US (TX): Hilton Americas sources ingredients from hydroponic garden

The fresher the ingredients, the better the meal, right? One Houston hotel is taking that idea to the next level. "Right here I have bok choy," said Executive Chef Ruffy Sulaiman, pointing to one section of the Farmshelf indoor garden inside Hilton Americas-Houston's lobby. "I have marigold going up there."

He said he got the idea for a hotel garden about a decade ago, initially planning to grow it on the roof. "My GM suggested, ‘Chef, you know there’s something called FarmShelf. Have you looked into that yet?’ I said, ‘Let me check on that,'" Sulaiman remembered.

A couple years of research resulted in the hotel making the investment in the hydroponic system that now provides fresh produce for 1600 Bar + Grille and the hotel’s other dining options. "It takes about three weeks," said Sulaiman, referring to how long he has to wait between germination and harvest. "I can develop a recipe and get the plant for the recipe knowing that in three or four weeks, I can use that particular plant in my food."

When KHOU 11 visited, he was growing red Komatsuna, red butter lettuce, marigold and Genovese basil, which Sulaiman harvested then and there to use in a dish.


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