Experience the world-class culinary offerings at these resorts celebrating the zero-kilometer food trend

Experience the world-class culinary offerings at these resorts celebrating the zero-kilometer food trend

Travelers continue to seek sustainability-minded destinations that are as committed to world-class hospitality as they are to climate-conscious practices. These luxury resorts are celebrating Earth Day every day by participating in the “Zero Kilometer” food trend by using onsite farms, hyperlocal purveyors, apiaries, and more to minimize carbon impact within their restaurants.

Keswick Hall | Charlottesville, Virginia (pictured)

Located in the idyllic Charlottesville countryside and buttressed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Keswick Hall recently reopened after a four-year closure and top-to-bottom-renovation, debuting an award-winning golf course, brand-new Spa, picture-perfect infinity pool, 80 sumptuous guestrooms and suites, and a culinary program overseen by Jean-Georges, including Marigold by Jean-Georges. Located just five minutes from the resort, Keswick Hall also boasts its own farm that helps to supply the restaurant, from honey harvested from the apiary and fresh produce to grass-fed beef that is served at Marigold. At Keswick Hall, Southern Hospitality blends with a contemporary ethos rooted in a sense of place and locavorism.

Westin Hapuna Beach Resort| Big Island, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Resort has always put sustainability at the forefront of their programming and initiatives, and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s signature restaurant Meridia is the perfect example. With a need to require fresh produce to achieve the restaurant’s farm-to-table specials and authentic Mediterranean-inspired menu, from handcrafted cocktails in the comfortable lounge, to ocean views and thoughtful service, Hawaii Island native and Chef Peter Abarcar, Jr.’s idea of a hyper local garden was born. Chef Peter Abarcar helped launch the multi-million dollar renovation for Meridia and spearheaded the development of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort garden. The 10,000 sq ft garden takes the concept of zero-kilometer cooking to a new level, with a luscious garden on-site to produce authentic Hawaiian ingredients such as Hawaiian chili peppers, Ulu (breadfruit), Okra, Kalamungai (Moringa), in addition to the fresh honey supplied from the onsite beehives. With his deep knowledge of the island, Chef Peter worked with the restaurant to ensure that all materials used are eco-friendly and conscientious of the land surrounding it.

Ojai Valley Inn | Ojai, California

Ojai Valley Inn has maintained a connection to its locality since its inception one hundred years ago – especially and most notably through food. Olivella, a culinary extension of Ojai Valley Inn, focuses on a valley to table ethos, where the entire menu is supported by the local ranches, orchards, farms and nearby ocean waters. In addition to ensuring ingredients used at Olivella are sourced from within 50 miles of the property, Ojai Valley Inn boasts an onsite garden with organic produce; citrus groves bearing fresh oranges, Pixie Tangerines, lemons, and more; and a bounty of wild herbs like lavender and rosemary, all of which are used across Ojai Valley Inns’ eight restaurants and eateries. Ojai Valley Inn also hosts an onsite, six-hive apiary and offers a Beekeeping & Honey Tasting experience Tuesday through Saturday by appointment—one of the most popular guest activities. A resident beekeeper guides guests during the experience and allows them to feel what it is like to be inside an apiary, learn about the extraordinary life of the honeybee, and enjoy a honey tasting with both honey from the Ojai Valley Inn apiary and locally sourced honey. Cultivating an edible ecosystem onsite, Ojai Valley Inn does an exemplary job of leaning into the bounty of rich California harvest, right in their own backyard.

Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection | Napa Valley, California

A new luxury Napa Valley hotel in the heart of wine country, Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection utilizes its unique position as a one of a kind, working ranch to create sustainably sourced and seasonally driven menus and dining experiences. Holistic and experiential, the cuisine at Stanly honors the infinite connection between the land, ingredients, makers and farmers. For a one-of-a-kind on property experience, guests are invited to have a behind the scenes tour of The Grange with the farmer who has brought it to life, Nick Runkle. They will learn  how to begin planning and designing their very own garden through his expert guidance, while meandering through the various planter beds and talking about soil health, companion planting, irrigation, and harvesting at various stages of a crop’s lifecycle.

Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection | Hudson Valley, NY

Located on 140 verdant acres in New York’s bountiful Hudson Valley, the resort’s culinary program and signature restaurant, Clay, is grounded in seasonal ingredients and unique varieties of vegetables grown onsite just yards away. Founding Farmers Jax Hughes and Brady Loux partnered with NOFA’s Farmer of the Year, Zaid Kurdieh of Norwich Meadows Farm, to cultivate Wildflower Farms’ six-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm, including orchards, a culinary mushroom farm, aromatic herb and flower gardens, and a heritage breed animal program. Hughes and Loux are focused on growing for flavor, intentionally selecting species for their distinct flavor profiles to inspire interest in specialty varietals, such as Parisian ball carrots, spiral-fleshed Chioggia beets and currants that taste sweet, smoky, sour and herbal. The farm and culinary teams are also experimenting with untested new varietals provided by Kurdieh, a true tastemaker in New York City’s Michelin Star culinary space and an advisor and farm partner of Wildflower Farms since inception. Come spring, guests will learn how to identify, sustainably forage and cook with those same ramps. Throughout the year, guests can collect fresh eggs, engage in animal care and feeding and taste the farm’s nutrient-dense, flavorful produce that’s been naturally enhanced by the presence of the animals.

Gracie’s Farm at The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection | Park City, Utah

At The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, farming is more than a job; it’s a sacred philosophy. The property’s all-female team of “FarmHers” cultivate deep, profound connections with the land, animals and people that call Blue Sky home. Led by Lyndsey Gammon, the team employs sustainable growing techniques with a focus on soil integrity, and does ongoing in-depth reviews of climate patterns to plan out which crops will be grown and harvested throughout the year. Their “no-till” method eschews convenient, modern farming machinery for working the land by hand and with the aid of selective animal rotation. A “broadfork” is one of the most well-used hand-tools at Gracie’s, and various animals are rotated onto the farm throughout the year to naturally till the land by grazing—while their manure fertilizes the soil to maintain rich nutrients and stable pH levels so that our plants thrive in Blue Sky’s high-alpine climate. The result: some of the most flavorful and colorful greens, tomatoes, beans, garlic, root vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, honey, and more. Not only does the harvest support the resort’s culinary program and signature restaurant, Yuta, but Gracie’s Farm also hosts vast guest experiences and dinner events year round. From unforgettable Harvest Dinners, that take place on the farm and feature a single, peak-harvest ingredient within a 4-6 course dinner, to Organic Farm School, which allows guests to get their hands dirty and learn techniques to bring home to their own city gardens, to Winter Farm Experiences, exploring preservation techniques and natural arts and crafts, the farm is the beating heart of Blue Sky while upholding a mission to give back more to the Earth than we take from it.

Kohanaiki | Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Kohanaiki is a 450-acre, private club community located on the Kona Coast of the island of Hawai`i, represents the evolution of the private club experience using reverse-osmosis on property alongside a a robust culinary program that prioritizes hyper-locally sourced produce to create a menu informed by Executive Chef James Watts’ world travels. Epitomizing its commitment to sustainability, health and wellness, Kohanaiki features a two-acre biodynamic garden that is utilized by the culinary team to create a menu featuring in-season produce, but also by the guests, who are able to take a stroll through the “produce aisle” and choose from a selection of mangos, guava, pineapple, liliko‘i, taro, dragonfruit, Surinam cherries and more. Once the playground of Hawai`i’s greatest king, Kamehameha I, its shores are steeped in history with sacred artifacts, cultural landmarks, and petroglyphs, situated among a rustic mixture of rolling golf greens, sacred ponds, lava flows, palm trees, and a half mile stretch of stunning Kona coastline, respect for the land is an unmistakable core value at this luxury private club.

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection | Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Celebrating 20 years in 2023, the luxury escape at the epicenter of Cabo San Lucas has long practiced “locavorism” by showcasing ingredients grown and caught along the Baja coast. At the helm of its culinary program is Executive Chef Alexis Palacios, who skillfully designs menus for Esperanza’s four restaurants with a commitment to using the most local, organic and sustainable ingredients possible, sourced through deep relationships with area farmers, fishermen and producers. A fisherman himself, Chef Palacios sustainably sources all seafood featured on the resort’s menus. Additionally, in partnership with the Green Scholarship Program, the hotels established an annual scholarship fund that awards two promising female students studying tourism or marine biology the first year of university tuition, which includes books, transportation, psychological support and English classes to ensure their success. In addition, each scholar is invited to visit their sponsoring hotel to learn more about the hospitality industry. Esperanza also supports Coperativa Alvarez, a fishing collective of 20 families in Baja California Sur’s Magdalena Bay.

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection | Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

This month, Chileno Bay Resort welcomed Chef Juan Pablo Loza as its new Director of Culinary Experiences. Born and raised in Mexico City, Chef Loza's 20 years of culinary experience has brought him all over the globe--and now to the property's signature, award-winning restaurant, COMAL, where he brings his longtime commitment to sustainable seafood. With a deep respect for the world around him, Chef Loza has been recognized by the Mexican government as an ambassador of sustainable seafood. He is also a certified Seafood Watch Partner with the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium. His passion for supporting the community and the environment has led him to create and participate in initiatives such as #pescaconFuturo, which aims to promote sustainable fishing. Taking and sharing his ideas at international summits, he is currently helping replicate the sustainable fishing project in Chile and Peru. His passion for sustainability in the kitchen will introduce unique culinary programs that Los Cabos has never seen before.

Luxury Sustainability at Borgo San Felice | Tuscany, Italy

Borgo San Felice has been structured with a keen eye on sustainability and it still strives towards improving itself. It employs 100% renewable energy, originating exclusively from renewable sources. Using a chip biomass system, the heating of rooms and the wellness center take advantage of an excellent alternative to fuels and fossil-based energy; and through a purification system for water reused in the irrigation of green spaces. In addition, waste and laundry are handled in an eco-friendly way.

Sustainable in the kitchen: with Orto Felice (Happy Garden) Borgo San Felice produces on its premises some of the vegetables that are used in the kitchen by the Executive Chef Juan Quintero, making Borgo San Felice almost-self-sufficient on the food side. In addition, the Chef’s approach in the kitchen led him to obtain in 2022 the Michelin Green Star, which honors restaurants that are leading the way in sustainability, working with selected producers and suppliers to avoid waste and reduce the plastic, taking action to lower the environmental impact of their business.

In the vineyards: their investment in photovoltaics has made them 100% self-sufficient in the production of electricity; the terracing and the constant analysis of the flora and microfauna in the vineyards is helping San Felice to preserve the soil by limiting its erosion.

Borgo San Felice