In Versailles, you will find the Madame Elisabeth Estate, eight hectares given by Louis XVI to his sister Princess Elisabeth of France, who grew her fruit and vegetables there and gave them to the underprivileged. The Yvelines Département and Simone Zanoni, Head Chef at Le George, the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, revealed a kitchen garden farmed sustainably, with a virtuous biosystem and community in mind.
A luxury hotel with a conscience
After making headlines as the first luxury hotel to win five Michelin stars in its three restaurants Le Cinq (3 stars), Le George (1 star) and L’Orangerie (1 star), the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris has committed to the cause of tomorrow’s fine cuisine.
Simone Zanoni explains: “When we open up the path to excellence, we are bound to imagine tomorrow’s fine cuisine. And it will only reach its full potential through exemplary environmental responsibility. I’m not perfect, but I’m convinced that if everyone plays their part we could have a real impact for future generations. As chefs, we have a duty to educate and lead by example.”
15 kilometres from Paris: a sustainably farmed kitchen garden
The 1,800 square metres of land made available to Le George are cultivated seasonally, with reasonable yields and a reduced carbon footprint as the garden is only 15km from the restaurant.
“For 10 years, no chemicals have disturbed the growth of the plants and animals in this garden. Adapted management, eco-grazing, biodynamics… The gardeners have evolved their farming methods and since April 2016, the fruit and vegetables grown there have been fabulous,” explains Mickaël Duval, Parks and Gardens Manager for the Yvelines Département and leader of the “Green Brigade.” – A team of twenty people on return-to-work contracts who are providing their expertise.
Fighting food waste
The luxury hotel and Mecca for fine dining signed a partnership with Parisian start-up “Les Alchimistes”, which collects organic waste from hotel restaurants and processes it into compost “made in Paris”. It feeds the soils of the Versailles garden, whose fruit and vegetables are served in the Michelin-starred dishes of Le George restaurant. In this way, the George V has created a new virtuous plate-to-plate biosystem.