Monday, 26 August 2013

From the Philippines to The Manor, The Farm Experience Comes to Delhi

By Sourish Bhattacharyya
THE FARM is two hours from downtown Manila, but it’ll soon be half-an-hour (if and only if it is not raining, and Delhi isn’t paralysed!) from downtown Saddi Dilli. The award-winning spa resort, owned by Avalon Resorts CMD and BITS Pilani Civil Engineering alumnus Naresh Khattar in a part of the Philippines that seems straight out of paradise, has tied up with The Manor, the boutique hotel at Friends Colony (West), which is best known for its celebrated restaurant, Indian Accent.
Come November and we’ll see the members-only Salus Per Aquam, The Farm’s much-celebrated spa famous for its colon hydrotherapy and sea salt scrubs, open at the back of The Manor, a hop-skip-and-jump away from Indian Accent. Back in the Philippines, The Farm operates out of a 48-hectare coconut plantation and it has its own waterfall, lagoon, organic garden and a menagerie of free-floating animals.
The Farm's Alive! restaurant celebrates the power of raw,
vegan, organically produced food picked daily from the
adjacent vegetable garden.
Image courtesy of www.thefarmatsanbenito.com
At its Alive! vegan restaurant, organic is the buzzword and raw food is elevated to a new level of finesse; even the water is treated with herbs picked fresh daily from the vegetable garden. Food is not exposed to fire; instead, it is cooked on very low heat to maintain the nutritional integrity of the ingredients. In the words of The Farm’s website (www.thefarmatsanbenito.com): “We use specially designed dehydrators instead of cooking to give raw foods a variety of textures resembling cooked foods, without destroying the nutritional properties and enzymes of the foods. We serve warm soups rather than cooked hot soups in order to preserve the valuable nutritional building blocks the body needs to continuously rebuild and renew itself, thus slowing the aging process and giving you energy and vitality.”
Not surprisingly, the owner of The Kirana Shop at Mehar Chand Market, Ragini Mehra, can’t just stop talking about the food at The Farm. “Raw food has never tasted better,” she says, and recommends that we buy a copy of Raw!, The Farm’s cookbook teeming with ideas for wholesome vegan meals. Indian Accent’s star chef Manish Mehrotra has spent some time at The Farm’s kitchen to pick up ideas for dishes that he can introduce here. This winter, we are in for a vegan treat.