Dusit Thani Maldives, a luxury resort on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll, has further committed to its CSR and sustainable pledges by opening a carefully constructed Chef’s Garden growing a bounty of fresh ingredients for its award-winning restaurants.
Designed and built by gardener Mr Ramesh Khadka alongside Executive Chef Richard Thompson, the raised-bed construction was selected for its many advantages over a ground- based garden, including the need for approximately 50% less soil.
Gardner, Mr Ramesh Khadka
The beds are built from styrofoam boxes, which retain moisture and enable gardeners to reduce watering by up to 60%. The elevated height of the beds prevents local trees from inserting feeler shoots and hijacking nutrients from the budding produce, the variety of which can be expanded with a quick turnaround after each harvest.
The garden ensures Chef Thompson will have direct access to nutritious fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, corn, peppers, Chinese cabbage, aubergine, pak choi and cucumber; a plethora of herbs like rosemary, Greek oregano, coriander and mint; and flavourful additions including Thai chillies, local chillies and lemongrass, which will take a starring role in the Royal Thai cuisine at Benjarong restaurant.
Executive Chef, Richard Thompson
Besides the garden, a high production hydroponics system features 218 cups for growing leafy vegetables and requires only 500 litres of water every eight weeks. Chef Thompson was inspired to work with the engineering team to build the beds and even craft the hydroponic cups.
“I’m so excited for all our guests to have the chance to visit and personally see our beautiful garden,” he said. “We’re also in the process of setting up a deep culture system to maximise our limited space and grow even larger varieties of vegetables.”
On October 16, guests and visitors will have the opportunity to explore the garden when the resort celebrates World Food Day. Participants will be invited to learn more about the produce, the hydroponic structure, how it functions, and the reasons behind its construction. With guidance from Chef Thomspon, they will also be able to harvest fresh leaves and vegetables and take part in a tasting of homemade bruschetta.
General Manager Thomas Weber expressed his excitement about the project: “I’m thrilled to see the success of the garden and can’t wait for our guests to enjoy this experience and the many other CSR activities we offer.”
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