The buzz surrounding the Fairmont Royal York doesn't just come from reporters or bloggers. It comes from the bees—as many as 350,000 of them—that reside in six carefully managed hives in the hotel's rooftop garden. Every year, beekeepers here harvest an average of 450 pounds of honey, some of which ends up a few floors down in the kitchen of Epic Restaurant. There, sustainability-conscious chefs bake the sweet local syrup into pastries and drizzle it onto artisanal cheese plates, a testament to their commitment to eating locally.
That commitment doesn't stop with honey. From organic chicken raised at nearby Yorkshire Valley Farms to ramps foraged in the Ontario woods, most of the savory ingredients on Epic Restaurant's seasonal menus are sourced from within 100 kilometers of the hotel. Some herbs, such as the chili that flavored a recent seafood pasta, are also harvested from the rooftop.
The chefs attend to ocean sustainability by using seafood approved by the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program, including Vancouver Island spot prawns, Atlantic halibut, and Nova Scotia sea bream.