Spanish chef brings Mediterranean taste to Seychelles Hilton with local organic produce
Spanish chef Carlos Otero has been using organic produce from the resort’s garden. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa has this week revealed a new Mediterranean menu at its Portobello restaurant. The dishes are the creation of Spanish chef Carlos Otero, who has been using organic produce from the resort’s garden.
“We started the organic garden about eight months ago, and we are planting and using the hydroponics method,” Otero told local journalists on Wednesday.
“For now we are growing eggplants, tomatoes, lettuce, pumpkins amongst others as well as a wide variety of spices including basil, rosemary, and mint.”
With this new menu, guests at the restaurant, which is part of Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa -- a five-star establishment -- can also savour a variety of produce bought from local fishermen.
|The dishes have Otero's own unique twist inspired by his childhood. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Otero said the dishes which has his own unique twist are inspired by his childhood. He explained the new menu is based on his family roots. “My mother is the best chef I have ever known, half of my family comes from Italy so I want to get back to my childhood recipes with a modern twist.”
Chef Otero’s dishes are a fusion of locally grown organic products, other local products such as cassava, coconut, and sweet potato as well as other more refined ingredients such as truffle, toasted pine seeds, and foie gras.
“ We are also using the organic products to make fresh, healthy juices, such as cucumber with mint and eggplant with ginger and honey.
|Chef Otero’s dishes are a fusion of locally grown organic products. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
For now, the vegetables and spices grown are being used only for the Portobello restaurant, but Otero said that in future they want to expand the garden to supply other restaurants of the resort found on the third largest island of Seychelles.
Andre Borg, the general manager of the resort, said the art of gastronomic cookery has been taken to a new level at Portobello restaurant with the new menu.
“Guests can enjoy a mix of unforgettable food, exquisite wines, with elegant service and ambiance, inspired by the most popular ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine.”
Borg said that for any occasions, intimate celebrations or business, the Portobello is the perfect restaurant as it offers the ideal setting.
The hotel is also intensifying its efforts to ensure that the resort is managed in a sustainable manner and remains eco-friendly. These initiatives include the organic garden, the sorting out of waste where litter bins for cans, bottles, and papers can be found all over the hotel grounds.
The resort is also free of plastic pet bottles with the implementation of its new environmentally friendly water project. Water from a source from Mont Dauban is filtered and put in glass bottles. The bottles are later sanitised and reused.
Guests can also purchase stainless steel bottles which can be refilled complimentary during their stay. The setting up of this water bottling plant with the help of Vivreau – a table water bottling system – will ensure that the island's rich biodiversity is further protected.
The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa is located on Silhouette, the third biggest granitic island of the Seychelles archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
|The resort is located on Silhouette, one of Seychelles largest nature reserves. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY|
A national park and home to one of the largest nature reserve including one of the country’s highest peak – Mount Dauban - Silhouette is 20 km northwest of Mahe the main island.
Accessible by a 20-minute helicopter transfer from Seychelles International Airport or a 45-minutes boat trip from Bel Ombre jetty, the island also offers rich marine life protected by law. Its beaches are also nesting grounds for the hawksbill sea turtles.