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Grande Lakes Orlando introduces Green Menu concept at Michelin-starred Knife & Spoon

Written By Scott Joseph On July 28, 2023

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Green Menu at Grande Lakes Orlando's Knife & Spoon

Grande Lakes Orlando, the luxury resort that is home to the Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, has introduced a Green Menu concept at its signature restaurant, Knife & Spoon.

No, it has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, and it involves more than serving leafy vegetables.

It’s an ambitious undertaking to support local purveyors and employ sustainable and eco-conscious practices while maintaining the high standards of the Michelin-starred steak and seafood restaurant.

There are plenty of restaurants that follow a “buy local” policy; being in Florida has the advantage of offering year-round harvests of produce from local farms and seafood from the nearby Gulf and Atlantic waters. Sourcing ingredients from local producers has dual benefits: Small farms tend to use more sustainable, organic-centric methods; and getting the ingredients from the farm to the proverbial table doesn’t require air freight and only minimal ground transportation, which reduces the carbon footprint of your meal. Grande Lakes, of course, has it even better with the hyperlocally sourced ingredients from the resort’s own Whisper Creek Farm.

But Knife & Spoon’s Green Menu goes even further by repurposing ingredients and reducing food waste, notably through fermentation. The restaurant’s chef de cuisine, Tyler Kineman, and sous chef Julian Silvera engineered the menu under the direction of executive chef John Tesar,.

“One of the pillars of our sustainable culinary philosophy is the art of fermentation,” the chefs wrote in a note on the menu. “By harnessing the natural processes of fermentation, we transform surplus fruits and vegetables into delightful vinegars that add complexity and character to our dishes. This approach not only celebrates the incredible flavors of the region but also minimizes food waste and showcases our resourcefulness in repurposing ingredients.”

The chefs also use fermentation techniques to fashion garums, which are sauces or condiments most commonly made with fish parts. K&S also uses leftover meat scraps to create umami-rich garums.

The Green Menu features a cured local catch; garden salad; seasonal vegetables; dayboat catch; and a mille-feuille with peaches and vanilla cream. (Click through the gallery below to see the various creations.) But you’ll find many of the Green Menu techniques on other items from the regular menu.

Knife & Spoon is located at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando. It is open for dinner daily. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made here.

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