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Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris: Putting a Stop to Food Waste with a Kitchen Garden and a Plate to Plate Biosystem

Organic waste from the Michelin-starred restaurant Le George is processed into compost that feeds the soil of the Versailles garden where a team of 20 people on return-to-work contracts provide their expertise in growing fruits and vegetables served at the restaurant
September 17, 2018,
Paris, France

After making headlines as the first luxury hotel to win 5 Michelin stars in its 3 restaurants Le Cinq (3 stars), Le George (1 star) and L’Orangerie (1 star), Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris has committed to the cause of tomorrow’s fine cuisine.

Chef Simone Zanoni explains: “When we open up the path to excellence, we are bound to imagine tomorrow’s fine cuisine. And it will only reach its full potential through exemplary environmental responsibility. I'm not perfect, but I'm convinced that if everyone plays their part we could have a real impact for future generations. As chefs, we have a duty to educate and lead by example.”

In Versailles is found the Madame Elisabeth Estate, 8 hectares (20 acres) given by Louis XVI to his sister Princess Elisabeth of France, who grew her fruit and vegetables there and gave them to the underprivileged. The Yvelines Département and Simone Zanoni, Head Chef at Le George, the Michelin-starred restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel George V, today revealed a kitchen garden farmed sustainably, whose fruits and vegetables are served in the Michelin-starred dishes of Le George restaurant.

The 1,800 square metres (19,400 square feet) of land made available to Le George are cultivated seasonally, with reasonable yields and a reduced carbon footprint as the garden is only 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the restaurant.

“For more than 10 years, the Kitchen Garden has been free from chemical interaction to ensure that the produce is completely organic. Since April 2017, the production tests have produced great results. We have produced 15 different varieties of tomatoes, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables: carrots, potatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, green beans, pumpkins, bush peaches, raspberries, strawberries and beetroots, which are picked when they become perfectly ripe, allowing us to serve the produce when they are at their optimum flavour and texture,” explains Mickaël Duval, Parks and Gardens Manager for the Yvelines Département and leader of the Green Brigade, a team of twenty people on return-to-work contracts who are providing their expertise.

Two to three days a week, Le George's culinary and service team handles the produce selection from the Kitchen Garden themselves. "The new generation of chefs at Le George are growing up far from agriculture and green spaces, and so we have a real role to play in educating and passing down knowledge for our teams and our customers," says Chef Zanoni.

Fighting Food Waste

The luxury hotel signed a partnership with Parisian start-up Les Alchimistes, which collects organic waste from Le George and processes it into compost “made in Paris.” It feeds the soils of the Versailles garden, creating a new virtuous plate-to-plate biosystem.

Guest Experience: As Close to the Land as Possible

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris is also unveiling an immersive experience whereby guests are given the chance to discover the Kitchen Garden themselves and participate in ingredient and produce selection. They are then whisked back to the Hotel in a hybrid Porsche Panamera to taste their selections with Chef Simone Zanoni at Le George.

In allowing guests access to the Kitchen Garden, Chef Simone Zanoni notes, "the very concept of Le George is based on the notion of sharing at the table. We go further, by sharing our story with them as well as our values.”