We recently had the opportunity and honor of meeting Michelin Chef James Noble and discussing Carbon Free cooking. Alennta Hua Hin Resort and Spa continues to push the boundaries of sustainability that offers guests, luxury with a green flavor – a key reason why the resort was recently named the Best Sustainable Hotel (Thailand) at the prestigious International Hotel Awards.
Q: What is Carbon free cooking ?
Carbon free is a method we use that uses no fuel to cook , ie charcoal or gas or electric
Q: What inspired you to use carbon free cooking, had you experimented with it before?
I wanted to see if food can be cooked using the old methods of salting, curing, drying etc and be brought to a standard that can be served in a 5 star environment
Q: Sustainability plays a big part in Aleenta Hua Hin’s philosophy, how did you balance sustainability with providing guests with a gastronomic experience?
From a culinary side in Michelin there is so much waste and damage to our world , I wanted to set out to see and be the other side , the supplier.
Grow what we need, grown plants and food that help the land when ploughed back in, grow seasonal product that peaks when a a guest eats It .
Sustainability isn’t new age its common sense stay in the realms of what’s pure , people realise quality
Q: Thailands climate lends itself to solar cooking and buried clay pots. What could chef’s experiment with in colder climates?
Air drying , salting , pickling all great ways that doesn’t need sun
Q: A lot of your ingredients take time to prepare, like your salted beef ceviche, which takes 2 days being buried. How do you manage preparation versus restaurant demand.
Carbon less cooking pro longs shelf life so it helps with demand
Q: You plan your menu 3 months in advance, based upon season and what you are able to grow in the development garden. How well did this go in the beginning, any interesting story ?
I set acres of land to seed , not listening to local advice and knowledge. This was before the development garden and all that now goes on there, I asked for a field to be put to seeds of peanuts a night before a forecasted storm, the rain came and all the seeds were washed down the road to what is affectionately now known as the Peanut house as when they woke up and opened their door three months later their from garden has a lovely harvest of fresh peanuts .
And with that in mind “water melons”…………………. Theclues in the name, I know that now
Q: Are we correct in saying your menu is 100% organic with 90% self sustainable?
No we fluctuate in sustainability according to the growing condition s and demand but we never drop below 70% and we always buy in a 30 km LCF radius .
Organics isn’t what we do , we grown in principle but sustainability and organics are too different things
Q: What is your favourite dish on the menu and which was a triumph?
All are triumph’s for different reasons , my favourites are the simple things, pork jerky and asian gremolta, pickled sea bass cucumber and dill coleslaw
Q: Plans for the future ?
Now that looks like the perfect place to work !