Sourcing: Resort at Squaw Creek Puts Down Roots on its Roof

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Resort at Squaw Creek, a Destination Hotel, has added a new on-property rooftop garden program. The resort has always sourced fresh produce from its vendors but is taking the supply chain from miles to feet for a variety of vegetables and herbs.

Rooftop Roots, the name of the new garden, was planted on top of Sweet Potatoes Deli this spring to produce a variety of vegetables such as onions, radishes, and micro-greens as well as herbs such as rosemary, basil and mint. The produce from Rooftop Roots has been incorporated into menu selections for Six Peaks Grille, Sandy’s Pub, Cascades, Sweet Potatoes Deli, and group/corporate meetings at the hotel this summer.

“Our mountain location provides a number of challenges for growing fresh produce,” said André Priemer, GM at Resort at Squaw Creek. “For this reason, we researched and invested in a state-of-the-art hydroponic system that will yield a larger quantity of produce much faster. The result of our effort is the only hydroponic, organic garden in the Tahoe region.”

Priemer said the 1,500-square-foot garden produces an excess of vegetables and herbs, so the resort has partnered with Tahoe Food Hub to sell the surplus to the organization. Tahoe Food Hub is a non-profit organization that works to restore local food distribution by building a regional food system for North Lake Tahoe.

The new Rooftop Roots program complements what new Executive Chef Timothy Hmay brings to Resort at Squaw Creek. “We are a local hotel and we support local,” said Chef Hmay. “I want to use Mother Nature to make my food great, I don’t want to use product.” For Chef Hmay, this means simple, organic, sustainable and seasonal products will be incorporated into all recipes.

Chef Hmay highlights this philosophy in a series of Mixology Classes that began in July.

The resort’s farm-to-menu philosophy already is most notably recognized in its garden-to-glass program that mixologist Tam French at Six Peaks created over the last two years. French has integrated fresh herbs that are grown on the Six Peaks deck into her creative cocktails, such as Tahoe Tea, which features Buddha Hand Hangar 1 vodka, Tazo Tea, fresh garden-grown mint served over iced lemonade cubes, and the Cliff Collins with Beefeater 24 Gin accented with the resort’s own lavender, fresh pressed lemon, and housemade honey bee syrup.

The new Rooftop Roots program complements the other exciting enhancements at Resort at Squaw Creek. The property recently completed a $7 million guest room renovation to further enhance the experience for travelers visiting the Lake Tahoe region.