After moving from South Beach to Tucson, I have been delighted to discover the traditions of cooking in the Sonoran desert
New York (Vocus) February 20, 2009 -
Innovation is nothing new at Loews Hotels. The company whose Good Neighbor Policy was first-of-its-kind for the hospitality industry and set the standard for corporate philanthropy, now launches "Adopt-A-Farmer," an initiative supporting partnerships with area farmers, fishermen and independent purveyors. With the launch, Loews Hotels becomes one of the first hospitality industry companies to issue a brand-wide mandate to support and enhance local farming communities.
"At Loews, gourmet is going green," says Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels. "In sourcing locally grown ingredients, many of which are organic or sustainable, we are not only supporting local farms but delighting our guests with fresh, flavorful and environmentally-friendly dishes."
Sustainable efforts include:
- Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego - The resort partners with 12 local farming communities, and utilizes more than 60 seasonal herbs and vegetables from its own organic garden. One of the resort's partners, Brandt Beef, is a family-owned producer that raises its animals humanely and naturally without hormones or the use of antibiotics. A pioneer of sustainable methods, Brandt Beef has received the Master Chefs' Institute Seal of Excellence. To date, Brandt Beef is the only beef producer to receive this honor.
- Loews Miami Beach Hotel - The hotel turns to Paradise Farms in Homestead, FL for all of its fruits and vegetables and Triar Seafood for farm-raised Everglades striped bass. Paradise Farms works in harmony with nature to grow the finest quality delicious greens, micro-greens, herbs, edible flowers, fruits and vegetables. Paradise Farms Organic will only work with restaurants and hotels within a 60 mile radius in order to be friendlier to the environment and even uses a van rather than a truck to make all deliveries.
- Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson - At the hotel's Ventana Room, native ingredients from the Tohono O'Odham Native American Nation appear on the new Desert Tasting menu, including syrup made from the exotic saguaro fruit, tepary beans that thrive in low-water environments, wild amaranth, native squash and locally ranched jojoba-fed beef. The hotel partners with the Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA), a non-profit farming organization that grows and harvests these desert ingredients using traditional desert flood-farming methods. The Ventana Room is the first and only restaurant in Tucson to incorporate fresh seasonal produce from TOCA.
- Loews Regency in New York - The hotel works with Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, the only artesian sheep's milk producer in the Hudson Valley and the largest sheep dairy in the United States. Their flock is raised without artificial hormones and feeds on organically managed fields.
- Loews Philadelphia - The hotel works with Blue Moon Acres Farm in Bucks County Pennsylvania, which grows sustainable products and is committed to providing the highest quality organic produce with minimal impact on the environment. Blue Moon Acres has an extensive selection of greens and herbs available all year with specialty items available from season to season. SoleFood at Loews Philadelphia serves Blue Moon Acres Squash Salad with dried cranberries, goat cheese, and hazelnut vinaigrette.
- Loews Le Concorde in Quebec -- The hotel's signature Berarc Lamb Farm Carpaccio Topped with Blue Cheese of "Abbaye St-Benoit" is compliments of Berarc Farm, which feed its lambs with mother's milk and organic grain.
- Loews Annapolis Hotel works with Springfield Farm in Sparks, MD, 58 miles from Annapolis. Springfield Farm practices sustainable agricultural methods where the animals are given only natural products, including free-range during the grass growing season. The hotel's Breeze Restaurant serves Grilled Springfield Farm Beef Filet, served with port sauce,roasted fingerlings and onions confit.
As the seasons change, menus at Loews Hotels & Resorts will change to reflect the freshest seasonal ingredients available from their "adopted" farmers. The seasonally inspired, regionally responsible menus will be served in all dining venues at Loews Hotels & Resorts, from casual all-day settings to fine dining restaurants.
"After moving from South Beach to Tucson, I have been delighted to discover the traditions of cooking in the Sonoran desert," said Marc Ehrler, Corporate Executive Chef for Loews Hotels. "A touchstone of this philosophy is regional responsibility, which is why we've reached out to the Tohono O'odham Nation to embrace the traditions of O'odham Himdag (the desert people's way)."
Coinciding with the Adopt-A-Farmer program, Loews Hotels will adopt a new menu format that spotlights the new program. Guests will find "From the Garden" selections featuring farm-fresh ingredients harvested with care by local farmers and fishermen, as well as "Things We Share" selections designed to bring people together. Loews American Classics will be highlighted throughout.
- Photos available upon request
Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels & Resorts owns and/or operates 17 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada. Located in major city centers and resort destinations from coast to coast, the Loews portfolio features one-of-a-kind properties that go beyond Four Diamond standards to delight guests with a supremely comfortable, uniquely local and vibrant travel experience. Loews boasts some of the industry's most innovative and successful travel programs, including Loews Loves Kids for families and Loews Loves Pets for discerning animals on the road. For reservations or more information on Loews Hotels, call 1-800-23-LOEWS or check http://www.loewshotels.com.
Michelle Colligan/Gabby McNamara
Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc.