas largest hotel kitchen went green in a commitment to prepare dishes that are mindful of their environmental impact. The Fairmont Royal Yorks philosophy to use organically grown and locally sourced products wherever possible provides emerging opportunities to work and build relationships with local Ontario farmers.
Executive Chef David Garcelon has been in the kitchens of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for the past 15 years and throughout his tenure has enjoyed establishing relationships with local producers and farmers. As a chef, it is always an enriching experience when you get to meet the people that produce the products we use and invariably we learn from them as much as they learn from us, says Garcelon.
Food accounts for a significant percentage of all goods transported, and the longer the distance the food travels the greater impact it has on our environment through carbon dioxide emissions. As one of the largest hotels within one of the worlds largest industries, The Fairmont Royal York has the capacity to make a sizeable impact simply by buying products that are closer to home. For example, the hotel buys 10,000 kilograms of local onions per year alone.
Products like Omega-3 eggs, peppers, cooking oils, lemon balm, cabbage, and Ontario lamb are being purchased fresh from local farms. The Ontario lamb that is featured in EPIC costs slightly more, but allows guests and restaurateurs to try local lamb and experience the region through their culinary choices. Nevertheless, it is the hotels rooftop herb garden that truly defines the philosophy of locally produced products. This year Marjorie Mason of Mason Hogue Gardens in Uxbridge redesigned the hotels rooftop garden to include Japanese shiso, oba, four varieties of basil and five types of peppers. The Fairmont Royal York is even pursuing additional opportunities to plant grape vines to make their own wine in addition to making their own honey from bees raised on the rooftop garden.
Organic production implies principles and processes that are environmentally, socially and economically sound; they are produced without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO), pesticides and chemicals that eventually make their way into the natural environment, the water systems and ultimately our drinking water. The Fairmont Royal Yorks focus on organic products is providing guests with healthier options and making it easier for them to make environmentally conscious choices. Currently these are some of the fresh products that the Fairmont Royal York is buying in substantial volumes from local suppliers:
Bell peppers " all colours
Mushrooms " several varieties
Yukon gold potatoes
Red cabbage cress pea shoots
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 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. Fairmont takes the lead in this green revolution on a plate. As part of an ongoing process in which Fairmont will continuously assess where it can make a difference through responsible food purchasing practices, menus across the chain will reflect this focus on fresh cuisine by fall. This new initiative follows the move to eliminate almost all artificial trans fat from dining offerings.
Fairmont's Green Partnership, the companys award-winning environmental program, encourages guests to think green when traveling. Offering healthful and delicious menu choices that highlight organic wines, local purveyors and on-site herb gardens is a natural extension of the program. Fairmont has taken the proactive step of reviewing its purchasing and food sourcing practices to see in which areas more sustainable choices can be incorporated, both at a hotel and a corporate level. For example, all Fairmont hotels worldwide offer guests the choice of menu items prepared with organic eggs.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, The Fairmont Royal York is within walking distance to the business and theatre districts, and the city's best shopping and dining. Nearby attractions include the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, Chinatown, St. Lawrence Market, Harbourfront and the Air Canada Centre. Union Station, the subway and three kilometres of shops and services are connected to the hotel by the city's extensive underground system.
Featuring a collection of fabled castles, secluded lodges, storied meeting places and modern retreats, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts opens the doors to some of the world's most celebrated addresses. With locations throughout ten countries, our 50 distinctive hotels - including The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Banff Springs and London's Savoy - promise travelers rich experiences and lasting memories in unparalleled settings. Committed to growing its portfolio of world-class hotels, Fairmont will soon reflag four hotels in Kenya and anticipates the 2007 re-opening of New York's famed Plaza Hotel. Future Fairmont Hotels & Resorts also include locations in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver and South Africa. Fairmont Raffles Hotels International operates over 120 hotels worldwide under the Fairmont, Raffles, Swisstel and Delta brands, as well as vacation ownership properties managed by Fairmont Heritage Place. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.