Sep 18, 2018
Paris Four Seasons hotel tries growing its own vegetables

Talk about the cream of the crop.

A luxury hotel in Paris, the Four Seasons Hotel George V, is establishing an organic garden to grow fruits and vegetables for a hotel restaurant, Le George.

“When we open up the path to excellence, we are bound to imagine tomorrow’s fine cuisine,” Head Chef Simone Zanoni said in a news release. “And it will only reach its full potential through exemplary environmental responsibility. I’m not perfect, but I’m convinced that if everyone plays their part we could have a real impact for future generations. As chefs, we have a duty to educate and lead by example.”

Kitchen garden, Chef Simone Zanoni, Mickaël Duval, Yvelines Departement council, Le George, Four Seasons Hotel George.

According to the hotel, the garden is located at, where else, Versailles – specifically, the Madame Elisabeth Estate, 8 hectares given by Louis XVI to his sister Princess Elisabeth of France who grew her fruit and vegetables there and gave them to the underprivileged.

The 1,800 square meters of land made available to Le George are cultivated seasonally, with reasonable yields and a reduced carbon footprint as the garden is only 15km from the restaurant.

Mickaël Duval is the Parks and Gardens Manager for the Yvelines Département (a local government unit) and leader of the “Green Brigade,” a team of twenty people on return-to-work contracts who are providing their expertise. He explained some details of the garden operation:

“For over 10 years, the Kitchen Garden has been free from chemical interaction to ensure that the produce from the Kitchen Garden is completely organic. Since April 2017, the production tests have produced great results. We have produced 15 different varieties of tomatoes, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables: carrots, potatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, green beans, pumpkins, bush peaches, raspberries, strawberries, beetroots, which are picked when they become perfectly ripe, allowing us to serve the produce when they are at their optimum flavour and texture.”

Two to three days a week, Le George’s culinary and service team handles the produce selection from the Kitchen Garden themselves.

“The new generation of Chefs at Le George are growing up far from agriculture and green spaces, and so we have a real role to play in educating and passing down knowledge for our teams and our customers,” said Zanoni.

Fighting food waste

The luxury hotel signed a partnership with Parisian start-up “Les Alchimistes”, which collects organic waste from Le George and processes it into compost “made in Paris”. It feeds the soils of the Versailles garden, creating a new virtuous plate-to-plate biosystem.

Guest Experience: As Close to the Land as Possible

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris is also unveiling an immersive experience whereby guests are given the chance to discover the Kitchen Garden themselves and participate in ingredient and produce selection. They are then whisked back to the Hotel in a hybrid Porsche Panamera to taste their selections with Chef Simone Zanoni at Le George.

In allowing guests access to the Kitchen Garden, Chef Simone Zanoni noted, “the very concept of Le George is based on the notion of sharing at the table. We go further, by sharing our story with them as well as our values.”

According to a news release from the hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris was the first luxury hotel to win 5 Michelin stars in its 3 restaurants Le Cinq (3 stars), Le George (1 star) and L’Orangerie (1 star).

Top photo: The Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris: putting a stop to food waste and a kitchen garden with a virtuous biosystem. (PRNewsfoto/The Four Seasons Hotel George V)

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