Chef Talk

15321 19 Oct 2021

Sustainability Theme Sparks Conversation Around Healthy Eating and Living at the International Chefs Day

A round-up of best green practices from some of the leading tropical resorts’ Executive Chefs in the Maldives

Maldives, 18 October 2021: Celebrated on October 20th every year, the International Chefs Day 2021 campaign will once again promote the theme of healthy food for the future with a particular focus this year on sustainability and how to preserve the environment to ensure a greener planet for future generations.

Since its inception by renowned master chef Dr. Bill Gallagher in 2004 to commemorate the culinary profession, International Chefs Day highlights each year the importance in educating people around the world about healthy eating, for chefs to pass on their expertise and culinary skills to the next generation of chefs with a sense of pride and commitment to the future and more importantly, to teach children about the impact that production and consumption of food has on the environment.

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* Raffles Maldives Meradhoos Executive Sous Chef Joseph William Talbot, who has trained with some of the finest chefs in the world including Michelin Star Chefs and who is currently leading three signature restaurants at the resort (namely: Thari, Yuzu and The Firepit), helped shift his staffs attitude and management operations to become more environmentally friendly. Hailing from the beautiful islands of Mauritius, Chef Joseph understands the importance of guiding his team to improve the hotels' green credentials while encouraging healthy eating:

"We have a Wellness menu option with low calories, fat, sugar, gluten that optimize plant-based source and only purchase local fruits and vegetables available on the market and local fish and seafood, caught wild line in the Maldives. We do only a la carte and set menus and have reduced in the kitchen the amount of plastic by switching to reusable material. We also have dedicated bins for recyclables like plastic, metal and glass while leftovers from coffee grounds, fruit peels, veggies, and eggshells are being use to make nutrient-rich soil conditioner and organic pesticides for our organic garden."

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** A seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry working for some of the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in his native Spain (Martin Berasategui, Quique Dacosta, and Kokotxa) as well as Tokyo (RyuGin) and Hong Kong (Zurriola), Chef Pedro Samper, Executive Chef at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, was tasked with elevating the resorts already distinguished culinary scene. With menus developed with an emphasis on healthy food trends, eco-friendly concepts, and modern presentation, he is also leading his team to engage in responsible and sustainable actions to minimize the ecological impact in his kitchens:

"Our best practices include a food waste reduction program implemented so that all our pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste are separated and measured, reducing the volume of surplus food sourced and consumed, producing our own compost from food waste, which yields healthy soils which we use for agriculture in the resorts organic garden and a weekly food donation program to a local association of pregnant women in need."

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*** Hailing from Italy, Chef Riccardo Pinna boasts over 25 years experience in his role of Executive Chef of the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort Spa. Having worked in and run kitchens in cities including Budapest, Dubai, Riyadh, Vienna, Vladivostok, and more, Chef Riccardo has grown up putting fresh produce at the heart of every meal, now imparting that legacy on his talented team at Sheraton Maldives as they cater to the worldly international guests who visit the stunning destination each year:

"As we become a more food-savvy society, guests are looking beyond the kitchen shelf and exploring how their food is sourced or produced. It is very important for us to keep our products local, mostly seasonal and fresh, so we lessen our environment impact and help the local economy. We all know that clean eating is important to keep our bodies in good condition look at Sardegna, they have some of the worlds longest-living people thanks to their very well-known Mediterranean cuisine using fresh ingredients and locally sourced products - and I think the trend for healthy food will see a stronger shift towards personalized nutrition guides and special dietary requests, While also benefiting the health of the planet."

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**** Brisbane-born Brett Muller, Executive Chef, Le Meridien Maldives Resort Spa, brings over 20 years of culinary know-how, spanning an exciting career that took him to all corners of Asia Pacific including his native Australia, Guam, Philippines, South Korea, China, and most recently Malaysia and saw him display his cooking flair to some of the worlds most renowned faces in entertainment including Chris Hemsworth, Katy Perry, Metallica; Danish and Malaysian royalty, Australian prime ministers and Barack Obama. Chef Brett is responsible for overseeing and leading the culinary direction for the resorts six restaurants and bars as well as the resorts greenhouse, a state-of-the art hydroponic farm and Waves Caf, designed as a space for mindfully-conscious eating and drinking.

"Since the pandemic and with global warming at the forefront of every conversation, never have we been more conscious of the ways in which our food is consumed, and how to grow a more sustainable method of food production, which is why we are particularly proud of our greenhouse. At 430m2, it is one of the Maldives largest state-of-the-art hydroponic farms that has been purposely designed to promote sustainable farming and consumption. With 30KG of produce being harvested daily, guests have the opportunity to participate in a range of interactive experiences, such as creating botanical-inspired cocktails at Waves Caf, using ingredients sourced from The Greenhouse.."

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What: International Chefs Day

When: October 20, 2021

Who:

  • Chef Joseph William Talbot | Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
  • Chef Pedro Samper | St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
  • Chef Riccardo Pinna | Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort Spa
  • Chef Brett Muller |Le Mridien Maldives Resort Spa