How do you like our new food miles poster? There are few restaurants in Jamaica that are more dedicated to making a menu from what’s available from local suppliers than Mille Fleurs at Mocking Bird Hill
We’d love to draw the line at a maximum radius for each of our suppliers to be within 50 miles of the hotel, but due to Jamaica’s various climatic, soil and vegetation conditions we do have to extend this a little further up to 90 miles. However we still feel exceptionally proud as in a country where most foods and products are imported, this is a great achievement.
Counting food miles can be quite challenging, it forces one to become more creative. It is food art; you look at what you have and then let it inspire you, a process contrary to how many Jamaican restaurants determine their menu. We feel that one of the most fulfilling ways to explore a culture is by dipping into local cuisine and the only way we can do this is to use and showcase local seasonal foods. Part of sharing a new food dish, is uncovering its history; knowing the story of who grew or why ingredients are produced in a specific geographic area, the differing costs; whether social, human, environmental involved in bringing it to table: all these combined are a great way of discovering a country whilst on holiday.
The menu at Mille Fleurs Restaurant is kept spar; a daily changing choice of 3-4 dishes that is entirely determined by what is being harvested at the moment. For the first course with a selection of soup and starters; for the mains 4-6 dishes including a selection of vegetarian options, and finally 3-4 desserts including the option for a savoury Cheese plate with artisan cheeses made at Tamarind Hill Farm by Joanna Slimforte.
Because we buy locally from small farmers, fishermen and other suppliers we are dependent on the vagrancies of the market. This can be determined by occasional rough seas, which in turn means that the fishermen in their small boats can’t go out, or for example as has been the case after a hurricane when all the banana crop was destroyed and we had no bananas! For that we reason we also specify on our menu which items are based on availability. It would be easy to look to imports to stop the gap, but as we said, we prefer to be creative with our menus and promote sustainable tourism, in which members of the local community all benefit from our guests visits to Jamaica.
Read more about Sustainable Tourism at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill