A change is growing just west of the CBD. Hidden behind corrugated iron gates is a Narnia-like garden of organic kale, spinach, beans, herbs and baby apple trees. The garden is the Hilton Hotel’s.
The veggie patch sits in a space between the Hilton car park and the adjoining bottle shop. “The land wasn’t being used so I pitched the idea for the Hilton Harvest Garden,” says Elisa Franzon, marketing manager and one of three leading the project. In partnership with Nick Thwaites (Productive Garden Co) and head chef Jim Colley, Franzon is working to grow organic produce for the restaurant menu.
“After reading The Third Plate by Dan Barber, who is a chef turned author, I got to thinking, ‘What could we do better here?’", Franzon says. “That was really a big inspiration.”
The plot is already in use but come October there will be enough produce to supplement the kitchen on a larger scale. Currently diners should look out for the “Hilton Harvest dish” which uses at least one garden-plucked item. Previous dishes have included homegrown kale and spinach.
Another initiative is a new take on the classic pub meat tray. Franzon has replaced the standard array of animal proteins with a box of fresh fruit and veg sourced from The Adelaide Central Market. The goal is to eventually fill boxes with produce straight from their own patch of dirt.