Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 106 of 217

natural selections The bees at the W Austin came from Central Texas Honey Bee Rescue and Preserve, an organization dedicated to relocating rather than exterminating hives that have formed in residents' sheds or garages. 3,000 acres that could potentially be cultivated for food production. Rooftop greenhouses are thriving elsewhere in the city, at restaurants like Roberta's in Brooklyn, Rosemary's in Greenwich Village and the Soho Grand Hotel. This fall, a 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden will be built atop the new Whole Foods Market in Gowanus, an emerging Brooklyn neighborhood. Produce will be grown year-round and the yield is expected to be high enough to be distributed to other Whole Foods locations throughout the city. Rooftop greenhouses are also growing in the Midwest, such as at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Mich. The LEED-certified market, which opened in May, will have 25,000 square feet of space, including a restaurant, brewery, farmers market and two rooftop greenhouses. The project has already had an effect on the community, with new rental units being built nearby amid buoyant predictions of a revitalized downtown. Bees Take Over Hotels, Restaurants and Even the White House Dovetailing with the urban farming trend is urban beekeeping, buzzing from Hawaii to the White House. Growing concern over colony collapse disorder worldwide has made beekeeping a much more popular pursuit. Luxury hotel chain Fairmont has hives at several of its locations, providing hyperlocal honey to guests in San Francisco and Newport Beach, Calif., Vancouver and Washington, D.C. The W Hotel in Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 3874 90 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Minneapolis installed an apiary last summer, and now the W in Austin has 11 honeyproducing hives on its 37th floor. Valerie Broussard oversees the W Austin's apiary, feeding the bees a fruit mash so the honey will have a more pronounced flavor. The hives share space with the hotel's satellite dishes and window-washing equipment. "It was a barren rooftop, and now it's food-producing real estate," she says. Broussard also works full time as the hotel's forager, sourcing and purchasing ingredients for the restaurant Trace, whose name refers to traceability. The W Austin is part of Block 21, an eco-friendly complex that includes residences, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues that take up an entire block. "The fact that we have all these green initiatives ties in with the apiary," Broussard notes. The bees came from Central Texas Honey Bee Rescue and Preserve, an organization dedicated to relocating rather than exterminating hives that have formed in residents' sheds or garages. The W's honey will have started flowing by early summer, to be used in Trace's savory and sweet dishes and in cocktails. Small jars will be sent up with room service and will be available for catering parties and events. They may even end up in the minibar and in the hotel's spa to create special skin treatments. "We're not strictly doing it to save or make money," Broussard says. "It's a way to give back to the community." Julie Besonen is a food editor for Paper magazine and restaurant columnist for nycgo.com.

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