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JA Manafaru unveils ‘Wellness Your Way’ dining experience on World Food Day – Hotelier Maldives

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Following on from last month’s announcement that the island was bestowed the Maldives ‘Best Culinary Resort 2023’ awarded by Travel Trade Maldives, JA Manafaru has marked the international celebration of ‘World Food Day’ on October 16th 2023, with the launch of ‘Wellness Your Way’ – a lifestyle dining alternative focused on luxury traveller wellbeing.

Attended by members of the travel media, agents and island guests, JA Manafaru hosted a beach front food festival dedicated to different eating lifestyles. Launch party guests sampled an array of entrée and mains courses devoted to a variety of dietary lifestyles, with the highlight of the evening being the wide selection of desserts that caters to those who would normally miss out on enjoying a sweet treat.

To mark the launch, UK-based celebrity Chef Luke French of Joro Restaurant flew in for the event to share his expertise in the kitchen. Luke is visiting JA Manafaru to assist with the introduction of other ‘Wellness Your Way’ initiatives, primarily training the culinary team in fermenting procedures with the goal to creating Homemade@JA Manafaru soy sauce, miso and other fermented products. These will work alongside the island’s new Wellness Beverage program, with homemade Kombucha and more.

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Each of the island’s six dining outlets, as well as In Villa Dining, will offer separate menus for a variety of eating lifestyles. Whether guests follow a vegan/vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free or low carb lifestyle, they can turn to their menu pages and order with confidence from a wide variety of dishes made from specially sourced ingredients including homegrown fruit and vegetables.

Taking this closer look at healthier options, the culinary team led by Executive Chef Moosa Nazeeh has devised innovative approaches to replicate guests’ favourite dishes to ensure that full menus are available for all guests to choose from.

As part of the initiative, the island will offer a variety of plant-based meat, cheese and seafood as well as homemade low carb bread and even pasta made from konjac. Executive Chef Moosa and his team have been experimenting to create delectable vegan “buffalo” mozzarella as well as sugar and low carb nut brownies.

Chef Moosa comments, “Being recognised as the ‘Best Culinary Resort’ here in the Maldives is no mean feat, and the team are continually seeking new innovative challenges in the kitchen to create an even greater guest dining experience.  By changing one to two ingredients, we can rethink dishes to suit more of our guests and appeal to a new audience of lifestyle-conscious discerning diners. We have been thrilled to learn and test our knowledge in building these bespoke menus”.

The ‘World Food Day’ event marked the launch of the entire ‘Wellness Your Way’ initiative which will also include a new ‘Alchemy Bar’ located at Calm Spa Sanctuary, where guests can attend workshops to make herbal remedies and participate in short wellness programs to incorporate into their Maldives vacation.

General Manager Jason Kruse concluded, “Although guest wellness is a focus at JA Manafaru, and our stunning spa experience can only be described as a soulful sanctuary, we do not intend to become a pure wellness destination. ‘Wellness Your Way’ is a way of offering our guests more choices to enhance their vacation with wellness elements. It is vital that guests who come to our island feel equally comfortable to one day eat salad and work out, and the next day enjoy a seven-course wine degustation in our subterranean wine cellar”.

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