Friday, November 05, 2010

Fresh Food from the Kitchen Garden at Marriott

Here's something new to search for on your next timeshare vacation. A recent survey by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) cited kitchen gardens as the top restaurant trend of 2010. Now you can look for restaurants that are "taking the time to grow the salad rather than just assembling it" with fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, even edible flowers and Marriott is just one of the Hotels participating in this new trend.

Much of the trend is attributed to First Lady Michele Obama's White House kitchen garden. Planted with the assistance of elementary school students in the spring, this kitchen garden has been producing fresh organic vegetables and herbs throughout the summer, used by the White House chefs for the Obama family's meals.

Napa Valley restaurants in California's Wine Country have been using their own kitchen gardens to great acclaim for a number of years, and even have taken the kitchen garden to a new level by including vineyards and orchards, growing such things as eggplant, pomegranates, figs, and, of course, grapes. Try the taste difference freshness makes at Chef Christopher Kostow's The Restaurant, a legend and a Michelin 2-star recipient.

From your southern California timeshare rental you can check out the garden-fresh cuisine at Blue on Blue, the poolside restaurant at the Avalon Hotel of Beverly Hills. Here a rooftop kitchen garden has been planted to provide the freshest possible ingredients that Chef Scott Garrett not only uses in his dishes, but also to inspire the creation of new dishes, and even cocktails.

The kitchen garden trend has been adopted by many of the restaurants throughout Marriott Hotels & Resorts across the country. Even if you're not staying at a Marriott timeshare resort you can still enjoy the freshness that a kitchen garden adds to restaurant cuisine by checking out these Marriott hotel restaurants: Princeton Marriott, the Marriott Newark International Airport Hotel in New Jersey, the Cleveland Airport Marriott, and Orlando Grand Lakes.

There are even a number of Marriott Hotels in New York City cultivating, harvesting and cooking with herbs and produce from their very own kitchen gardens at the hotels.

Most chefs have by now embraced the local food movement, contracting with local farms or buying from farmers' markets. But, as the National Association of Restaurants points out, having their own gardens takes this even one step further. Utilizing large raised planting beds, terra cotta pots, and even window box planters, chefs around the country are growing produce that is picked only when a recipe calls for it. You can't get more locally grown than harvesting from your restaurant's own back yard, says an NRA spokesperson.

So on your next timeshare rental vacation, look for restaurants with their own kitchen gardens, and treat yourself to cuisine that has flavors so fresh they fairly burst in your mouth.

(Photo credit - travelersjournal.com)

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