While on-site chef’s gardens have become standard at many hotels, our team saw the broader possibilities offered by our region’s microclimate, and thus Rancho Ortega, a 14-hectare (35-acre) working farm, was born. Here, under the vision and leadership of Four Seasons Culinary Director Nicolás Piatti, the cultivation of indigenous and newly introduced plants supplies the Resort’s restaurants with true zero-mile, root-to-dish produce. It also serves as a centre for the study of rare species and sustainable farming as well as creative culinary exploration.
“We have a flock of egg-producing chickens roaming the farm now, and there are 17 varieties of fruit trees already producing pomegranates, figs, cocoa, guava and more,” says Chef Piatti, who has also spent months sourcing additional products from throughout the country, including a selection of endemic corn varieties from the Yucatán. “We are particularly excited by the progress of the more than 8,500 agave azul plants we are cultivating here at the Resort with the blessing of Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council.”
As cooks, we are used to being in the kitchen, dressed in white, behind the stove. Today, we touch the earth and feel its humidity, we perceive the smell of the jungle and collect with our hands what the land gives us, what we ourselves cultivate and take care of to bring it to the table. We thank the madre tierra for what she provides us, and we give back what we do not use. This is the essence of Rancho Ortega.Nicolás Piatti Culinary Director