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Taj &Beyond Safaris Introduces
Organic Vegetable Gardens

tajgarden1Taj &Beyond has launched new eco-friendly food production programs at Baghvan Pench Jungle Lodge and Pashan Garh Wilderness Lodge, both located in the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh. In addition to providing guests with amazing wildlife viewing, the lodges serve delicious traditional food, much of which is grown on the property. This new initiative ensures that the lodge kitchens are stocked with organic produce directly from the lodge's Baghiya, a traditional vegetable garden found in this region of India.

Under the supervision of Chef Manish Tyagi, the vegetable garden provides potatoes, leeks, two types of tomatoes, celery, coriander, spinach, red and yellow peppers, lemons, oranges, bananas, cabbages and zucchini. 

tajgarden3Guests of Baghvan and Pashan Garh can visit the gardens and then learn about the preparation of traditional central Indian cuisine in the lodges' interactive kitchens. Mouthwatering dishes include stuffed lamb and marinated chicken in sealed banana leaves, and roasted vegetables and chicken tikka, all served with a variety of naan breads, homemade pickles and mint chutneys.    

In addition, a waste segregation area, complete with a compost heap, was created to provide nutrients for the garden. Additionally, a sand filter which filters "grey" water, produces 3,000 liters of water a day that is used to water the plants. Inspired by &Beyond's Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania, Pashan Garh uses a refuse incinerator, providing ash that when combined with compost, produces organic fertilizer.     

Taj &Beyond owns four luxury jungle lodges, India's first Tiger Circuit, all featuring extraordinary accommodations built with the light footprint and impeccable service for which both &Beyond and Taj Hotels are known.

tajgarden2Neighboring Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Mahua Kothi features 12 suites constructed in the charming local Madhya Pradesh style and built by the neighboring community. Adjacent to Pench Tiger Reserve, Baghvan's 12 suites all have rooftop terraces, perfect for sleep outs under Indian skies. Banjaar Tola boasts 18 tented suites spread out along banks of the Banjaar River, overlooking Kanha Tiger Reserve. Pashan Garh is within easy reach of both Panna Tiger Reserve and the world famous temples of Khajuraho. 

For more information, please visit www.andBeyond.com.

&Beyond, formerly CC Africa, owns and operates 46 luxury lodges and camps in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and India, in conjunction with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. The company was established more than 18 years ago and its commitment to world-class hospitality, sustainable responsible travel and community empowerment is evident in every lodge. Please visit
www.andbeyond.com for more information


Fresh Origins to headline “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” dinner on June 4
Hands-On Foraging in the Resort’s Herb Harden to take place in September

In an effort to support and enhance its local farming communities, Loews Coronado Bay Resort announces the continuation of “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen,” a seasonal dinner series that allows guests to dine with the folks who produce, harvest and catch the ingredients they enjoy on a regular basis. 

“We believe today’s dining experience extends far beyond chefs and wineries,” said Ellen Burke Van Slyke, Loews Hotels’ corporate creative director of food and beverage. “It starts with the source – the farmer – and these dinners are designed to showcase them and their similar passion for sustainable practices.”

Similar to a winemaker’s dinner, “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” pairs Mistral’s Chef Martin T. Batis with one local purveyor for an informative four-course dining experience. The first sold-out event took place in March with Brandt Beef. The next dinner will take place on June 4 with David Sasuga, founder of Fresh Origins, a small family-owned farm renowned for pioneering “small seedlings” now known as micro-greens. 

Working in conjunction with Chef Batis, David Sasuga will delve into the history of his family’s operation, daily harvesting practices and importance of sustainable agriculture. As each course is presented, Chef Batis will offer insight on seasoning methods and protein selections that best enhance the tremendous flavor that exists in Fresh Origins’ 200 varieties of greens.

“Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” featuring Fresh Origins will take place on Thursday, June 4, with seatings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Mistral. The cost is $48 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Organic wine pairings will also be available. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling Michael Graichen, Mistral Maitre d’Hotel, at 619-424-4000 ext. 4476. Loews Coronado Bay Resort will host one “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” dinner each season. The next event will take place in September and will feature hands-on foraging in the resort’s organic herb and vegetable garden.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s “Farmers, Foragers and Fishermen” dinners are just one part of Loews Hotels’ new “Adopt-A-Farmer” program, an initiative that supports independent purveyors located in the surrounding areas of each of its hotels. With the launch, Loews Hotels became one of the first hospitality industry companies to issue a brand-wide mandate to support and enhance local farming communities. The locally grown ingredients can be found at all Loews Hotels’ dining venues, from casual all-day settings to fine dining restaurants.

Since Mistral opened in October 2007, it has set the standard for responsible food and beverage policies. Chef Batis’ Northern Italian and Southern French cuisine embraces organic fruits and vegetables from nearby farming communities, locally-caught seafood from the Baja coastal waters and a variety of herbs from the resort’s own organic herb garden. Loews Coronado Bay Resort was recognized as one of the “10 great places to kick back while giving back” by USA Today, largely because of Mistral’s organic efforts.

About Loews Coronado Bay Resort:
Situated on a private 15-acre peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Bay, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is just minutes from downtown Coronado, a charming resort village, and a short drive to San Diego’s world-famous attractions. Resort amenities include direct access to the Silver Strand State Beach, three tennis courts, a private 80-slip marina, three acclaimed restaurants, 440 sea-inspired guest rooms and suites, and panoramic views of the San Diego-Coronado Bay. For more information, please call 619-424-4000, 800-81-LOEWS or visit

About Fresh Origins:
Fresh Origins is a small family farm that cares about the produce it grows. The farm was founded by David Sasuga after he grew flowering plants for 20 years. David always wanted to grow fresh produce and the opportunity came unexpectedly. Back in 1996, a local chef came to their greenhouse and got excited when he saw some basil seedlings growing there. He explained that he could use them as a garnish and although it did not make a lot of sense at the time, it was then that David began producing these and other varieties destined for restaurants. They did not call them Microgreens back then, but that is what they were. Fresh Origins has come a long way since then and now produces a wide variety of MicroGreens, PetiteGreens, edible flowers, and related items for restaurants across the U.S. For more information, please visit

New! One-Day Walking and Cooking Sampler Tours in Italy;
Spend the Day Foraging and Cooking in Sicily or Walking among the Wildflowers in the Dolomites
With Italian Connection


New one day walking and cooking tours in Sicily and the Dolomites (Italian Alps) are now offered by Italian Connection for travelers looking for a different Italian experience with a minimum commitment of time and money.  They are ideal as an "add on" to any itinerary.  The tours include a Foraging Walk in the Sicilian countryside, a Baroque Walk in the city of Ragusa, Cooking at Home in Sicily, and seasonal Wildflower Walks in the Dolomites and Sicily.  Tours are for as few as two people and not more than eight participants.  Starting at $225 per person for a private two person tour, with discounts for children and larger groups, the tours include select meals; excellent wines; unique insider experiences, such as sampling the best cannoli, traipsing through a canyon of secret gardens and perfecting the art of focaccia-making; and walks of three to eight miles tailored to individual fitness levels. For more information and reservations, call 1-800-462-7911 or visit www.italian-connection.com.
In Sicily, the one-day Foraging Walk includes trekking along old mule tracks and over limestone terraces where wild asparagus, mustard tops, capers and chard make the freshest ingredients for the day's lunch. During the Cook at Home in Sicily tour, Italian Connection insiders and Italian cooking experts instruct on the art of making focaccia and pasta dishes using local products such as ricotta, fresh produce and locally grown hard wheat flour.  Travelers looking to learn about the culture and history of Ragusa can see amazing Baroque monuments, walk through the fashionable district and secret gardens and eat the best cannoli in Sicily.  Wildflower Walks feature vanilla orchids, bright blue gentians and yellow alpine poppies in the Dolomites or wild roses, saffron crocus and fragrant lavender in Sicily.
Italian Connection is an Italy-based tour operator whose top local guides take you behind the scene on hand-crafted walking, cooking and cultural tours in seven different regions of Italy.  Small groups of participants cook alongside noted cookbook author Eleonora Consoli in her home kitchen, meet celebrated chef Ciccio Sultano in Sicily and dine at his 2-star Michelin restaurant "Il Duomo," make bread from the hard wheat flour grown on tiny organic farms, pick wild herbs and plants that flavor the day's lunch, and make hand-rolled pasta in La Maremma where some villagers never heard of their neighbor George Clooney. Visitors meet colorful personalities including an authority on Alpine wildflowers, the owner of Italy's only Cashmere goat farm and a village woman who blazes walking trails on an island with no roads.  Twenty-nine land-only tours are offered through the year, including the Splendors of Sicily, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of its 2006 "50 Tours of a Lifetime." Four walking levels range from "stroll" to "fitness" which can burn up to 1,500 calories a day!  Private custom tours for honeymooners, incentive groups, and flashpackers can also be arranged.

Hotel Shangri-La

Doors Open to The Dining Room at Hotel Shangri-La

Hotel Shangri-La is pleased to announce the opening of The Dining Room on Friday, May 15th, 2009. The creation of nightlife impresario Marc Smith, The Dining Room provides the finest in French inspired farm-fresh cuisine from Executive Chef Noah Rosen.

Now open to the public, The Dining Room is the first restaurant for the 70-year old historic hotel. Combining unparalleled ocean views with Rosen’s signature cuisine, guests can enjoy elegant dining that is value conscious.

Tehmina Adaya, the owner and hotelier of Hotel Shangri-La says, “The hotel has been a

The Dining Room

Executive Chef Noah Rosen

well known yet secret hideaway for the past 70 years. I felt that bringing in food and beverage would be instrumental in keeping our guests comfortable and satiated. Noah was an obvious pick because his food is fresh, modern and sensible, with a French touch that is essential to making the finest western cuisine."

Inside the Dining Room, guests abscond into a plush 1920s ocean liner, complete with mahogany furniture, a curved bar, hardwood floors, and windows. Strong horizontal banding and natural materials allow for a modern feel while still showcasing its legendary art-deco architecture.

The Dining Room’s highly anticipated menu showcases Rosen’s passion for culinary excellence. Acclaimed for his previous work with such West-Coast restaurants as Patina, Melisse, Mini Bar, Wilshire, and BLT restaurants, The Dining Room’s cuisine is the finest representation of Rosen’s culinary excellence and creativity. Sourcing from local California farmers and wineries, Rosen finds it essential to support the local economy while minimizing the impact on the environment.

The Dining Room is currently accepting reservations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please contact 310-394-2791 or visit www.shangrila-hotel.com.

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