Malmaison has become the first UK hotel group to launch a new "home-grown and local" menu throughout all its properties.
Under the new initiative, the boutique hotel group is sourcing food from within a 30-mile radius of each property for special menus showcasing local items.
Keith Shearer, Malmaison's executive chef, said: "The idea behind this menu is to support local farmers and suppliers who follow traditional, ethical farming and harvesting methods. We feel that this direction can only improve our standards and offer greater confidence to our customers."
Food writer and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall praised the move. "Good on them. Sometimes people in the city feel it's more difficult to source locally, but it only takes a little bit of initiative and effort to make fantastic use of outlying areas, and this proves the point," he told Caterer. "If they can source top-quality ingredients for all their hotels around the UK, then it just shows what's possible."
Dishes on the Birmingham Malmaison menu include goats' cheese soufflé, beetroot and almond salad, with the goats' cheese sourced from Whittington in Worcester and roast loin of rabbit with pancetta, rillette of its own leg and Barolo juice. The rabbit is sourced from Norbury in Shropshire.
Chief executive Robert Cook said: "We are supporting the local community and providing customers with what they want. People want to know what they are eating and where it is from, and we will provide all that information."
Menus cost £13.50 for two courses or £15.50 for three courses (in London, £14.50 and £17.50 respectively).
• Another hotel group pushing the green agenda this week was Travelodge, whose chief executive Grant Hearn is planning a campaign urging the public to help the environment by ignoring the lure of cheap flights and taking a home-based holiday. "We are saying to people, stay in the UK and help protect the environment by flying less," Hearn said.
By Emily Manson
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Published by: The Caterer