It only takes a few minutes with Banquet Chef Lucio Garnica to know he is passionate about two subjects; food and reducing Sunriver Resort's carbon footprint. “I want to blow people away. I want to take products from our great local sources, give it an elegant twist, and give our customers something they have never seen at a banquet.”
Chef Lucio is one of an innovative breed of green-conscious chefs who are committed to serving sustainable local food while minimizing the use of products sold through global distribution chains. Like other chefs across the globe, Lucio has become a bit of gatekeeper in the chain of food distribution. He commands a unique influence over the purchase, trade and consumption of food. In conjunction with Sunriver Resort's Destination Earth program, he has made it a personal mission to bring the corporate philosophy of sustainability to life at Sunriver Resort.
Sunriver Resort recognized the need to create initiatives that reduce the impact on the earth’s resources, while at the same time providing guests the excellent experience they’ve come to expect. As part of that commitment to eco-friendly practices, a big part of Lucio’s role is finding and purchasing the best, freshest and most sustainable local food. This practice is made easier by the rich supply of products available in and around Central Oregon. In addition to the bountiful produce found in the Willamette Valley, there are 8 different beef providers, 7 dairy companies like Tumalo Chesse Company, and a wide variety of mushroom picking sites - all within a 250- mile radius of Sunriver.
All these abundant food sources have inspired Lucio to create intriguing new tastes and “push the envelope” in the kitchen, especially in the area of vegetarian cuisine and moving away from the traditional three-point presentation of plated meals. When asked to describe Lucio's number one goal at Sunriver Resort he replies, " I want to be known as the best and most sustainable banquet kitchen in the Northwest. Hand’s down.”