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Amilla Maldives launches ‘Foraging Lunch’ adventure

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Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences’ zero-air miles project took another step forward this month with the advent of its brand new ‘Foraging Lunch’ activity.

The new eco-adventure sees guests led by staff including the Chef, the Landscaping Supervisor, and the Sustainability and Wellness Mentor, Victoria Kruse, through the lush island to gather edible plants including indigenous varieties such as ‘kulha fila’ (Maldivian rocket).

The fun and educational interactive tour highlights the island’s indigenous and island-grown herbs, vegetables and fruit. It culminates in a feast using the freshly-plucked ingredients.

Among the first guests to enjoy this new activity at Amilla Maldives was Amilla’s ‘Visiting Hero’, the tennis pro Philipp Davydenko, and his new bride.

Philipp, who is on hand to offer guests tennis clinics and coaching, said: “It was a very informative and exciting learning experience about the resort’s sustainability, the gardens and the homegrown spices of Amilla. We collected and self-cooked a delicious lunch. We enjoyed our time and the food a lot.”

Starting out on the Sunrise Beach at the southeastern end of the spacious private island resort, the guests were guided to Amilla’s jungle-clad grove known as The Plantation, where local varieties of small, sweet bananas are cultivated, as well as chillies (a Maldivian staple), lemongrass and passionfruit.

Then it was on to the resort’s new Hydroponics Garden, where they discovered a wide array of homegrown greens, before moving on to the UN (short for ‘UNdo the Harm’) where the Amilla Islanders make their own cold-pressed coconut oil from the island’s bountiful supply of coconut trees.

Amilla’s chicken coop, Cluckingham Palace, was the next port of call, to see if the pampered chickens there had any fresh eggs to offer. The ladies kindly gave up more than a dozen eggs to the group that day. 

The next destination was the vast area of natural jungle that covers over 70 per cent of the island. From this area, the group collected dry coconuts for coconut milk and young coconuts to make ‘mudi kashi’ (the flesh of young coconuts), with a little help from Amilla’s skillful tree climbers. They also helped harvest some wild breadfruit from 15 metres up in the jungle canopy. 

Finally, the group circled back to Amilla’s beautiful Mystique Garden, where the hungry team collected even more salad greens as well as sugarcane and the traditional Maldivian staples of aubergines, okra, and sweet potatoes. 

With the foraging complete, it was time to prepare lunch from the freshly-picked ingredients. A three-course spread was created under the supervision of the chef. It included a Maldivian vegetable curry slowly simmered to perfection and a fresh salad with boiled eggs on the side.

The guests enjoyed the meal together with Victoria and Chef. It was washed down with lemongrass-infused water. 

The new activity is part of Amilla Maldives’ efforts to use sustainable food sources on the island. The Homegrown@Amilla project means fewer items need to be imported, reducing the resort’s carbon footprint. It also ensures guests receive the very freshest of produce for optimum flavour and wellness benefits.

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Atmosphere Core introduces Master of Sushi to Maldives

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With Asian cuisine in such popular demand for those with a palette for the freshest of Indian Ocean seafood, Atmosphere Core announces a truly unique collaboration with internationally-renowned Japanese Chef Satoshi Tsuru. A first for the Maldives, Chef Tsuru’s inaugural visit to the archipelago will share an immersive educational journey of remarkable knifesmanship and culinary talent, upskilling the hoteliers’ chefs.

Renowned for his distinct passion for the minutest of details, Chef Tsuru will join Atmosphere Core’s Corporate Team in delivering a series of highly focused masterclasses at both the forthcoming new 5-star ‘RAAYA by Atmosphere’ and the groups’ premier flagship private island ‘OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI’.

Anupam Banerjee, Vice President Food & Beverage is the creative mind behind this special collaboration, “In preparation for launching ‘RAAYA by Atmosphere’ on the 4th of July, over the past month, a collective of our top international head chefs have been participating in ‘knowledge share’ classes, presenting training courses on new and novel culinary techniques with our growing RAAYA team.

“Taking this cross-training approach to the highest level, we extended our invitation to Chef Satoshi Tsuru for the exclusive launch his signature approach to ‘Sushi Happiness’ at RAAYA. His mission – to guide a select group of specialist island chefs in the age-old tradition of Japanese cuisine craftsmanship using local catch, vegetables and plants from Maldives and from our island. Chef Tsuru will share decades of kitchen experience deeply rooted in Japan’s historic sushi restaurants, in particular the world-famous ‘Ginza Shop’ in Tokyo established back in 1935,” added Anupam.

Innovative collaboration with such an esteemed name from world of Japanese cuisine meant it was only fitting that Atmosphere Core extended the invitation to also mark the recent launch of ‘Soyi’, a pan-Asian concept restaurant located on OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, the company’s flagship private island.

Anupam added, “On OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, Chef Tsuru will again lead inspiring masterclasses to the already highly regarded island chefs. Not only do these courses develop our in-house talent, but they also mark appreciation for the skills we already have in our F&B team. These classes are as enjoyably rewarding as they are educational, and moving forward, I am positive each participant will appreciate the talent Chef Tsuru has demonstrated in his illustrious career.”

Responding to Banerjee’s comments, Chef Satoshi Tsuru concluded, “It is an honour to be invited by Atmosphere Core and Anupam to assist in sharing some of my lessons of life as a chef. Japanese cooking is like an artform and for the best results you need to find the perfect balance of ingredients and craftsmanship. I aim to teach as much about flavour and ingredients, as I do about knifesmanship, complimented by the final presentation of each masterpiece dish.”

As an added experience, guests who book RAAYA by Atmosphere can enjoy the culinary delights of Chef Satoshi Tsuru for dates staying 4th to 6th July and at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, guests can see and taste the chef’s craftsmanship from 10th July to 12th July.

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Intercontinental Maldives welcomes Chef Mauro Panebianco for exclusive residency

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InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has announced a week-long residency with Mauro Panebianco, an excellent chef known for his exquisite take on Italian cuisine. Set to take place between April 27th and May 4th, guests can look forward to an incredible culinary spectacle as the chef will be preparing various dishes for 3 nights at Lighthouse, an oceanfront culinary gem renowned for its brilliant Mediterranean culinary creations and scenic views.

Passionate about food since his early years, Chef Mauro has over 3 decades of experience mastering Italian cuisine. Originally from Busto Arsizio, a city that serves as the gateway to Milan, Chef Mauro has worked with a series of renowned establishments around the world, including La Terrazza in Rome and the Giorgio Armani restaurant in Munich. He is currently the Executive Chef of Cantinetta Antinori in Moscow, where he has spent nearly 2 decades honing his skills in crafting the finest Italian dishes and pastries.

The talented chef will also help host a management cocktail event, presenting his signature canapes and offering guests a glimpse into the artistry behind his creations. Driven by his passion for culinary excellence and a desire to impart knowledge, Chef Mauro will organise a masterclass delving into the intricate techniques of preparing pasta and pesto from scratch. This enlightening masterclass will offer participants a hands-on experience and inspire them to develop their skills in creating the essential elements of Italian cuisine.

Chef Mauro believes in infusing every dish with emotion, offering guests a journey of exquisite simplicity and taste that leaves a lasting impression on their senses and memories. During the residency, he will be showcasing his culinary artistry for 3 unforgettable nights, crafting gastronomic masterpieces that embody his philosophy and embrace the timeless elegance of Italy, creating a truly exceptional dining experience.

The Lighthouse restaurant, where this incredible gastronomic journey will take place, celebrates the rich Mediterranean cuisine and sources the finest ingredients and seafood. Located at an enchanting lighthouse, the restaurant offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the property and the serene Indian Ocean. With its warm and inviting atmosphere and alfresco setting, complemented by the exquisite dishes prepared by Chef Mauro, the Lighthouse restaurant is the ideal choice for discerning diners seeking an elegant dining affair.

Tucked away in the secluded Maamunagau island, this astonishing resort offers a charming setting where guests can unwind and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this tropical archipelago. With Chef Mauro coming soon to join the resort for his residency, diners are invited to embark on a culinary voyage to the heart of Italy, where every dish reflects the passion, expertise, and artistry of this authentic cuisine.

Rates for stays in April 2024 start from USD 1058 ++ per night in an Overwater Pool Villa, including daily breakfast for two and Club Intercontinental benefits including complimentary daily afternoon tea, aperitif hour and pool refreshments. For more information, please visit www.maldives.intercontinental.com or contact reservations.icmaldives@ihg.com.

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Taste of ‘Just Veg Festival’ at Atmosphere Kanifushi with renowned Chef Fabrizio Marino

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Across the globe, people continue to be drawn to vegetarian, health-conscious cuisines. Beyond their visually appealing presentation, these flavourful plant-based and fruit-forward meals offer a world of benefits. Embracing this ethos and responding to increased demand, Atmosphere Kanifushi announces a ‘summer special’ leading up to the Just Veg Festival scheduled for Q3 2024. Widely acclaimed Italian Chef Fabrizio Marino will host the culinary event from 21st to 26th June 2024 at the award-winning Just Veg speciality restaurant.

Guests will be treated to an exclusive five-course dinner hosted by Chef Fabrizio, on pre-booking complimentary with the Kanifushi PlanTM. The spectacularly innovative progressive menu lines up two new recipes, a coconut-milk-based creation bursting with flavours and a progressive dish that blends Indian and Italian cuisines. Also back on popular demand is the fresh smoked cottage cheese and vegetables dish, ‘Bite By Bite.’ Many of the ingredients, from coconuts to herbs, are handpicked by the chefs from the restaurant’s own garden.

“Summer brings with it fresh harvests, and in fact June is also celebrated as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in some countries. Studies have shown that a plant-focused lifestyle can help in reducing health risks. At Just Veg there’s a conscious effort to introduce meat alternatives to travellers, from protein-based dishes using cottage cheese and legumes to greens and the use of truffles for a touch of indulgence,” says Raman Gomathi, Director of Food and Beverage at Atmosphere Kanifushi.

Chef Fabrizio is the soul of infamously-refined vegetarian restaurant Maggese, located in Tuscany countryside. For the past three years, he has been travelling across the ocean to Kanifushi, where he closely collaborates with the culinary team to present the Just Veg festival and refresh the restaurant’s menu with an artistic, innovative and flavoursome touch.

Commenting on this special summer edition, Chef Fabrizio states, Fabrizio says “I’ve always pushed the boundaries; recreating sumptuous, homely favourites by choosing the finest natural ingredients, and letting the fruit and vegetables speak for themselves. This year, we’re bringing the richness of Indian and Italian flavours to the plate. Inviting guests for a uniquely-mindful dining experience, as they connect over food, wine and the beauty of the Indian Ocean.”

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