With gastronomic excellence a must for many traveling on luxury holidays (and why shouldn’t it be!), experiences centered around dining are playing more of a role when choosing a resort destination to unwind at. With pioneering Executive Chef Steven Hill at its helm, home-grown resort Coco Bodu Hithi in the Maldives is making waves with its cutting-edge delicacies
Whether it be artisanal cooking, traceability, or a holistic movement towards trendier ingredients, global food trends make an impact on everyone’s lives, perhaps even more so on far-away island paradises where the spotlight is placed on food and general indulgence.
Coco Collection’s portfolio comprises three distinct brands, Coco Resorts : Retreats, Coco Palm and Coco Privé. The Coco Resorts : Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi Maldives; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious escape Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Maldives; and Coco Privé consists of the private and exclusive Coco Privé Private Island Maldives. Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are both members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, representing the finest and most diverse global portfolio of independent hotel and resort experiences.
Speaking about how he and his team are embracing guests’ enthusiasm for top quality food, Chef Steve says, “We have lots of foodies that visit Coco Bodu Hithi; their main interest is in the cuisine along with the overall experience of dining, from surroundings, to service to table settings. We go local where we can but where we can’t, fly in the finest ingredients from all over the world. We change menus regularly, taking inspiration from our local know-how and international flair, and offer a truly gourmet experience guests will be hard pressed to find elsewhere.”
Being able to tailor a guests’ culinary journey is what makes the island stand apart, Hill adds: “The food scene in the Maldives is massive and our clientele expect nothing but the best. They are here for quality cooking, great products and for an overall brilliant gastronomic experience. Our guests are not only from Europe and the West, but from the Middle East, India and China – we have to be able to adapt to their taste as well in order to give them the best experience and a well-rounded offering for all.”
Coco Bodu Hithi has recently taken to the realm of molecular gastronomy, creating unique ‘wow factor’ dishes using a scientific approach to cooking. A stand-out dish at the resort is the Popping Boba, Lemon Foam and Squid Ink Tuiles. “Molecular gastronomy is about opening up the mind about food. It is a careful fusion of elements, ingredients and flavours that create something extraordinary and beautiful,” says Chef Steve.
The island’s commitment to culinary arts is clear, having recently hosted Tom Kitchin, Scotland’s youngest Michelin starred chef. Coco Bodu Hithi has also hosted other pioneering chefs such as Philipp Stein, the youngest Michelin-starred chef in Germany and Michelin starred chef Frédéric Doucet of celebrated Restaurant Frédéric Doucet amongst others, and often have interesting and inspiring pop-up kitchens on the island.
Bodu Hithi will soon be serving up an all-organic menu, a special wellness menu to Spa guests, and even its own label of French Caviar, including three varieties: Oscietra Caviar, Beluga Caviar and Sevruga Caviar.
“We push boundaries every day. To stand still in the world of fine dining is to cease to inspire – being in a kitchen is about an endless quest for inspiration and expressing passion on a plate. At Coco Bodu Hithi this is what we do across all of our restaurants, we put passion on a plate,” says Hill.