Green Pearls hotels can be found all around the globe, with each destination and venue offering uniquely unforgettable experiences. One of the greatest features among the Green Pearls hotels are the exceptional chefs. Below, are some of are favorites.
The Smiling Gecko Project’s The Farmhouse
The Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror destroyed large parts of Cambodia’s infrastructure and the population still suffers from poverty and hunger. But, the Smiling Gecko Project enables families to help themselves following the devastation that many Cambodian people face. With the Smiling Gecko, projects have been defined based on four pillars of education, agriculture, handcrafts/production and tourism/gastronomy to aid in the fight against poverty.
The Farmhouse and restaurant are the perfect example of Smiling Gecko project. Built in 2015, the idea was to accommodate tourists and students involved in the project. The Farmhouse offers a sustainable training and employment place for local residents and offers secure jobs with humane working conditions. They are able to earn a living and sustainably support themselves and their families.
One of the success stories of the project is that of chef Mariya Un Noun.
“I garnish my food with love,” says the 30-year-old chef. Her story begins in the slums of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. After only being able to attend 3 years of school growing up, Mariya Un Noun now works as the Executive Chef at the Smiling Gecko Farmhouse.
The mother of two children came to Smiling Gecko in 2014, where she quickly attracted attention with her passion and talent for cooking. Since the opening of the Farmhouse Smiling Gecko restaurant in 2015, Mariya has played a crucial role in the development of the menu. The young Cambodian interprets local specialties in her own creative way. A partnership with The Farmhouse gives young European chefs the opportunity to work with Mariya in the farmhouse and to bring the soul of Cambodian cuisine to the world.
Dolomites’ Hotel Paradiso Pure.Living
On the other side of the world, in the newly opened 100% holistic vegetarian Hotel Paradiso located on the Seiser Alm, another chef surprises her guests with creativity and skill.
Opened in July 2020 after extensive renovations, Paradiso Pure.Living is the first vegetarian and sustainable hotel on the Seiser Alm, the largest high alpine pasture in Europe which is nestled in the middle of the Dolomites.
The concept is based on the vision of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It is the owners’ wish to inspire guests to take ideas home with them and integrate them into their everyday life. The 100% vegetarian cuisine offers a delicious, natural variety and at the same time contributes to the environment. This vision comes to life with chef Federica Scolta.
Born in Abruzzo in 1982, Scolta’s path leads her through Italy after studying international relations. She gained her first experiences in simple Trattorias, but her talent and passion led her to well-known starred restaurants, where she continued to develop her passion and skills.
“Being vegetarian is a choice for life, it means becoming aware that what we eat is transformed into energy to support our body, soul and spirit.”
At the Hotel Paradiso Pure.Living, Federica, as a chef, follows a 100% vegetarian approach in the knowledge that this concept promotes personal health while reducing the carbon footprint in our fragile environment.