Sustainable Dining

By April 18, 2019 May 7th, 2019 Flavours from the Island, Nature

The essence of North Island is the eco-sensitive utilisation of a precious natural treasure. From our ‘Noah’s Ark’ rehabilitation programme right through to our food offering, sustainability lies at the very heart of our philosophy and is carefully considered in everything we do.

We strive to make an environmental impact by promoting local ingredients and dishes on our menus. Our aim is to be 70% sustainable in our food offering by adhering to the concept of ‘ocean to table’ in combination with ingredients foraged from the vegetable garden and the island itself.

Anton RautenbachExecutive Chef

North Island has long been renowned for its fertility and the rich fishing grounds in which it’s nestled. The Kitchen draws upon these exceptional natural resources to offer our guests a truly unique and sustainable dining experience. Our chefs have the luxury of working with the freshest island ingredients, where they make use of the latest catch from the sea as well as organic vegetables and herbs harvested from the garden to design a menu of chef’s suggestions that changes on a daily basis.

As a remote private island, sourcing as locally as possible not only results in a creative and flavourful offering that is consistently varied, but also reduces our environmental footprint.  Fish on our menus is sustainably caught by our chefs and Activities Centre crew, straight from North Island’s waters. Our Marine Code of Conduct abides by a stringent fishing policy that goes beyond national laws, outlining catch limits, minimum sizes and mass as well as catch-and-release regulations to protect vulnerable species.

The environment lies in fragile balance. It is not a bottomless resource. A prime example of the importance of preservation is our aquifer, a reliable source of fresh water that supports the island’s remarkable biodiversity. The Environment team carefully monitors the levels of water extracted from the aquifer on a daily basis to prevent saltwater intrusion – if there is insufficient rainfall or too much water is withdrawn, the aquifer will become contaminated with salt, rendering it unusable for drinking and cooking.

Furthermore, sustainability is not only about how precious ingredients are used, but also how they are disposed. Kitchen waste is separated into compostable waste (raw food offcuts suitable for compost) and incinerator waste (cooked food scraps) handled on North Island, and all inorganic waste gets separated into categories such as glass, plastic, paper and metals and sent to the mainland of Mahé for recycling.

With the goal of becoming a private island free of single-use plastics, North Island banned plastic straws and only offer eco-friendly alternatives in public areas. Similarly, compostable containers are used for activities around the island such as fishing trips. Reusable glass water bottles are used in our Vivreau bottling station and a glass straw is given to every guest to use on the island and take home, in the hope of spreading sustainability further afield.