SLOW Food by Aleenta Resorts
By Anchalika Kijkanakorn Managing Director, Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) | November 20, 2011
Aleenta Resorts pioneered high end boutique resort experiences in Southeast Asia and now they are again boldly going first towards a new approach to food and beverage. Founder Anchalika Kijkanakorn is a strong believer in providing healthy and upscale lifestyle experiences to her guests - a belief that led her to develop her own organic farm so enable her to supply her own resorts with the freshest fruits, herbs and vegetables available. More than that, it was another way to involve and support the local community, and in doing so set in progress a long term and sustainable plan that would be of benefit to locals and guests alike.
Who pioneered the idea at Aleenta to start utilizing SLOW food in the menus and what triggered the idea?
The Aleenta team has always held the belief that the resorts need to be part of the environmental 'revolution', in that we should help preserve our naturally beautiful planet as much as we can, rather than add to the harsh impact on the environment that building new resorts can have. Inevitably, there are products that we have to import but we buy locally as much as we can and integrate the local community and culture into as many aspects of our food as we can.
Describe where you source the food from – how far away are your producers (are they all local), do they only grow organic food, was it a difficult process sourcing quality meat and fish (or relatively easy) and where do you source them. What criteria do your suppliers have to have?
Our overall philosophy that runs throughout our operations is to buy locally and support and develop local suppliers as much as we possibly can.
We are fortunate that we have excellent local markets right on our doorstep, so much of our produce grows within the immediate environs of the resort. The majority of our produce originates from Thailand, particularly fruit and vegetables, seafood and some farm animals, such as chickens.