OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Throughout more than 100 picturesque acres at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort, you will find beautiful greens, wildlife and more than a half million busy sous chefs.
Bees - and lots of them – busily prepare one of Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry’s favorite ingredients: Honey.
There are two yards of hives that contain 60,000 bees. It is a hobby Chef Sean started on his own six years ago and just brought to the hotel this year.
It is farm to table on a whole new level. Not only is honey front and center on the chef’s menu, the bees have the veggies booming too.
“They pollinate,” Chef Sean says. “We have 100-plus acres out here and they pollinate everything. We’re seeing flowers pop up all over. The garden is plush and that has a lot to do with them naturally pollinating and taking it from one plant to another to another.”
Chef Sean is replacing processed sugar with honey in any dish he can. Things like homemade granola parfaits, smoothies with honey and fruit from the garden and a regional cheese plate with honey comb.
Menus are planned seasonally and eventually sourced 50 percent on site 50 percent local.