Jamaica’s Mille Fleurs Restaurant in Port Antonio is the island’s leading sustainable restaurant, spearheading the way in delicious and ethical Caribbean dining. Over the last 2 decades, we have spent a lot of energy under our wonderful Jamaican sun successfully implementing our sustainable strategy that considers:
- Responsible sourcing for our environment and society
- Zero waste
- Community engagement and charity initiatives
- Alternatives to bottled water
- Recycling materials
- Good ethics, fair pricing and a local living wage
Buying Seasonal & Local:
Ethical Meat & Diary, Sustainable Fishing, Environmentally Friendly Farming, Fair Trade
We are committed to procuring food from local providers that helps act as an equaliser and provides long-term food security for everyone in Jamaica. For every 1 degree rise in temperatures above 34 C, yields of rice, maize and wheat in tropical areas drop by up to 10%. By buying local restaurants can help reduce C02 emissions by up to 5% to counter the effect of global warming.
Our daily changing menu ensures we can remain flexible and benefit from using whatever is in season and we were the first restaurant in Jamaica and Caribbean to offer Meatless Mondays to further our quest to help reduce emissions.
The possibilities of using fresh alternative local ingredients for creative dishes is endless but they do require patience and time in their testing, plus a willingness to break from a tradition which does not necessarily add value.
- Pesto – Jackfruit seeds are used in place of imported Pine Nuts
- Cocktails & Sauces – Home-pickled susumbers are used instead of imported capers and olives
- Gluten Free Flour – We use breadfruit flour as part of our charity partnership with the Trees that Feed Foundation
- Bread – Bammy, our local Jamaican cassava flatbread has become a breakfast favourite with our international guests
- Fruit – Rather than serve imported grapes, peaches, kiwis we offer divine local fruit like jackfruit, our Jamaican apple otaheite, starapples, naseberries and sweet sop.
- Cocoa – We use home produced spiced chocolate tea balls grated and sieved in our dishes which when combined with coconut cream makes a very tempting vegan chocolate cream
- Non Dairy Milk – We use coconut milk rather than imported rice and almond milk
At its simplest level, sustainable catering means not throwing good food away, which is why we have never offered buffets and limit our daily changing menu to a few options. We only cook to order and cater for only small parties which means that we never use commercially prepared or frozen foods that can be warmed up in a jiffy with the help of a microwave (which isn’t one of our kitchen tools).
We make almost everything in-house, small batches of jams, chutneys, pickles, pasta, ice-cream, breads, even worcester sauce and ketchup. Not only do they taste a lot better and above all are healthier without the addition of added chemical colourings, additives, preservatives.
We freeze gluts of fruits like mango or bananas that would end up over-ripe or which are left from making our local breakfast frit platters fruit for use in smoothies and ice-cream. Frozen bananas are wonderful in our famous Jamaican banana bread or “Live” a raw food ice-cream.
We love our bins! We have a large row that we use to sort the food: bones for the dogs, leftover cooked food to give to the pig farmer, compostable waste to reuse in our garden, another bin for egg shells to help counter the snails that like our tomatoes
We have reduced waste to a minimum though not using tablecloths, providing personal washable napkins kept in special pockets that don’t require daily laundering. We don’t use paper napkins, straws, paper coasters and no Styrofoam which is why we don’t provide a take away business – unless guests come up with their containers!
Our waste strategy is as eco-friendly as possible, from green cleaning products (baking soda and vinegar) to bacteria that eats the grease and keeps drains clean to using only washable hand towels in our rest rooms rather than paper hand towels or the hot air hand dryers.
Saving and Efficiency
We harvest and filter our own rainwater which is then turned into our own drinking water with UV and reverse osmosis. It not only tastes much better than chemically treated water but stops any reliance on imported bottled water. Water in Jamaica like all tropical countries is a vital commodity and in the Mille Fleurs restaurant we only serve water after enquiring guests wish for it rather than pouring unwanted water which we then end up pouring down the drain.
We don’t sell any beverages sold in plastic bottles and limit the selection of bottled soft drinks, preferring to focus on freshly made juices and fruit punches which takes a little time but we believe tastes better which is what slow food is all about.
Recycling and Upscaling
Our team tries its hardest to ensure that even small things like these corks do not end up as a mountain in our local landfill thereby reducing our emissions and the impact of the less positive effects of tourism on our local community. The Mille Fleurs kitchen team are constantly on the lookout for creative ideas to recycle and upcycle.
Our beautiful natural wood tabletops are made from our own naturally fallen trees, our beautiful flower vases and oil table oil lamps are made from recycled bottles.
We find the real challenge of running a sustainable restaurant in Jamaica is in communicating the benefits and value of what we offer to our diners. Many guests simply compare prices without questioning what accounts for the differences that can impact future generations. Many judge it too expensive without being aware of the implications of cheap imported food on the economy of an island like Jamaica or paying a wage that is below the local living wage. To help increase awareness we train our staff to be able to share these insights with our guests and the impact locally of our individual eating and drinking.
A lot of love and effort in Jamaica goes into growing food, harvesting it, preparing it and so we feel very strongly about valuing it and appreciating all the aspects involved in the process. Our sustainable restaurant is simply a superb place in Jamaica to enjoy food in a manner that helps to preserve the earth that provides us with the water and wide range of food resources to sustain us.