World’s First 100-Percent Organic Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Author: Jasmine Zhu       

An organic vegetable garden run by Terre de Monaco is located at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort for the Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Bay. (Photo Courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM)

Monaco, known for its luxury hotels and boutiques, is also making strides in its sustainability efforts. The principality’s new green initiatives include cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030, and achieving total carbon neutrality by 2050.

Efforts also extend to F&B — since 2016, single-use plastic bags have been banned in Monaco, and by 2020, plastic straws and disposable tableware are to be swapped out for alternative solutions including biodegradable straws made from corn starch or cardboard. And at Elsa at Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel — which is the world’s first 100-percent organic Michelin-starred restaurant — sustainability is always on the menu.

Cindy Hoddeson

Cindy Hoddeson

Cindy Hoddeson, the Monaco Government Tourist Office’s director of North America, said she believes that Elsa’s environmental credentials — Green Globe’s Gold Status recognizing five consecutive years of organic certification along with a category 3 organic certification by Ecocert — point to the growing recognition of organic F&B trends.

The restaurant grows many of its vegetables on site in a small, organic garden. Elsa’s menu is both local and seasonal, with local produce and seafood featured in the Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist that’s inspired by Chef Paolo Sari’s Italian heritage.

Other green initiatives at Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel include composting — Sari uses peelings from his kitchen as compost for the Elsa vegetable garden. Organic waste is dried and recycled by a specialty company. All towels and table sets are provided by the company My Drap and are recycled in partnership with Pacôme Recyclage, which collects them.

Green events are increasingly popular, too — from small group tastings on rooftop vegetable gardens planned by Lafayette Monaco, a local expert for corporate events, to e-bike and walking tours across Monaco’s 499 acres.

Green was even the theme at the 7th edition of the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week held this past May in Espace Fontvieille. Designers were recognized for using sustainable materials and for their support of  animal rights, including guest of honor Alberta Ferretti, who launched her collection in collaboration with Livia Firth and Eco-Age.

Also in May, Monaco, home to the Formula One Grand Prix, hosted the third edition of the Monaco ePrix at the Circuit de Monaco. Monaco ePrix is part of Formula E, a motorsport series for electric-powered cars.

“We have had increased demands for green events in Monaco,” Hoddeson told Convene. “Our partners are adapting to the needs of our environmentally conscious clients.”

Jasmine Zhu is a Convene associate editor.

Monte Carlo Beach Hotel

Organic Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Chef Paolo Sari's Italian heritage plays a role in Elsa's offerings. (Photo Courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM)

Organic Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Organic, seasonal vegetables are always on the menu at Elsa. (Photo Courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM)

Organic Michelin-Starred Restaurant

A landscape view of Monte Carlo-Beach Hotel. (Photo Courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM)

Organic Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Elsa overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo Courtesy Monte-Carlo SBM)