The Banyan Tree Group, one of Asia’s leading hotel brands for sustainability and environmental awareness, has announced that it will launch a range of organic, plant-based menus at its resorts around the world, starting in Thailand later this year.
The Singapore-based Group said it has embarked on several collaborations covering different areas of the food chain, such as championing local procurement and sustainably sourced food through a partnership with two-star Michelin Chef James Noble. Together, Banyan Tree and Noble have broken ground on ORI9IN, a 350-acre gourmet organic farm in the fertile mountains of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
Aside from supplying no fewer than 15 Michelin chefs at some of Bangkok’s most elite restaurants, MasterChef-turned sustainable farmer Noble said the joint venture will also include an on-site farm-to-table organic restaurant which is slated to open in October this year.
Banyan Tree currently has three hotels in Thailand – in Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket, with a fourth, Banyan Tree Krabi, due to celebrate a grand opening in October 2020. The hotel group, which is highly reputed for its spa and wellness facilities, said it has also formed a partnership with Grassroots Pantry, a pioneering brand in Hong Kong, which is at the forefront of plant-based cuisine in Asia’s fine dining scene.
A capsule menu based on plant-based, immunity-boosting foods and sustainable kitchen practices is to launch in the latter part of this year. The menu will debut at Banyan Tree’s Phuket venues followed by a roll-out at all of its hotels internationally.
This new food-sourcing initiative at Banyan Tree complements an existing policy of enhanced hygiene and safety at its resorts worldwide – protocols introduced in the wake of the current Covid crisis.
“In the ‘new normal’ world of hospitality, guests at luxury hotels will expect healthier options for dining,” said Banyan Tree Samui’s Head Chef Rainer Roersch. “Our new partnership at ORI9IN ensures we are sourcing the best, the freshest and the most nutritious produce available. And our new plant-based menus will include some of the finest Asian recipes. Guests can look forward to dishes prepared with ORI9IN’s organic fare – everything from coriander, dill and basil to aubergines, kale, chillies, pumpkin and lemongrass.”
Roersch, who oversees Saffron, Banyan Tree’s award-winning signature Thai restaurant on Koh Samui, said that he envisages that Banyan Tree outlets can focus on import substitution and reducing carbon footprint without sacrificing flavor.
In 2019, Banyan Tree Group implemented a Code of Conduct for suppliers to map supply chain transparency in ingredients sourcing and promote socio-environmental practices to develop a sustainable supply chain. To date, over 900 suppliers have registered.
For 2020, in line with marine conservation goals, the Group implemented a 25 percent benchmark of sustainable seafood sourcing by 2025 from sustainable fisheries. Banyan Tree Global Foundation said its experts will review seafood species served at each location and support identification of sustainably certified alternatives and opportunities for its properties.