Gastronomic Gallivants: Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Hotel Belmar in Costa Rica is redefining what it means to create a local experience for guests through its new menu and sustainability initiatives in 2024. The award-winning, carbon-neutral hotel’s dining including Restaurante Celajes, Cervecería Belmar, and its Juice Bar and Tea Room take a hyper local approach to sourcing ingredients, prioritizing sustainable practices. Under the creative guidance of Chef Alvaro Rodríguez, the hotel’s new menu iterations highlight organic produce and ingredients sourced from the hotel’s expanded organic garden, the carbon-neutral farm Finca Madre Tierra, and local foraging.

The new menu was intentionally designed to lower the hotel’s carbon footprint, with a plant-based approach to its dishes. The kitchen has cut its meat and dairy use by 20%, reducing beef to just one dish on the menu. In contrast, the quantity of plant-based ingredients and sustainable seafood has increased, ensuring that every dish not only delights the palate but also supports environmental sustainability. The new dishes have been enthusiastically embraced by guests. A great example is the Tamarind Chickpea Tempeh, a plant based marvel that combines vegetable protein with a fusion of bold flavors. The Gulf of Nicoya, visible from Hotel Belmar on a clear day, is now the source of an expanded selection of seafood, including clams, mussels, and fresh daily catches that come from the responsible fishing zone in Costa de Pájaros.

“It’s vital to put sustainability first in our kitchen and dining room,” said Chef Alvaro Rodriguez, Hotel Belmar’s creative chef. “Travelers come to experience all of Costa Rica, and that means serving up the region’s bounty and flavors in every dish we prepare.”

Hotel Belmar also vetted local suppliers for their sustainability practices and principles to ensure that they are sourcing the most environmentally and ethically responsible products. The food itself integrates haute cuisine techniques with traditional methods like pickling and fermenting to infuse each dish with rich flavors and wellness benefits. These age-old preservation techniques not only enhance taste but also help the hotel reduce food waste by making the most of seasonal ingredients all year long, thereby lessening environmental impact from transporting goods over long distances.

The hotel’s kitchens prioritize sustainability by repurposing cooking byproducts that are typically discarded. Through innovative methods like dehydration, powdering, and fermentation, Hotel Belmar transforms these leftovers into exquisite delicacies. This not only minimizes waste, but also adds depth and complexity to the restaurants’ dishes, underscoring a dedication to creativity and sustainability. Homemade vinegars, crafted from celery, heirloom bananas, and bougainvillea, exemplify the commitment to innovation and flavor enhancement. Hotel Belmar’s vibrant gastronomy extends a compelling invitation to redefine the intricate bond between hospitality and food.

Sustainable practice doesn’t end at the table. Developed by New York City-based consultant Chris Bidmead from Bar Methods, the new cocktails at Hotel Belmar are based on local ingredients and the concept of “garden to glass.” Examples include the “Tropical Old Fashioned” with banana-infused whiskey crafted from the fruits of Finca Madre Tierra and the “Vera Collins” made with bougainvillea flowers picked from the garden just outside of the bar. These cocktails reflect the hotel’s commitment to Earth-friendly practices and maximum utilization of local products. In collaboration with the Master Brewer at Cervecería Belmar, the hotel has developed fermented beverages such as Hard Kombucha and Hibiscus Mead using 100% local ingredients such as honey, seasonal fruits, and herbs. These unique beverages enhance the sustainability of the on-site brewery and offer a unique experience to guests.

A Little Bit More About The Hotel

Hotel Belmar is an independent, family-owned luxury eco-lodge situated in Costa Rica’s renowned Monteverde cloud forest highlands. Its spirited hospitality has pioneered a model of regenerative tourism that enriches travelers with immersive experiences, fostering connections to nature, mindful serenity, and holistic wellness. Championing best practices in sustainability, Hotel Belmar stands as Central America’s premier destination for enriching and authentic experiences. Its farm-to-table gastronomy, thematic forest immersions, garden-surrounded yoga, cultural programs, carbon-neutral farm, and onsite craft brewery bridge guests to the tranquil essence of Monteverde’s natural wonders. For more information,

www.hotelbelmar.net




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