The New Spa Food: How to Make Garden-to-Table Dishes
Castle Hot Springs’ meals are made using ingredients grown steps away from the kitchen in an experimental garden. Find out how to re-create some of these dishes at home.
Following agronomist Ian Beger around his experimental Arizona gardens feels like an enchanting tour of the vegetable version of Disneyland.
There’s edamame and soy beans bleached by the canyon sun, nearly 20 varieties of chilies (including heatless habaneros), Buddha’s hand citrus (also known as fingered citron), and a greenhouse bursting with 500 types of tomatoes, some of them his own homegrown hybrids.
“It’s like a playground out here,” says the lead agronomist at Castle Hot Springs wellness resort in Morristown, where a mezcal-focused agave field and a 220 fruit-tree orchard of white peaches, plums, apricots, apples, cherries, and more are also in process.
At the luxury getaway nestled near the base of the Bradshaw Mountains, where monarch butterflies and dragonflies dart around like an animation, meals are made using ingredients grown steps away from the kitchen. The resort’s chefs work with Beger and his team to put the “fresh” into farm-fresh dishes like soy-glazed tempura vegetables dressed with Fresno aioli—and made with sparkling spring water from the mineral hot spring just up the hill on the property—plus giardiniera, compressed melon, and more.
“The vegetables do the talking on 80% of our dishes,” quips John Amann, co-chef of the Harvest restaurant’s “hyper-farm-driven” menu that he hopes will “leave you thinking about what you just ate.”
More from this issue:
- How Seth Rogen Turned Meditative Practices into Houseplant’s Homewares
- Booze-Free Bars and Shops Are Finally Gaining Momentum in the West
- Warmer Weather Is Around the Corner: Your February and March Garden Checklist
- These Wellness Getaways Offer Next-Level Spots to Soak
- New Nostalgia Is on the Menu at Seattle’s Hottest Filipino Restaurant
Castle Hot Springs is one of many luxury spa resorts across the West that are abandoning a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of customized, holistic experiences. For those who can afford an escape to such an oasis, a wellness getaway can quite literally be whatever you need. You can spend days enjoying Amann’s meals in a secluded spot on the patio, or commune with fellow travelers over a mezcal and honey syrup cocktail with chamomile foam at the lobby bar. Spa treatments can be traditional, such as a tourmaline clay wrap in a creekside cabana, or totally touchless—think via ferrata climbs and meditative hikes meant to target stress and fatigue.
With an increased focus on mindfulness—what you put into your body is just as important as what you do with it—we asked the Castle Hot Springs team how to make some of their signature dishes at home, so you can bring the garden-fresh goodness right to your own table.