Hospitality Trendz

INNOVATIONS hT posed some FAQs and beyond to Executive Chef Eric Martinez of Orlando World Center Marriott to find out all about it. Tell me about the hydroponic facility in brief. The 4,000 cubic feet facility will produce over 110,000 heads of lettuce and over 13,000 lbs. of other leafy greens, herbs and microgreens annually, which will be used to support the 9 restaurants and lounges on-property, as well as the hotel’s banquet needs. At any given time we could have as many as 40–50 varieties of produce growing to be harvested and incorporated into our restaurant menus— pick-to-plate within hours for maximum freshness. Is the facility accessible to guest visitors? There are food safety guidelines that we have to adhere to in order to ensure no produce is contaminated. Furthermore, ECG’s HyCubes are run as cleanrooms. Guests are allowed in for guided tours, but must wear gloves, lab coats, shoe covers, and cannot be showing signs of illness. HyCube has been built with a private chefs table, which offers a unique dining experience available to groups. It has a large viewing window into the grow room, allowing g uests to experience the hydroponic system. Additionally, the vertical garden sits on our Harvest terrace that can accommodate group events for up to 200 and offers an incredible experience and backdrop. Apart from growing produce, does HyCube offer any additional perks? HyCube’s advanced water filtration system has additional capacity that can be used by the hotel for its bars and restaurants, including bottling the purified water and using it for group functions. The system has OUT OF THIN WATER Hydroponics—growing produce using water and diluted nutrients without soil—won’t make headlines as a new technology but its practical use emerging in hotels sure did. Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida recently set up an on-property hydroponic facility, HyCube by Eco Convergence Group, which delivers fresh produce for numerous F&B concepts. By NAJOOK PANDYA 70 \ HOSPITALITY TRENDZ \ JULY-AUGUST 2018

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