Belcampo Belize is hopefully the future how to construct and maintain a sustainable lodge for tourists to visit, with an uncompromising consideration of Mother Nature. The concept of both having a fully operational ecological farm and a lodge works impeccably. The Patron of the property, the American business man Todd Robinson, and his Chief Executive Officer, Anya Fernald, have set out a course of turning a smaller number of properties into top notch genuine ecological experiences both for agritourism, but also for their farms. The Belcampo Belize property and its signature restaurant Jungle Farm Kitchen show us how a sustainable thinking with delicious food looks like – and it is here to stay.
Belcampo Belize’s General Manager Mara Jernigan is certainly not sitting behind a fancy desk in an office somewhere on the property, no, she is all over the place fixing and taking care of the zillions of things needed to be handled. She used to be in the kitchen as well and is a good cook, but the kitchen is nowadays headed by Chef and Culinary Director Renée Everett.
Chef Renée Everett comes from the United States and she obtained her degree in Culinary Arts from the Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. She has worked at several Chicago-based restaurants, mostly for the Gibson’s Restaurant Group which has several restaurants. While in Chicago, Renée started her own company GF2 (Great Food, Gluten-Free) and developed a line of gluten-free cookie dough which is a good example of her aware style and mission to teach people that a healthy lifestyle does not have to be boring. Chef Renée attended a season of a reality television cooking show called The Taste and there she was discovered by celebrity Chef Ludo Lefebvre who offered her an appointment at his new restaurant Trois Mec in Los Angeles. Renée moved to Los Angeles and worked side by side with Chef Lefebvre before she took on the challenging job of being the Chef at Jungle Farm Kitchen in Belize.
Belcampo Belize proves that terroir does not apply just to wine. With an uncompromising sustainable thinking the property is becoming self-sufficient. Chickens and pigs are raised, vegetables and herbs are produced in a three-acre kitchen garden, even cane is raised to produce rum, and rosewood is harvested from Belcampo’s own jungle to craft the furniture in the dining room.
A typical dinner at Jungle Farm Kitchen can start with a Belcampo rainforest harvested heart of Cohune palm salad with compressed watermelon and fresh Queso Fresco. A fresh and light starter, to be continued with a main dish like Belcampo farm pasture raised chicken with orange ginger sauce and herbed Cho Cho. The flavours are spot-on and you can really experience that whatever you have is harvested, hunted or caught just a few metres from your table.
Belcampo Belize and its Jungle Farm Kitchen come with our best recommendations. This is a place to be experienced and should be used as an example of how we all should think and proceed for a fully sustainable future.
Written by Andy