Permaculture and sustainable food production
We believe that delicious food does not need to come at a cost to the planet. From reducing food miles, cutting down on meat in our menus and adopting a permaculture ethos; over the last ten years we have been finding ways to produce award-winning food whilst treading lightly on the planet. The key areas we are working on are:
Adopting a permaculture ethos
As much as we can, we want to ensure our food practices work in harmony with nature and take care of the environment and fellow creatures. This way we can sustain food production for generations to come.
We’re creating our own permaculture garden that makes the most of our unique mountain climate and the resources particular to the region. We are just getting started on this journey, but we have already made good progress by starting to raise chickens, setting up an annual vegetable garden and planting the fruit and nut trees that will form the centre of our future food forest. Our hope is that this food forest will eventually contain a wide variety of perennial plants enabling us to introduce all sorts of interesting new fruits and vegetables to our menu that are not easily available elsewhere. The food waste from our chalets feeds our chickens and provides nutrients for the soil in which we grow our food, which in turn feeds us and our guests – it’s a wonderfully efficient cycle!
Reducing meat consumption
Globally, livestock releases as much greenhouse gases as all cars, trucks, planes and ships put together. This means that making changes to what’s on our plate and opting for more plant-based meals really can reduce the impact of climate change. Since 2012 we have made one day per week a meat-free day in all our chalets.
Where we do have meat on the menu, we ensure that it is locally, ethically and sustainably produced, and we use our chefs’ creativity to maximise the flavours brought from the meat whilst reducing the overall quantity needed in each dish.
Guests can also go completely meat free on their holiday with our delicious vegetarian menu, much of which is supported by produce from our permaculture garden. Our vegetarian/vegan menu is constantly being refreshed and expanded, with new flavours and inspiration from around the globe, to make it as tempting as possible.
Sourcing food locally and reducing food miles
We buy food with minimal food miles by shopping seasonally and locally with regional producers as much as possible. We also grow our own herbs, fruit and vegetables at AliKats HQ to include in our menus during the warmer months.
Minimising food wastage
We minimise food wastage wherever possible. As standard practice we compost all of our fruit and vegetables from our catered chalets and central kitchen. Other food waste goes to feed our chickens which contributes to our permaculture gardening efforts.
In 2018 we created a central kitchen to continue to cook all our food from scratch, whilst employing efficient and creative cooking practices that reduce waste. We figured that cooking the same menu across several chalets independently uses more energy and creates more waste than batch cooking in our central kitchen. The same amount of love and care goes into each dish, which is cooked by our head chef and then carefully finished off and plated in the chalets by our chalet hosts.
In 2019 we also started cooking our staff meals centrally which meant we could further benefit from economies of scale with streamlined food purchasing. The team loved the delicious plant based meals that our talented chefs produced for them and we all felt great about how little food ended up in the bin.