16 FEB 2011: Eat this. Food could turn into a nasty four-letter word as food allergies are on the rise. Others sway away from meat that other four letter word. Then there’s just plain aging. Who needs it?

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts wants you to Fahgettaboudit. Special diet food doesn’t have to be bland anymore.

Enter the hotel company’s Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, a new available upon request menu that’s geared to their guests with diabetes, heart disease and gluten free diets as well macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets.

Mike Taylor, director of public relations, says with more and more people with diet sensitivities, there are also more Fairmont guests who wish to eat healthy especially while on the road so Fairmont has introduced a brand wide commitment to offer menus that focus on what we can do for the earth, as well as the taste buds.

According to Mike, Fairmont is the first hotel company to formally commit to using, wherever possible, sustainable, locally sourced and organically grown food products in their daily operations. “(It’s) part of an ongoing process Fairmont will continuously assess where it can make a difference through responsible food purchasing practices,” he says describing how menus across the chain will reflect this focus on fresh cuisine.

An intimate group of media gathered at the Fairmont Royal York’s Upper Canada Room for a preview menu sampler of Lifestyle Cuisine Plus along with the hotel’s new five wellness teas.

Tea lovers and anti-aging enthusiasts are going to love the tea lineup. Fairmont hooked up with The Metropolitan Tea Company Ltd., North America’s first member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, to create Tea at The Fairmont, served at all hotels.

Watch for wellness teas: Energy, Tranquility, Digestif, Equilibrium, and High antioxidant. The Fairmont’s Energy is good if you’re feeling weary and need a lift. Loaded with yerba maté and lemongrass to stimulate the mind and body, other healthy ingredients are spearmint to enhance clarity and ginseng and ginkgo to promote alertness.

Then there were four executive chefs who whipped up menus for heart smarts, vegans, diabetics and gluten free diets.

At the gluten free station, Fairmont Pittsburgh’s Andrew Morrison, didn’t need to coax us to try his menu. The plump Vietnamese vegetable summer rolls with spicy Nuoc Cham tasted like a fresh summer day loaded with thin julienne vegetables.

“I don’t live far from work,” smiles the culinary expert who practices what he preaches explaining how he likes to walk to the brand new Fairmont Pittsburgh from his residence.

Then there are the vegan types.

Originally from Lyon, France’s culinary capital, which is the hotbed of Michelin star chefs Paul Bocuse and Anne-Sophie Pic, executive chef Alain Pignard of the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth prefers simple and clean, nothing too fussy.

But one look at his dessert, the chocolate ganache lan with berries had me thinking otherwise.

“Oh no it is very simple and tasty, you have to try it.”

It didn’t take much persuasion to try this deep chocolate sensation. I’m no vegan and even I loved this.

For local, I chatted with Fairmont Royal York’s David Garcelon by the Diabetic station. This menu includes a salad with baby Cookstown vegetables, aged Ontario cheddar; free run Ontario Chicken Breast with “sous vide,” a spruce maple glaze over steamed wild rice. Dessert is Niagara cherry and honey sorbet with thyme (the honey from his rooftop bee farm of course).

Then there’s D.A.S.H./Heart Smart menu, using 20% protein, 55% carbohydrates and 25% fat.

What do you think you could make with these percentages?

Felix Pfister, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s executive chef showcased this new lifestyle cuisine plus menu.

Picture a chilled sable fish over a bean puree and radish sprouts for the starter. The first course is an organic red quinoa and zucchini medallion roasted butternut squash with a drizzling of avocado oil. The main is roasted Alberta bison tenderloin with turmeric mustard seed chutney and baked sweet potatoes. Dessert lovers can then indulge in the pear and whole wheat almond tart with some honey yogurt and fresh berries thrown in for good measure.

Still think vegan, diabetic or gluten free is bland?

Above Image:Team Fairmont: Mairead Murray, Mike Taylor, Dana Huggard

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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