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Posted on April 03, 2014

Chef Walter Staib“All inclusive” may be synonymous with “all-you-can eat, drink and do,” but recently some major resort brands have taken steps to make their culinary offerings as much about quality as quantity.

Recent initiatives from Sandals, Iberostar and others are aiming to show that all-inclusive resorts can offer top-notch meals, too.

At the beginning of last year, Sandals introduced its “Discovery Dining” program. While the brand has made a variety of international cuisines central to its offerings for years, the Discovery Dining initiative aims to elevate the existing menus to offer a more localized, personal take to the 140 restaurants throughout the brand’s 15 Caribbean resorts.

For example, instead of offering generic “Italian” cuisine, as it once had, each of Sandals’ Italian restaurant brands now specialize in a specific region of the country, incorporating its particular ingredients and culinary approach into the menu. Fine Italian restaurant Armando’s offers dishes from the Campania region, such as Spaghetti Puttanesca (with anchovies, olives and caper) or M’pepatella Di Cozze (mussels with parsley and lemon), in addition to an expansive anti-pasti bar.

“The whole idea is to extend what we do well and do it even better,” says Paul Bauer, group manager of F&B standards for Sandals Resorts.

Each restaurant also now has its own signature cocktail, such as the Rosemary Gin Fizz (gin, honey, lime juice, soda and rosemary) as well as a Manager’s List wine selection. Reflecting the brand’s Jamaican roots, it is also offering Appleton’s Rum at all its properties and Blue Mountain Coffee in all its rooms.

Read the rest at the New York Daily News.

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