Photo credit: Yie Sanderson
They say you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. While we aren’t experimenting with that theory at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, we are including sweet additions on our menus with the help of some guest bees.
In 2013, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney partnered with The Urban Beehive as the first five-star luxury hotel in Sydney to join the urban beekeeping trend. The hotel now provides a home for seven beehives on a private terrace, which is only accessible to staff. Urban bees produce a very unique flavor of honey because Sydney residences, rooftop gardens and even the Botanical Gardens have an exotic collection of trees and flowers.
In collaboration with self-proclaimed ‘beevangelist’ Doug Purdie at The Urban Beehive, Steven Krasicki, the hotel’s executive chef, takes care of the bees and oversees the harvest of the honey and its distribution throughout the hotel’s restaurants and kitchens.
“We’re passionate about sustainability and producing what we can in house; our bees are just the first step,” said Chef Krasicki. “Being environmentally responsible is part of our philosophy at Shangri-La and pollination is so important and valuable for our local environment.”
The products made from the beehives are used throughout the hotel: the hotel-made honey is used in dishes at the hotel’s restaurant, Altitude; is available for purchase in the Lobby Lounge as a take home gift; and raw unfiltered honeycomb is on offer at the breakfast buffet and in the Horizon Club Lounge. The honey will also be available as an in-room amenity in Horizon Club rooms starting in April. Chef Krasicki is even exploring ways to produce candles from the leftover beeswax.
As part of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Rooted in Nature initiative, Chef Krasicki will feature the honeycomb in a new dessert at Altitude: poached white peaches with peach parfait, pistachio mousse, roasted pistachio nuts, vanilla gel, peach ice cream and honey comb shards.