The newly renovated space offers an inviting atmosphere where guests can take a refreshment break from their Aquarium tour while learning about earth-friendly food practices. It doubles as a special event space.
BALTIMORE, USA Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Visitors to the National Aquarium can make even more of their experience thanks to the opening of the Harbor Market Kitchen, a newly renovated dining experience offering fresh, local fare that is in perfect harmony with the Aquarium’s green business practices and conservation education mission. Using sustainable and local products including seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, humanely raised chicken, sustainably-harvested seafood and shade-grown coffee, the Harbor Market Kitchen is an extension of a visit to the National Aquarium and operated by Sodexo Leisure, a premier food provider to cultural destinations around the world.
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The Aquarium’s main cafe had seen the wear and tear of more than 1.4 million visitors per year since it opened in 2005. The newly renovated space offers an inviting atmosphere where guests can take a refreshment break from their Aquarium tour while learning about earth-friendly food practices.
“We took the opportunity not only to renovate the space, but also use our cafe as another avenue to help our visitors make thoughtful choices about the planet in their daily lives,” said the National Aquarium’s Senior Director of Visitor Experiences Bill Minarik. “The concept complements the sustainable business choices we make throughout Aquarium operations, and helps visitors do the same in their daily lives.”
The menu at the Harbor Market Kitchen was modeled from local farmers markets and offers wholesome, farm-to-table preparations showcasing that the food is farmed, not manufactured.
“Harbor Market Kitchen’s menus are designed to feature the seasonal ingredients and celebrate the farmer – profiling the bounty that Baltimore has to offer in one of its most notable landmarks,” says Sodexo Leisure’s National Director of Culinary Development Chazz Alberti. “Harbor Market Kitchen is relaxed enough for families during the day, transforming itself in the evening into a backdrop for celebrations and events.”
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Harbor Kitchen Market renovations also include composting stations that return valuable nutrients back to the soil and reduce our impact on the earth. The restaurant utilizes recycled, compostable materials, and offers alternatives to non biodegradable waste whenever possible such as sustainably harvested bamboo plates and bowls along with compostable potato based fork, knives and spoons.
Finally, visitors will enjoy an upscale, relaxing dining experience with a choice of seating at high stools or traditional tables, set in a backdrop of ocean-themed colors.
Sodexo’s Leisure team is a premier provider to cultural destinations around the world, including supporting the missions of many cultural institutions in the U.S. including the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and Dallas Museum of Art.
About the National Aquarium
The National Aquarium is globally engaged in aquatic conservation from Chesapeake Bay to Costa Rica; a world-class entertainment attraction with engaging exhibits; committed to education with programs that connect children with the aquatic environment; a sought-after partner with alliances around the world; and the #1 tourist attraction in Maryland and unique in Washington, DC, with more than 16,000 animals in its living collections.
The National Aquarium Institute is a nationally recognized and respected conservation organization comprised of venues in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC, the National Aquarium Foundation, the Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation, and the National Aquarium Conservation Center.