by Meaghan Clark
EAT NATURALLY, introduced at Southern California’s Hilton and Doubletree hotels, is a new catering program that features local produce, a menu made of recyclable paper and an extensive organic wine list. There is a “massive trend toward green cuisine,” says area vice president for Southern California Joseph Kruvi.
Seven hotels in Southern California are implementing organic and seasonal menus. Local farmers will be contacted by chefs on a daily basis.Hotel Anaheim executive chef Fred Mensinga is leading the charge. The finest and most-organic materials will be used in “last-minute menus,” he says. “We’ll try to get away from the pesticides and hormones we eat every day.”It’s opening up a new market niche, Mensinga says. He’s already noticed a change in clientele. Though events may range from 20 to 2,000 people, finding the right banquet menu for a large group is tricky. Most organic farms are small, and the produce for a simple salad may be sourced from at least five different locations.
“We want the freshest,” says Kruvi. “Hilton chefs let the fresh, local, available ingredients inspire our seasonal menus.”
In addition to the strong push for local ingredients, Eat Naturally also eliminates trans fats. All eggs are from cage-free hens, and all meat is organic and from animals that have never been given hormones.