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Hyatt Hill Country Is Doing It All — And Sharing It on Menus

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Troy Knapp

Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.

That’s the name of a new global program Hyatt Hotels has launched to focus on sourcing local food and beverage options.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that our ingredients are sourced from the most humane and responsible companies and that we are preparing them with as little manipulation and additives as possible,” said Gino Caliendo, general manager of the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive. “This new philosophy will be at the core of every food and beverage decision that we make. We are evolving the way we purchase and serve food. We believe it’s what our guests deserve and what our planet needs.”

This means different things to the people who eat at the Hyatt Hill Country. One is that executive chef Troy Knapp and his staff are sourcing local ingredients, including seafood and cage-free eggs as well as meats, vegetables and fruit. Another is reducing the amount of sodium and additives, while using natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar, instead of artificial ones.

The program is built on three points:

  • Healthy people, which is based on providing portion controlled offerings made with natural ingredients and healthful cooking techniques. Examples include reducing the hamburger size from 8 ounces to 7 ounces, mandating gluten free and vegetarian options on all menus, offering Stay Fit Cuisine menu items, and providing natural bacon, organic produce and hormone-free milk as menu options.
  • Healthy planet, which ensures sustainable purchasing and operational practices. At the Hyatt Hill Country, that means sourcing sustainable seafood, purchasing local game, utilizing an on-site chef’s garden and recycling programs that include turning wet waste to feed for local farmers.
  • Healthy communities, which is based on supporting local farmers markets and sharing knowledge at schools and community events.

Hyatt has also joined forces with Partnership for Healthier America, with a goal of improving the nutritional profile of its children’s menus.

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort has been involved with community efforts for years now, which helped it earn the first Excellence in Doing It All honor, which it shared with the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo in Brazil. The recognition was part of the Hyatt Thrive Leadership Awards.

The local resort was honored because it demonstrates a commitment to reducing its environmental impact and leads a community outreach program that works with organizations such as United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the San Antonio Food Bank, according to the award.

“Hyatt Regency Hill Country’s programs include a 19-year partnership with John Jay High School and Hands On Education, an on-site hospitality training program for adults with disabilities that resulted in many full time positions at the hotel,” it says. “Being part of a military town, the hotel has embraced all branches of the military with Operation Inspiration, an initiative that gives guests the opportunity to send messages of hope and appreciation to instillations across the world, Operation Caffeination, an outreach where the hotel collected premium coffee and shipped it to our men and women in uniform.

“Operation Paperback has been the most successful program to date, with more than 3,000 gently read books being donated by both employees and guests, then sorted, packed and shipped to all parts of the world, including the USS Carl Vinson. The Festival of Trees enables 10 local schools to compete for cash prizes, each school is given a pre-lit 9-foor tree and a $150 gift card with which to decorate the tree, votes are made in the form of canned food items, all which goes to the San Antonio Food Bank, the three schools who collect the most win cash for existing programs.

“Environmentally, the hotel has a clear action plan in place and has several impactful initiatives such as the upgrade of an irrigation control system that reduced energy and water consumption by more than 10 percent and ozone treatment in laundry, which is saving more than 20 percent in water and sewer costs, 30 percent in natural gas, and is reducing chemical use by more than 20 percent.”


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