GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO ANNOUNCES
“WHISPER CREEK FARM”
Orlando’s Leading Luxury Resort Announces Fall Opening of On-site Farm Experience and Outdoor Event Space
Orlando, FL – August 28, 2012 – Farm to table, why not take the table out to the farm? Grande Lakes Orlando is pleased to announce Whisper Creek Farm, a 7,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden with an adjoining 6,000-square-foot outdoor event space. Opening on October 12, 2012, Whisper Creek Farm, set amidst the 500-acre Grande Lakes estate, will create a truly authentic farm-to-fork experience forgroups of up to 250 people. Products from the farm will be featured at events as well as used throughout the resort at both The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, in restaurant dishes, beverages, and even spa treatments at the award-winning Ritz-Carlton Spa Orlando.
A unique interactive and educational dining experience, guests will be encouraged to peruse the garden and even pick and taste the products. Whisper Creek will offer four types of events:
– Plated dinners for groups of 100 or less served by chefs right in front of guests
– Family-style seasonal menus served at long communal tables for groups of up to 250
– Argentinian & Uruguayan outdoor barbeque grilling
– An intimate Chef’s Table with seating at a handcrafted wood table (and hammocks!) for up to twelve, shaded by a large oak tree, the centerpiece of Whisper Creek Farm
And this is not the resort’s first trip to the farm. To maintain Whisper Creek, Grande Lakes Orlando has again partnered with My Yard Farm, a Central Florida company that already manages both the resort’s on-site apiary, producing honey used in dishes and spa treatments, and the PRIMO Organic Garden, a raised-bed garden producing herbs and produce for Melissa Kelly’s PRIMO Restaurant at JW Marriott Orlando.
“From the beehives and butchering to pickling and PRIMO, Grande Lakes Orlando is proud to maintain sustainability and conservation in our culinary practices. Whisper Creek Farm is a natural evolution of this commitment, ” explains Grande Lakes Orlando Vice President and Managing Director Jim Burns. “The farm will provide a unique educational opportunity to show our guests where their delicious meal is coming from.”
Pedi-cabs will chauffeur guests from PRIMO organic garden to Whisper Creek, located next to the sixth tee box on the resort’s Greg Norman-designed golf course and bordering a peaceful nearby creek (the inspiration for the space’s name). Surrounded by a perimeter of 120 pineapple plants, Whisper Creek Farm will produce cucumbers, acorn squash, collard greens, avocado, mango, sweet potatoes, a variety of herbs, a pumpkin patch, and much more. As is natural with its Central Florida location, the space will feature eighteen seven-foot citrus trees, including tangerine, kaffir lime, and kumquat. In addition to the vast garden, Whisper Creek will host resident bees in three hives to help in the pollination of the flowering plants and provide more of the Grande Lakes signature nectar. Whisper Creek Farm events can be booked October through April, with evening affairs being particularly picturesque, complete with romantic string lighting and lanterns.
And, once the farm is up and running, JW Marriott Orlando Executive Chef Chris Brown, a BBQ master, will lead one of the site’s most ambitious endeavors – Argentinian and Uruguayan grilling.
“The chefs at Grande Lakes know everything barbeque and have participated in many competitions over the past six years,” explains Chef Brown. “We decided to take this passion to the next level and offer a menu based on natural live, outdoor fire, and asado cooking methods incorporated into Argentinian barbeque. All items will be carved to order by the same chefs who started the fires six to 10 hours earlier that day.”
Grande Lakes Orlando has additional exciting plans for the site in the future, including: permaculture methods for fertilization, a chicken coop, a composting area, a fenced area for cows and chickens, Argentinian grilling cooking classes, a communal fire pit, and barn-style event space.
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