Monday, March 18, 2019

#GoGreenGoGrand: Grand Hyatt Manila Goes Green in Grand Style

Going green has never been this grand. Then again, you just don't expect anything less from Grand Hyatt Manila...

Grand Hyatt Manila goes green with the introduction of flavorful and mouthwatering plant-based dishes allowing guests to have a say in their health and wellness, environmental impact and sustainability efforts. It's a timely advocacy, with the effects of global warming and the current water crisis a sign of the times. But going green or opting for healthier plant-based options doesn't have to be bland or boring. At the launch of Grand Hyatt Manila's Green Monday initiative, savory plant-based dishes were served in a sneak preview of refreshingly flavorful creations that's not only good for the environment, but good for you too. Go green, and go Grand Hyatt Manila.

At the launch, Grand Hyatt Manila's Executive Chef Mark Hagan is joined by program partners Claudia Rose Mendez and Christian Schmidradner from Pristine Solutions, a leading pioneer in sustainable supply chains, services and products. "Making healthier choices easier for our guests is one thing, but add to that actually serving up choices that took into consideration your health, environmental impact, and sustainability is really going beyond just enjoying good food and enjoying food that is actually good for you. We are rolling out Green Mondays first and then gradually introducing more plant-based choices and expanding it into our six other restaurants," explained Grand Hyatt Manila's Executive Chef Mark Hagan. Starting with The Grand Kitchen (more on the The Grand Kitchen on my earlier post, #LivingGrand: A Christmas Cake Mixing Preview and a Sumptuous Buffet Lunch at The Grand Kitchen of Grand Hyatt Manila), Grand Hyatt Manila plans to eventually implement the Green Monday initiative to its six other restaurant concepts including No. 8 China House, The Cellar, The Lounge, Pool House, Florentine and The Peak.    

But offering healthier choices is just one aspect of Grand Hyatt Manila's renewed advocacy on the environment. "We strive to do our part in the hotel by adopting practices such as replacing plastic straws, collecting items that can be donated and repurposed like our Nespresso cups, collecting used coffee beans as fertilizer, or encouraging our guests to bring their own tumbler for their own coffee in our pastry shop, but we wanted to take it a step further with Green Monday," shared Executive Chef Mark Hagan. "We have been fortunate to also find a partner in Pristine Solutions who is the exclusive distributor of Green Mondays in the Philippines."

Christian Schmidradner has long been an advocate for sustainable seafood, and the Green Monday initiative is a logical extension of his own personal philosophy taken to a much larger scale with Pristine Solutions. Taking the lead in the Philippine Sustainability movement, Pristine Solutions aims to offer creative solutions to transform businesses and impact livelihoods. Recent articles from CNN, BBC, Time and The Guardian reports that the planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change. It's about managing our dwindling resources and reducing the much-talked about carbon footprint. The livestock industry emits more greenhouse gas than the transport sector, and Bill Gates even declared "if cattle were a country, they would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas." Reducing our meat consumption, apparently, is not only good for you but the planet as well. The signs are there and all around us, and there's no better time to start than now. 

Green Monday is a global movement started by Green Common, the partner and distributor to many global brands focusing on plant-based all-natural food products. Taking its cue from the current state of the environment, Green Common aims to be the global change maker for sustainable common good. And change begins with a few simple steps. At Grand Hyatt Manila, it begins with a few tasty bites. But the real test is in the tasting. Meat or myth? Guests were invited to sample the new dishes in a blind taste test... Grand Hyatt Manila's chefs served their new culinary creations using plant-based products. 

Noticeably surprised, the guests could hardly believe the burgers were anything but beef. It's one of those flavorful twists that make Grand Hyatt Manila's Green Monday initiative such a treat and a unique dining experience. 

As the guests enjoyed even more tasty bites, Grand Hyatt Manila had one more surprise... the massive wall slowly rises... reveal the kitchen. In true Grand Hyatt Manila style, the launch of Green Monday and the hotel's green initiative is off to a grand start. The ballroom at Grand Hyatt Manila is the only one of its kind with a fully-equipped open kitchen, and that alone is impressive enough (for more on Grand Hyatt Manila's grand ballroom, see my earlier posts, Scenes from The Kitchen: The Good Taste Series 2018 at The Grand Hyatt Manila and #LivingGrand: A Christmas Cake Mixing Preview and a Sumptuous Buffet Lunch at The Grand Kitchen of Grand Hyatt Manila).

As the smoke cleared, chefs fired up their stations for the sumptuous feast ahead...

...and the kitchen became the stage for Grand Hyatt Manila's epic green feast. Like many of the guests that day, I was curious, even excited, to try the new plant-based dishes. Beef and pork dishes made with plant-based products? Game on. 

The different stations served an impressive array of savory dishes. Fresh from the grill, Grand Hyatt Manila served their Spicy Miso Burger, Basil Curry Burger, and BBQ Cheeseburger along with sausages like Tokyo Dog, Curry Dog and Chili Cheesedog paired with Sweet Potato Chips, Shoestring Potatoes, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Shiitake Tempura, and French Fries. Tasty condiments included Vegan Aioli, Gochujang Aioli, Ketchup, Mustard, Wasabi, Aioli, BBQ Sauce and Organic Heirloom Tomato Salsa. That's some pretty serious fixins to complement your burgers and hot dogs.

At the Steam Station, guests sampled the tasty Charsiu Omni Pork Bun and Mapo Tofu with Bok Choy, while the Asian Station offered Nasi Lemak made with vegetarian ingredients. The wide variety of plant-based dishes dishes was impressive, and guests can look forward to Green Mondays as a healthier yet flavorful dining option at Grand Hyatt Manila.

Executive Chef Mark Hagan made the rounds of the different stations, talking to guests and explaining the different plant-based dishes. Each tasty dish was prepared with the masterful and meticulous style many expect from the Grand Hyatt Manila...

...and that day, guests at the exclusive preview experienced that and more. The Grill Station seemed to be the more popular section at the open kitchen. And why not. There's just nothing quite like thick and juicy burger patties and sausages on the grill. But these aren't your usual burgers and sausages...

...these burgers and sausages are from Beyond Meat, a privately-held company on the cutting edge of plant protein research. The company aims to initiate the shift from animal to plant-based meat to address growing concerns on human health, climate change, dwindling natural resources and animal welfare.

Beyond Meat, whose investors include Bill Gates and Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, has one mission, to create the future of protein with delicious plant-based burgers, sausages, crumbles and more all made directly from simple plant-based ingredients (find out more on their website here at

The Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat is the world's first plant-based burger that "looks, cooks and satisfies like beef" without the gluten, soy or GMO's. One bite, and your palate is draped with a juicy richness just like a normal beef burger. The texture and bite also recreates that burger experience, bursting with bold flavors. Hard to believe this is plant-based, and I can have this all day. I didn't miss the flavor of beef at all. 

Like the Beyond Burger, the Beyond Sausage approximates the flavors of the traditional pork sausage, all without the soy, gluten and GMOs. From the refreshing snap accompanying each bite to the smoky and savory flavors, you really can't tell that it's plant-based. The flavors, mouthfeel and texture are all there, just like a pork sausage. But so much better and healthier. The Green Monday initiative also features other plant based products, like Omni Pork by Right Treat made from peas, non GMO soy, shiitake mushrooms and rice.

Current technology just makes these products taste so much better, and taking a second look and that first bite is way easier now. Imagine this. You can indulge in your favorite burger draped with smoky BBQ sauce topped with cheese, coleslaw, crisp onion rings and jalapenos or a chili cheesedog smothered with spicy gochujang aioli, chili, grated cheese and jalapenos, but without the guilt. That's right. Anti-biotic free, hormone-free, high in protein, no soy, gluten-free, and absolutely no GMOs. And zero cholesterol. Now that makes it worth a try, don't you think?

But to initiate real change, one has to accept that there are other options that are just as tasty and flavorful as your traditional favorites. Green Mondays at Grand Hyatt Manila allows you to experience all these tasty and healthier options. But there's more. At the Asian Station, chefs whip up another plate of Nasi Lemak...

...with all the traditional components made from plant-based ingredients. Crisp deep-fried anchovies replaced by crunchy and richly seasoned banana peels and spicy sambal made from jackfruit, all the comfortingly familiar flavors you love are recreated in an inspired dish.  

The Mapo Tofu with Bok Choy delivered fresh and clean notes with just a hint of soothing heat. The Chasiu Omni Pork Bun is another absolute must-try.

But you're drawn back to those burgers and sausages... convince you once more there's absolutely no beef and pork, just plant-based products.

One more bite, and still you can't quite grasp the thought this is vegan. 

I go for just the patty, topped with onion rings and drizzled with BBQ sauce. And it's seriously good. I won't be going full-on vegan anytime soon, but these burgers and sausages should make it a whole lot easier. 

After an epic vegan feast, a freshly brewed cup of Itogon Coffee completes the experience at Grand Hyatt Manila. Starting April, guests of Grand Hyatt Manila can make their way to The Grand Kitchen for Green Monday when a section of the premier a la minute buffet will be decked out with sumptuous vegan and vegetarian options. And if you can't go on a Monday, no worries. Grand Hyatt Manila's station chefs at the Grill Section can easily flip plant-based patties for your healthy burger in minutes. Going green was never this easy. Or grand. Thinking of going green? You can, at Grand Hyatt Manila...

For more on Grand Hyatt Manila's innovative and timely Green Mondays initiative, call +632 838-1234 or email for inquiries and reservations. For updates on activities and offers, follow Grand Hyatt Manila at and

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