Belize’s culinary scene is burgeoning, and Itz’ana Resort’s latest dining experience, Nadü, is a prime example of this. Our local chefs, keeping pace with global trends but remaining true to our cultural roots, are innovatively showcasing traditional offerings. The cooking at Nadü is uber conscientious; careful planning, preparation, and presentation are cornerstones of this new sustainable dining experience. Sustainability, in fact, is the hallmark of Nadü. The dining experience features a 4-course set menu that changes each night depending on what the chefs have been able to locally source that day.
Whimsical, Open-Air Dining
The name, Nadü, is a nod to the Garifuna culture of the region. In the local dialect, it’s the word for “tree”. Rustically elegant, only a handful of tables are set on the sand under the canopy of littoral forest and mere feet from the Caribbean Sea. Nadü is a glamorous, open-air affair with exclusive seating for less than a dozen or so guests at a time.
The menu is decided by the availability of ingredients and the chef’s creativity each day. So, no two 4-course meals are ever the same. Using the traditional method of cooking, the woody scent of smoke from the fire hearth mingles in the fresh salt air with night-blooming jasmine and roasting herbs. Soft lighting and the rhythmic lapping of the sea upon the shore complete the effect for a whimsical and romantic setting.
An Experience as Delicious as It Is Socially Responsible
Nadü is meeting the demands of discerning diners while being gentle on the environment. Sustainability is at the forefront of the restaurant’s ethos. Hyper-local ingredients are spotlighted and seafood features heavily on the rotating menu. Working with local fishermen from the immediate surrounding areas, Nadü’s chefs are not simply plating dinners, they’re promoting equality and uplifting communities.
Sustainability in our food chain is directly linked to social responsibility as well as environmental wellness. By sourcing small batch, ethically caught seafood at fair market value from trusted local fishermen, our restaurants can have a tremendous impact on the community and minimal effects on the ecosystem. Itz’ana understands this and has embraced the local food producers and procurers, empowering them to bring high-quality, organic ingredients to the market.
Nadü: Leading the Charge in a Culinary Revolution
Farm-to-table wasn’t so much a movement in Belize but rather a continuation of a lifestyle. Fresh, seasonal offerings have always been in fashion here. With the more recent influx of international visitors, though, we are enjoying greater opportunities to introduce Belizean cuisine to a wider audience. As a country that has become a melting pot of cultures, the dining experiences in Belize can appear both a bit familiar and a bit exotic. Some dishes, perhaps, might be instantly recognizable yet contain a surprise tropical ingredient or unexpected spice.
Blessed with fertile soil, a year-round growing season, and bountiful seafood, Belize’s natural resources are abundant. It would be foolhardy to squander them.
Nadü may be one of the first of its kind in the country. Still, we can expect the trend toward sustainable practices in our restaurants to continue. Nadü is among the forerunners of talented chefs and innovative restaurateurs leading the charge in our culinary revolution. And, it’s bringing international attention to our cuisine by showcasing our incredible offerings to travelers elegantly and sustainably. This is a gourmand experience not to be missed at Itz’ana Resort & Residences on the Placencia Peninsula.
Featured Image courtesy Itz’ana Resort & Residences. All other images courtesy Megan Rodden.