Six Senses Zighy Bay is taking the message of sustainability one step further, with a Farm To Table concept, that allows hotel guests to experience the freshest of produce direct from the resort’s own on-site organic garden and organic farm in nearby Dibba.
Proud of its own organic farm and garden, the resort takes an environmentally responsible approach to culinary innovations, which includes bringing fresh ingredients straight to the table, so guests can enjoy a flavorsome epicurean experience from organic, locally grown food. Playing host to over 30 different types of herbs and vegetables, the resort’s culinary and spa team incorporates these natural aromatic plants as ingredients in drinks and cooking, garnishing dishes, sauces and spa treatments. The resort also sources various produce from its Dibba farm that features a 19,375 square feet (1,800 square meters) greenhouse.
More than 11,000 date palms dot the grounds of Six Senses Zighy Bay and are harvested from June to August. The dates are used in welcome smoothies, as snacks for arriving guests and are included in a variety of complimentary Arabic sweets in every villa. The culinary team has also created food items and sauces that incorporate the dates into local gourmet experiences, while the spa team turns them into scrubs that are used in specific spa treatments.
Six Senses Zighy Bay also uses an organic, homegrown composite as a fertilizer during the planting process. The composite takes over 11 months to create by mixing layers of dried leaves, kitchen and garden waste, a range of organic materials, self-produced bio-char from dead trees and branches, and local goat manure from area goat farmers. The result is an excellent natural raw material and fertilizer.
All of this is done under the watchful eye of Manuel Schmidt, the resort’s gardener, who has over 10 years of experience in organic gardening, installing composting systems, landscaping, plus counseling for plant protection and crop rotation.
Below are recipes for the resort’s homemade tomato ketchup and pesto sauce where all the ingredients used are natural and from the resort’s farm.
Tomato Ketchup Servings: 0.2 cups (45 ml)
3.3 lb (1.5 kg) of white onions peeled and cut in quarters
1.65 lb (750 g) of celery diced 0.78 inches (2 cm) wide
1 cup (225 ml) of olive oil
1.7 oz (48 g) of garlic cloves sliced
13 lb (6 kg) of ripe tomatoes
5.3 oz (150 g) of tomato puree
2½ cups (600 ml) of apple cider vinegar
0.33 oz (10 ml) of Tabasco sauce to taste
3 tsp of ground coriander seed/powder
1½ cinnamon sticks
0.2 oz (6 g) of black pepper
Preparation method: Put the onions and celery into a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Heat the oil in a very large saucepan and add the onions and celery; cover, then soften over a low heat for five minutes.
Add the garlic, cook five minutes more, then add the spices and cook for one minute. Stir in all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Keep on a bubbling simmer, uncovered, for one hour until the tomatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced by half.
Purée the mix with a blender until smooth, then sieve into a bowl and leave it to cool.
Note The ketchup will thicken a little when it cools; if it appears thin or runny put it back on the heat and cook a little longer stirring often to prevent burning until reduced. Keep the ketchup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months, or freeze in batches, label, date in vacuum-sealed bags.
Basil Pesto Servings: 10
7 oz (200 g) of basil leaves
6.8 oz (200 ml) of olive oil
3.38 oz (100 g) of pine nuts
1 piece of garlic clove
0.07 oz (2 g) of salt
0.03 oz (1 g) of black pepper
Preparation method: Place all the ingredients inside a blender and blend until liquid. Serve over pasta or salad.