How ‘The Perennial’ designed itself around preventing Climate Change

Though there is a deluge of innovative dining trends in 2016 — cricket flour, high-tech food delivery and poke (pronounced pok-eh) to name a few — here’s one that goes beyond the palate and extends to our future: saving the planet.

The Perennial is an audacious new “post agrarian,” sustainably designed restaurant in San Francisco that’s rethinking every aspect of traditional food service. It is sparking a larger conversation about food, its role in adding to climate change, and how restaurants can lead the charge toward reversing that devastating decline.

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Here are 7 innovative practices you’ll find at The Perennial and why other restaurants might soon be looking to follow in its tread.

 

1. Progressive Agrarian cuisine

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Forget “farm-to-table.” The Perennial is “table-to-farm,” which asks not what our natural resources can do for us, but what we can do for them. The menu showcases plant-centric starters such as sunflower caesar salad made with aquaponic lettuces , along with entrees such pastured beef with blistered broccoli leaves. Even the smaller portions of meat (four ounces versus the typical eight) is intentional.

 

2. Aquaponic greenhouses

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The restaurant’s 2,000-square-foot aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland not only supplies it with greens, herbs and eventually, sturgeon, catfish and clams; it also puts its waste to good use.

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Aquaponics is a symbiotic system in which plants are grown directly in water that gets its nutrients from fish waste. Kitchen scraps are composted by the greenhouse’s worms and larvae, which are then processed into feed to nourish the aquaculture. The fish waste is converted into fertilizer for the greenhouse plants that get served at the restaurant. And the cycle begins over again.

 

3. Carbon farming

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According to The Marin Carbon Project, as much as a third of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere results from poor farming management practices. The Perennial champions a new kind of climate-beneficial farming, known as carbon farming, in which cattle graze on rangeland planted with perennial grasses whose longer roots can sequester carbon beneath the soil longer.

In addition to sourcing from farmers and dairies who follow this practice, The Perennial partners with the Carbon Cycle Institute to design technologies and national policies that encourage more carbon stewardship.

Carbon stewardship refers to land management decisions that aim to reduce greenhouse gases and its role in climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that gets released in the air, through various means, including carbon offsets and sequestering.

 

4. The Kernza alternative

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You may not have heard of kernza yet, but this new perennial grain developed by The Land Institute in Kansas is a promising alternative to traditional wheat. Because it grows year round, the kernza plant is able to grow deeper roots that are more effective in storing carbon, fighting pests, preventing soil erosion and combating other problems associated with annual monoculture.

The Perennial employs kernza for its house bread and is the first restaurant in the world to use it on a large scale.

 

5. Energy-efficient kitchen appliances

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The kitchen is tricked out with high-tech innovations: a laser-activated smart vent hood that senses the air above the stoves and turns itself on and off as as needed; Turbo Pots lined with ridges to create heat sinks that boil water twice as fast as conventional pots; and eco-grip flooring made from 100% recycled material that doesn’t require being hosed down.

 

6. Cocktails for a smaller planet

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Beverage director Jennifer Colliau also follows the three Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle) behind the bar. Wine and pre-batched cocktails are stored on tap, cobbled ice replaces the more wasteful ice-cube machines, and straws are made from actual straw (as in, scarecrow straw). She also uses a water still to convert leftover garnishes such as citrus zest into hydrosols to give cocktails acidity, in lieu of freshly squeezed juice.

 

7. Sustainable design

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Nearly everything (bar, tables and chairs) was made from reclaimed lumber, and much of it was upcycled: Wood shavings from milling the posts were woven into the ceiling, and scraps from the dining room went to build raised beds at the greenhouse. Sustainability also extends to the tabletop. Recycled glass utensil holders cut down on silverware changes, and old menus (printed on 100% recycled paper) and cloth napkins are fed to the worms.

 

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Will all of these initiatives pan out? Probably not. But Myint and Leibowitz aren’t afraid to try to throw a bunch of sustainably sourced spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. You can be sure that other restaurateurs will be watching their every move. In the meantime, the experiment is proving to be a tasty one for diners.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Original post by Meesha Halm/MASHABLE

5 Oscar-nominated destinations to make your next trip a Winner

Over the span of two hours, a good movie can transport viewers not only to a different state of mind, but a completely different part of the world.

 

Just in time for the upcoming Academy Awards, here are five travel ideas inspired the locations of some of this year’s nominees.

 

1. New York City

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The Big Apple played backdrop to three vastly different Oscar-nominated films this year.

The Big Short covered the lead up to 2008’s financial crash on Wall StreetBrooklyn was a story of the immigrants in 1950s Brooklyn.

Head downtown to Wall Street for a peak at the financial world. Although the public can no longer visit the New York Stock Exchange, economics-minded visitors can take a “Financial Crisis Tour” to learn more about Wall Street. While downtown, be sure to check out Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement found its footing.

Brooklyn has undergone a complete transformation since the early 20th century, when it was a hotbed of immigrant communities. Fans of Brooklyn the movie can visit Coney Island to relive scenes from the film. The Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side recounts the story of Irish and Italian immigrants to New York and gives visitors a look at what life was like for them.

 

 

 

 

2. Copenhagen

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The Danish Girl is the story of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, and her former wife Gerda Wegener.

The film showcases the burgeoning art scene that was Copenhagen in the 1920s.

Visitors hoping to retrace the film can follow the city of Copenhagen’s guide to the filming locations, including Rainbow Square, which was renamed in 2014 in support of the LGBTQ community.

A pivotal scene of the movie takes place at a market in Nyhavn. Today the canal-front neighborhood is a bevy of outdoor restaurants and tourist boat tours.

Through May, the Arken Museum of Modern Art is showing a retrospective of Gerda Wegener’s paintings, many of which feature Lili Elbe.

 

3. Berlin

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In Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks plays a Cold War-era lawyer sent to Berlin to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Soviet Union.

Although Berlin has changed considerably and rebounded from its division, many Cold War sites remain.

Glienicke Bridge — the real-life Bridge of Spies — still stands. As one of the only places where Americans and Soviets met face-to-face, curious visitors can go relive both the movie and actual history.

Although the Berlin Wall — the physical manifestation of the Iron Curtain — fell in 1989, a part of the wall still stands, in memorial to those who died while the city was divided.

Another must-see stop on any Cold War inspired itinerary is the Gethsemane Church, where civil rights activists in East Berlin used to gather.

The city’s newest museum, the Spy Museum,  that — on top of being a definitive resource for Cold War era espionage — is interactive, offering visitors the chance to imagine themselves as spies.

 

4. Alberta

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Although the story behind The Revenant may make viewers want to completely avoid tundra conditions for the rest of their lives, the landscapes of Alberta, Canada, are beautiful enough to make anyone reconsider.

Most of the filming locations are actually pretty easy to visit. Kananaskis Country has campsites and hiking trails, and the desolate Badlands of Drumheller offer activities for those looking to test their survival skills like Leo DiCaprio. It’s also where Tom Hardy’s character, Fitzgerald, sees a shooting star.

At one point, filming had to be relocated down to the southernmost tip of Patagonia in Argentina. DiCaprio attributed the warm conditions to global warming, however this happens every year in Alberta due to a phenomenon called Chinooks.

 

5. Mojave Desert

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Mad Max: Fury Road is two hours of nonstop action, an unusual choice among Oscar-nominated films, but a welcome choice for adventure travelers. The film’s location of post-apocalyptic Australia was actually filmed in Namibia, but the Mojave Desert is a good stand-in.

Those seeking to replicate the film’s heart-thumping action can dirt bike or 4×4 through the desert. Zero1 Vegas offers extreme extreme tours, races and multi-day trips.

When the time comes to slow down, there’s horseback riding, hunting or even just settling in for a night of desert camping.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

 

Original post by Cailey Rizzo/MASHABLE

10 Unlikely places you haven’t been to, but must Visit in 2016

Start making your 2016 travel plans right now…

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A few years ago, a study in the Netherlands found that people who took vacations were most happy before a trip, but no happier than non-vacationers after a trip. Anticipation, the researchers suggested, was what had the biggest effect on happiness.

With that in mind, why not start planning your next trip right now?

January is one of the busiest times for travel planning. A new year is a reminder of everything you want to do with your life: It’s all hope and possibilities as the clock strikes midnight.

Don’t just say you want to travel more and expect to get to it some time in February or March or never. Get started planning. Now.

 

If this inspires you to travel anywhere — or even to plan a future trip — we’ve succeeded. But if you’re looking for something more specific, here are our 10 recommendations for where to go in 2016.

 

1. TOBAGO Trinidad and Tobago

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Tobago is the smaller island of the Caribbean duo, Trinidad and Tobago. The island’s history has been fraught since Christopher Columbus saw its shore in 1498, but after centuries of British rule Tobago is now autonomous under the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Though lying outside the hurricane belt, Tobago still has a defined wet season from July to November, making the best time to visit from December to June. And why should you visit? Gorgeous, sandy beaches along with diverse tropical forest are the perfect setting for relaxing, boating and surfing, hiking and touring, or scuba and snorkeling. And that’s to say nothing of Tobago’s rich multi-ethnic heritage on display year round.

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If you go

When to go: January to May

Approx. round-trip airfare: 1900 AED from Dubai, UAE to Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago

Must see: Pigeon Point Beach, a picturesque Caribbean spot


2. EL CALAFATE  Argentina

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Patagonia is tremendously large, covering more than 400,000 square miles across southern Chile and Argentina.

At that size, there’s little chance of fitting in all the sights in a single trip. For those of us who don’t have a couple months to backpack across South America, it is possible to fit in some amazing highlights in about 10 days. (Shorter than that and you’ll be spending as much time getting there as seeing the place.)

El Calafate is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, the largest national park in Argentina. Thirty percent of the park’s 2,800 square miles is covered in ice, and the crowning jewel is the Perito Moreno glacier.

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If you go

When to go: November to December, March to April

Approx. round-trip airfare: 11600 AED from Dubai, UAE to San Martin De Los Andes, Argentina

Must see: Perito Moreno Glacier, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park


3. ANDALUCÍA Spain

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Imagine a place where the light is always golden, where great wine and tasty appetizers are plentiful and cheap, and where gorgeous architecture comes with a rich multicultural history. Then see it firsthand — in the south of Spain.

In the past three years, this European country has seen strong growth in tourism, setting new records each year. The reasons are many: For one, a weaker euro and a not-so-hot Spanish economy make it a great value for foreign visitors. For another, the southern coast along the Mediterranean is a great option for travelers who would have previously headed to destinations now considered dangerous, like Egypt and Tunisia.

Each region of Spain is amazingly unique. In southern Spain, there isn’t just one city that should get all your attention, and so we’re thinking instead of an ideal Andalucían road trip: Córdoba to Sevilla to Cádiz to Málaga to Granada. And if you’re feeling inspired by the generous tapas, maybe make a second round (if you’ve got the means).

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If you go

When to go: October to November, April to May

Approx. round-trip airfare: 3800 AED from Dubai, UAE to Granada, Spain

Must see: The Alhambra, a hilltop palace and fortress, at sunset

 

 


4. CHENGDU China

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Chengdu has two claims to fame: The Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and the amazing food characterized by Sichuan spice.

With a population of more than 4.3 million, the city is already a popular destination for domestic Chinese tourists while foreign tourism still has a ton of room to grow. This bustling metropolis offers visitors a taste of history with which the West can’t even compete. Chengdu has been an important cultural center for civilization going back 4,000 years.

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You’ve probably seen photos from the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding — that’s where so many of those adorable panda cubs are born. The base is a bit of a trek from the city, but seeing the pandas is a must.

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If you go

When to go: April, October to November

Approx. round-trip airfare: 2300 AED from Dubai, UAE to Chengdu, China

Must see: The pandas

 

 


5. SPLIT Croatia

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Split, Croatia’s second largest city, has at its center Diocletian’s Palace, built by the Roman emperor in the fourth century. Surrounding the palace is a seaside city that is only going to get more popular with visitors. The vibrant blues of the Adriatic Sea and red-roofed architecture are too inviting to ignore.

The architectural marvel of a city center is also surrounded by the lovely Croatian climate; a day hike or boat trip to a quiet beach should definitely be on the itinerary.

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If you go

When to go: April to September

Approx. round-trip airfare:2700 AED from Dubai, UAE to Split, Croatia

Must see: Diocletian’s Palace, built by the Roman emperor

 

 


 

6. SKYE & LOCHALSH Scotland

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The Scottish Highlands are getting attention for an unexpected new attraction: A highway route circling the northern part of Scotland called North Coast 500 is the north Atlantic version of U.S. Route 66, except with castles instead of the world’s largest ball of twine.

Skye & Lochalsh, on the western coast of northern Scotland, is just part of the route circling the Highlands, but a great one.

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If you go

When to go: May to September

Approx. round-trip airfare: 4900 AED from Dubai, UAE to Inverness, United Kingdom

Must see: Eilean Donan castle, built in the 13th century


7. MAFIA ISLAND Tanzania

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Mafia Island is a hopper flight from Dar es Salaam, making it remote but akin to the Island of Sal in Cape Verde, another distant paradise that makes a point of rewarding a long journey.

Located in the Indian Ocean, what stands out about this destination — aside from the sparsely populated beaches — is the amazing underwater life on display to snorkelers and scuba divers.

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If you go

When to go: Year round

Approx. round-trip airfare: 1300 AED from Dubai, UAE to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Must see: What’s in the sea. Scuba divers will be in heaven.


8. SAVANNAH Georgia, USA

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Savannah, a beautiful southern coastal city in the state of Georgia, is all about American history.

British General James Oglethorpe, along with 114 men, women and children, arrived in what is now Savannah in 1733 aboard a galley ship, “Anne.” He was looking for a place to resettle poor people from Britain who had been held in debtors’ prison, and founded Georgia — named after King George II — for that purpose.

In the almost 300 years since then, Savannah has had more than its fair share of triumphs and failures. Oglethorpe formed alliances with Native Americans, but colonists brought with them conflict and disease. The economic successes of the region throughout the 18th and 19th centuries were built on slave labor.

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If you go

When to go: September to November, March to June

Approx. round-trip airfare: 4800 AED from Dubai, UAE to Savannah, USA

Must see: Bonaventure Cemetery, a hauntingly beautiful final resting place on a bluff above the city


9. KAKADU National Park Australia

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If Kakadu National Park looks familiar, that would be because of a little movie called “Crocodile Dundee,” which changed Australia’s international image exactly 30 years ago.

Part of the film was shot in the park, which was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1981, and has become synonymous with the Australian outback for many foreigners who have never set foot on the continent.

Kakadu is located in the Northern Territory, a couple hours’ drive east of the city of Darwin. The park is described as a “living cultural landscape” because the traditional owners, the Bininj/Mungguy, have lived on and cared for this gorgeous landscape for millennia.

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If you go

When to go: May to October

Approx. round-trip airfare: 7500 AED from Dubai, UAE to Darwin, Australia

Must see: The ancient rock art at Nourlangie


10. SVALBARD Norway

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Svalbard isn’t just fun to say. (But it is fun to say. Say it! Sval – bard!) The frigid island is also an otherworldly destination for people who would rather wear a snowsuit than a swimsuit on their next vacation.

Located above the Arctic Circle, Svalbard is part of Norway. The region around the island is home to an estimated 3,000 polar bears — a few hundred more than there are people on Svalbard.

Like most far-flung destinations, Svalbard is not cheap. This is no budget holiday; there will be no bargain deals to swim with the polar bears. So if bundling up to go out in sub-sub-zero temperatures to see breathtaking natural landscapes is your thing, you should probably start budgeting.

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If you go

When to go: November to February for Aurora Borealis, May to September for outdoor activities and polar bears

Approx. round-trip airfare: 5200 AED from Dubai, UAE to Longyearbyen Norway

Must see: A polar bear (from a safe distance)

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Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

ORIGINAL BLOG BY Jessica Plautz/MASHABLE

Brilliant Stories feat. ANIOKE from the Housekeeping Department

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Anioke was cleaning one of the rooms on Thursday and coincidentally it was the guest’s birthday and while having conversation with the said guest, they realized that couple of days later was his son’s birthday as well, so Anioke took it upon him and made a personalized Birthday card and a cake together for father and son.

Now, Anioke being a Nigerian himself had the brilliant idea of writing the wishes on the Birthday card in their local language “Igbo”. The guest was moved by this wonderful gesture as it was quite emotional for him and was unable find words to express his immense happiness and was very grateful to Anioke.

The guest said didn’t expect that the hotel staff would go above and beyond their duty to do something like this.

The Birthday wishes in Igbo Language:

Igbo Letter

The English Translation:

Mr. U,

A very good morning to you, we are very happy you are in our midst, this day. We want to seize the opportunity to say a happy birthday to you and your son on this memorable occasion.

We are sure your stay with us will be a remarkable one.

Do not hesitate to let us know of any other thing you may need by dialing ‘0’ from the phone in your room.

Brilliant Stories feat. MOUSTAFA from Housekeeping Dept.

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Our guest Mr. Alaa who is staying with his family in 2506 decided to stay in Dubai for Ramadan, and he mentioned that to Mustafa while they were having a discussion about the Holy month. So, Mustafa provided the guest with few dates along with small bottles of water. He then offered the guest to show him the prayer rooms which are on the 6th floor of the hotel.

He provided him the directions to the mosque closest to the hotel, situated on the Marina Walk and explained to him about the offers that we have for Iftar in The Observatory Restaurant so they could enjoy the Sunset Specials set menu with special prices. He further informed the guest that he could order from Room Service as well since we have special Iftar and Suhoor Menu with extensive traditional Arabic options.

The guest was extremely delighted and thankful for the information provided by Mustafa and he even invited him to have Iftar with them on that day itself.

Marriott Guest Services App

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Nearly 80% of all travellers carry a Smartphone or a tablet.

So, the services we offer at our hotel have evolved as well and now our guests can book rooms and check-in from an App; track their gym workout from an App and pretty soon we’ll be launching a Guest Services App so that our Guests can talk to us in Real-time.

Seafood Night at The Observatory

Seafood Night at The Observatory

Have you heard about The Salmon of Knowledge ?

An Irish legend tells of a Salmon that possessed great wisdom and ability. The first person to eat of its flesh would in turn gain this divinatory powers.

Join us at The Observatory tomorrow for the Seafood Night and find out for yourself if the legend still holds true.