Taste and Place

Taste and Place

Hotels are unique storytelling hubs. They are defined by travel, but also by locality. Hotels are the first ports of call for the traveller to encounter first-hand new places, people, produce, cultures, tastes and techniques. And what better way to experience a visceral connection—a “taste of place”—than through food?

So Taste and Place: The Design Hotels Book is a food book with a difference. It takes the reader on a global journey with contributions from leading food writers, upcoming chefs and culinary innovators through examples of forward-looking ideas and inspirational practices. And all of this from a different perspective: a widening of the beam of focus to help show that if you pull on one string, you move all the others.

The book’s broad and inclusive embrace of food is richly illustrated with surprising examples found in and around selected Design Hotels™ locations. The stories in this volume go beyond the dish, the kitchen and the dining room. They explore the connectivity between food and locality, provenance, production, people, landscape and architecture from a holistic perspective. They are the binding agents for sharing new encounters with Design Hotels™’ readers, guests and hoteliers.

From regional terroir through the kitchen to the community, the stories gathered from special people behind the scenes, include tales and methods of self-production, social engagement, collaborative work practice, respect for cultures and ingredients, rethinking food waste and visionary big-picture hospitality.

From a big picture perspective, the mother and daughter team Sophie and Orlando Lovell of studio_lovell developed and edited this book for Design Hotels to encompass connective storytelling by respected writers, including LinYee Yuan, Gisela Williams, Ursula Heinzelmann and Nicholas Gill alongside newer talents such as Carla Bragagnini and Jake Potashnick. The journey through the chapters is designed to be a cyclical one of nourishment and renewal.

The themes are visually brought to life with specially commissioned photography from Marina Denisova, Vivek Vadoliya, Robbie Lawrence, Arnaud Montgard, Yuna Yagi, Stephanie Füssenich, Daniel Lober and Maureen Evans, with illustrations by Hanni Pannier. This book is a journey through food and culinary understanding from the terrain of Swiss and Japanese mountains and valleys, via the ancient island of Crete, Umbrian olive groves and the Oaxacan coast, dropping in on young kitchen teams in Ukraine and the Peloponnese along the way as well as exploring innovative practices in the Caribbean, Mexico and Indonesia.

How can we travel responsibly? How can we give back more than we take? As we look for ways to transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon world, the ecosystem of a hotel seen through the lens of food provides a perfect microcosm to better understand bigger system changes. With this book, we at Design Hotels™ reflect on what we bring to these processes in terms of the hospitality we support and want to see in the future.